Daily Prompt: Trains, Planes, and Automobiles. Ah, the romance of the rails! Only once have I been so wooed, but the memory lives on.
/* Style Definitions */
mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;
A cousin of mine was to be married that Christmas, and we (the family) were planning to attend. As a minister, my father was busier than ever at that time of year, and so he could not make the trip. My mother had decided to take us three kids from our home in the middle of Wisconsin to Fremont, Nebraska by train. What a wonderful idea! None of us had ever been on a train before, and we would likely savor every minute. Mom, being the clever woman that she was, had made some pre-departure preparations to help ensure our enjoyment. She had bought some sugar maple leaf candy and some comic books–not your ordinary Archie or Casper type, but rather more like animated short stories. Now these things, being novel, only added to the overall fascination of the journey for a child. Mom made sure that we did not miss the scenery, reminding us how different was the landscape from that which would be viewed along a highway.
There were some uncomfortable moments, however. It was extremely cold that week, and the train’s heating system could not overcome the breath of Old Man Winter. Under mounds of jackets and blankets, we tried–mostly in vain–to get some sleep. To add to our discomfort, the portable sewage system had frozen. I remember entering the bathroom and seeing ice in the bottom of the toilet. These developments had turned our traveling “fun machine” into a diseased monster. But given encouragement from mom (and an occasional piece of maple candy), we assumed a pioneering attitude; we were now in the midst of a real life adventure! Would we survive? Of course we would, for we had each other.
We made it to Fremont, only to learn that the wind chill made the apparent temperature a frigid -80 F! And I suppose we attended the wedding, but somehow, that’s not the part that I remember…