Saturday, January 05, 2008

Riding the rails

On Thursday, we rode the train up to the Children's Museum in Normal, IL. Kellan had been looking forward to this for weeks. The simple things that are so important when you're three.

He wore his train sweater (of course) and we waited around the station for a long while because the train was late. As usual. I wouldn't want to actually have to rely on the Amtrak. I have never known it to be anything like on time and even when they say that they are "on time" they're running thirty minutes behind. But, I'll spare you my rant on the Amtrak. Just don't use it if you have a schedule to keep. Still, when you're three, waiting around the station in anticipation of your train (and watching the big truck across the road load cars!) is all part of the fun and the journey.

The journey to Bloomington took 90 minutes (longer than scheduled, but I won't get started on the Amtrak again!). Kellan enjoyed every minute. He even brought his own trains to play with on the train!

We arrived at the Children's Museum (eventually) and had a few hours to spend enjoying the change of scene. I do prefer our usual museum, but its nice to try something different every now and again. And, anyway, I think that we're heading for our own Children's Museum today!

At the end of a fun day, we waited on the platform to catch the train back to Springfield. Which was only 25 minutes late ("on time") I have to say! It was a wee bit chilly.

An exhausted and cold boy manages a weak smile at sight of the train's arrival.

The journey home was magical. The sun was setting over the snow covered prairie in orange bursts of flame that faded to a soft pink glow and, eventually, the grey shades of nightfall. The train rolled along at its leisurely pace, quiet and warm inside, everybody captured by nature's close of day spectacle outside their windows. It happens every day, but we don't often have the time to simply watch the passing moments, nothing to do and nowhere to go. The woman seated behind us began to sing in a voice like Rosemary Clooney, soft and sweet, lovely melodies to accompany the passing miles. Kellan laid back and gently fell asleep as we rolled along. And I relaxed, filled my soul and mentally captured each moment, as we rode the rails back home to Springfield -- a place that I am learning to live with, even if not quite "love" just yet.

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