Ruffled Feathers and Spilled Milk

Farming with ducks and dairy goats, chickens and children.

Train hopping.

Posted on | July 2, 2017 | 1 Comment

Train hopping is a dangerous thing.  Getting the speed and the grip just right is tricky.  You don’t always get to choose who you’re traveling with and even the familiar faces can do odd things as the walls close in and the miles pass.  You have no idea where you’re going.  Not really.  Just a guess and a hope that you end up where you need to be.

But that’s what I’ve been doing.

Oh, at first I was was in my home territory–on and off at work, the grocery store, soccer games, the library, gardening, the dump,…you know the deal.  Except I had my eyes on the curve.  Trying to see what was ahead and trying to gather everything I needed.  I was mapping the route.  Filling my boxcar with first aid supplies and water bottles and my Stress Relief aromatherapy diffuser.  Trying to judge the distance of the jump.

Then I made the switch, with my family attached, and with all my bags, which is not recommended when hopping trains.  But if you’re not a 20-something hippie without any cares or responsibilities, then you tend to travel heavy.  And do not discard that diffuser to save weight.  Do Not.  Trust me on this.

It was a hell of a train ride.  3 weeks into the unknown.  On and off in strange places.  Meeting fellow travelers.  Seeing wonderful and bizarre things.

Not for the faint of heart, people.  Not for the faint of heart.  I hear there are deadly gangs riding the rails.  I don’t think they have anything on the risks of trying to force 4 kids out of bed in the morning before the free breakfast at the hotel ends.  Never mind making the 2 teeny-tiny bath towels in the bathroom last through showers for 6 people.  Ask yourself:  What would you do to your fellow travelers to get the last remaining dry towel?  (You can’t ask the front desk for more towels because you are only paying the rate for 2 guests.)  Never mind.  Don’t answer that.

And now we’re jogging alongside the home train.  Trying to get a hand hold.  I need to get to the store for milk.  We were late for basketball practice.  And the audiobook are late for return to the library.  The tomatoes need to be pruned in the garden.  The Other Half has been assigned dump duty.  I’m picking up speed and I’ve almost got a grip.

But the truth is that we aren’t really returning home.  The truth is that these trains only move forward.  There’s no going back.  Orion, one of the dogs, died while we were gone.  He had been struggling with arthritis and back pain and some kind of muscle wasting disease but it was still a shock when only Luna was waiting at the door when we pulled up.  When I opened my work email I discovered that we all got raises but they also made a major rule change that drastically affects our day-to-day responsibilities.  School grades came in and everyone pulled off A’s and B’s.  Despite what we expected.  And the fall class schedule is messed up.  Which is exactly what we expected.

I’ll let you know what we saw on the trip.  I’ll finish all the posts I never finished before we left. (Probably.  Maybe.  Eh?)

But, for now, I’ve gotta go.  This is my train.


One Response to “Train hopping.”

  1. Jill Hallenbeck
    July 3rd, 2017 @ 7:01 am

    Ever forward!

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