Another beautiful morning, bright and sunny, and way warmer than that wind chills-in-the-teens nonsense we had yesterday. This weekend, we’ll give Old Man Winter the cold shoulder and enjoy temps in the 50s.
Before I left, I took the car for a little spin, then took myself on a little hike. I intended to go to Council Point Park, and, dumb me … out of force of habit, I’ve walked so many times to the railroad tracks or the Rivers Edge Marina, that my feet just kept going in that direction. I couldn’t even blame this phenomenon on “brain freeze” so, I just kept going. By the time I got home, my roundtrip yielded another five more miles to my total.
As I headed down Emmons Boulevard, I heard the train in the distance. I thought “good, it won’t interrupt my walk and I’ll head down to the marina again”, and, by the time I got to the tracks, the railroad gates were lifting up and my feet never missed a beat.
The marina was still frozen over, although some of the thin ice had broken through and the water was visible below, but no ducks were around. Even the seagulls weren’t circling – probably since there was no food for them to try to snatch. It was especially quiet, and, though I had brought my camera along, I didn’t take it out. Even though it was sunny and bright, the landscape looked a little lackluster.
I hung around the marina for a few minutes while taking in that rather drab scenery, then headed for home. As I neared the tracks, I heard the loud bellow of the train’s whistle competing with the clang-clanging of the track gates as they dropped down. Nothing like disturbing the peace on a quiet Saturday morning! I stopped a few houses before the tracks to await the arrival of the train as it rolled through – and it was rollin’ all right. I thought it would never end. A long lineup of cars began to grow behind me as well as on the opposite side of the tracks as that train kept right on rollin’. I was beginning to regret my second cup of coffee I’d had and thought to myself “what if the train has issues and must stop in the middle of the tracks?” because it’s not like I can just back up and take an alternate route. Finally, (thankfully), the last of the 119 cars rolled by and the gate lifted. I scurried across in record time and got a half-block down the street when I head the whistle blow and the clang-clanging of the gates signal another train was coming – it was from the opposite side this time.
While on my walk, I was thinking about a good friend who retired today. I believe she is the first classmate of mine to retire. I’ve known Cheryl since high school and we shared the same graduation years from Lincoln Park High School as well as Wayne State University. Cheryl was a teacher for many years, and I note she has already updated her Facebook profile to read “retired teacher at Wake County Public School System” at the conclusion of Saturday’s school session. Her new retiree status and added free time got me wondering what I will do when I am retired, besides returning to those hobbies that I started, then abandoned, through the years, like drawing in charcoals and pastels and photography. Perhaps I’ll finally have time to read the pocketbooks that currently languish in Rubbermaid tubs in the basement and there hopefully will be many miles to be walked and many blog posts to be written.
Meanwhile I’ve had a good run this last four days and I’m not retired! Like those trains, I’ve been rollin’ … I’ve walked four days in a row, (at the end of January no less), and added four more posts to my blog which is already burgeoning with 697 posts to date.
I will embrace retirement when it comes, but right now I’m feeling very blessed to be able to do both these things that I love right now – who could ask for more?
In order to attract more of the blessings that life has to offer, you must be grateful for what you already have. – Ralph Marston