To be insightful means to intuitively grasp things - an "aha!" moment!

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I am a member of the church of Christ. I have been writing things since I was little. Some have been printed, some posted. I write to teach or encourage; to blow off steam; and for fun! I had my own motorcycle in my 40s; I was a bluegrass music DJ for about 13 years; I've performed some. I am a member of the NRA. In 2003 (age 59), I became high partial legally blind; in 2005, I had to get hearing aids! Franklin Field said: "Poor eyes limit your sight; poor vision limits your deeds". And no kidding, the picture was made April, 2012!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

ON the ZEPHYR

Reading author Henry Kisor's blogs today reminded me not only of his books, especially his story of riding Amtrak's "Zephyr", but of the trips a friend and I (we met at church August, 1959) made on Amtrak when I was off work due to 15 eye operations. The longest trip we made was to California - round trip about 9,000 miles. He had a broken foot and I had my white cane. We left here Nov. 6, 2004 and got back Nov. 25: Birmingham - Wash., DC on the "Crescent", to Chicago on the "Capital Limited", to Emeryville (Oakland area) on the "Zephyr", San Jose' - Seattle on the "Coast Starlight", to Chicago on the "Empire Builder", then to DC and home. A cousin and her husband lived near SJ and we visited them a few days (we drove to Gilroy, the "garlic capital of the world" - you can smell it in the air! I got to tour Guide Dogs for the Blind in San Rafael [fantastic place! Glad I don't need a guide dog but glad to know such is available], and we all toured the Winchester House), spent 3 in Seattle (weather was nice, I walked to the Space Needle but didn't go up, enjoyed Pioneer Square), auxiliary engine quit in Minot, ND (20 degrees on the platform) so we limped into Chicago so late that a lot of people missed connections, thus we spent 2+ days there (weather was gorgeous and I walked a few places) at Amtrak's expense. I wrote this in about 30 minutes on Nov. 9 while on the "Zephyr", about something that happened while we were on it. I'm long overdue for another train ride.

From the dirty rail yards in the Windy City
Through the canyons cut by the rivers' run,
Beaver dams and eagles' aeries -
Snow-topped Rockies shimmering in the sun.
Folks in the middle see both ends of the train
As it esses up the mountain slopes.
There's pasture lands with cows and horses,
But what you expect to see are mountain goats!
Engines in the lead and the middle and the end -
Helper locomotives chugging "I think I can"
Make long freight trains look like a "pushmi-pullya"
Through beautiful areas of steep, rugged land.
There's one more deer who's gone to "deer heaven".
The conductor said it had a ten-point rack.
Big buck in the headlight of the Number Five train
Picked the wrong time to cross the track.
That deer caused some trouble, some disconnections.
The engineer finally brought that High Iron to a halt.
Some employees crawled under to fix the problems.
God was with 'em on that trestle with no cat walks.
The "Zephyr" flies like the breeze she's named for
Between Chicago and Emeryville.
But that wind has to stop when there's an obstruction -
When the wild life becomes "rail kill".
Feeding and caring for lots of people
For 2,000-plus miles is sometimes a pain.
God bless the engineers and all the operating crews
And the service crews on all the Amtrak trains.

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