Tuesday, December 22, 2015


Days go by like boxcars in the night…
Hobo’s Last Letter by Crazer, Hicks, Watson, and Newberry
The main Burlington Northern-Santa Fe rail line heading south/north and east/west through the state passes by our little town. Sometimes the trains come barreling through town at breakneck speeds, often with two or three engines pulling and two or three engines pushing (especially if the engines are heading west pulling hopper cars full of coal from West Virginia or Kentucky or wherever it has come from). The wheels making a cheerful clickety-clack as they roll along.

Sometimes the train creeps through the town, agonizingly slow, groaning and moaning and clanking and banging as it is shunted off on the siding to wait for a train coming in the opposite direction or a faster moving train coming up behind. This is especially a patience-builder if one has made the mistake of thinking “the train will pass before I get there” and instead of going over the viaduct turns left and right and left again to take the shortcut to the YMCA and then finds herself instead sitting at the north junction crossing gate waiting for that last car to pass (and on one horrible morning the train completely stopped on the siding with two cars left across the road and sat there for about 30 minutes).

And because we are about a mile from the train tracks, one can hear them throughout the day and during the wee hours of the morning (if one happens not to be asleep), and in those quiet early morning hours the sound of the cars moving down the tracks is very plain.

So too do the days pass—sometimes swiftly and sometimes they drag along—and suddenly one realizes certain people have been “sitting at the crossing” for 3 months waiting for something to be written here.

What in the world happened? I dunno exactly.
  • A paralyzing case of writer’s block.
  • One disaster after another happening to my best friend: her husband of 47 years died of cancer on August 21, almost exactly a month later she fell off a step ladder at her home and badly fractured her leg, spent a couple of weeks with an erector set on her leg to keep it stable and then went through 9 hours of surgery to finally fix it, and has been in the nursing home, unable to walk on it for yet another 4 weeks, although she finally gets to leave the nursing home tomorrow to be cared for by friends in their home. Even though all this happened to her and not me, trying to being a good friend and spend time with her in the nursing home and going to house (5 miles out in the country to water plants etc) has taken a lot of time and emotional energy -- which I was happy to do
  • Trying to spend more time reading books, which means I am off the computer earlier in the evening and also means I have less time while I am on the computer to write.
  • Maybe a little depressed. Moving into the fall of the year is always going to be hard for me and I expect it always will be.
Give me 5 minutes and I will think up a few more good reasons, but you get the idea.

A friend who I almost never see in person, but who keeps up with me by reading the blog, notices I haven’t written anything for a long time and sends me an e-mail wants to know if I am okay?

Yes Nancy, I think so. I happen to have a very expensive computer keyboard that sounds and feels just like an old-fashioned typewriter, and I am once again feeling the urge to do a bit of clickety-clacking myself here now and again.

1 comment:

Paula said...

Clickity clack explains it all and what a good friend you are.