Transition to the train

I’m on the train,quite literally! The whistle is blowing as we glide down the banks of the Connecticut River in Springfield, Massachusetts. The sun is sparkling on the water, quite unlike the YouTube tornado video Emily and I watched last night when I realized she had missed the tornado story while she was in India this spring.

Because of the hurricane (one natural disaster after another), there is currently no train service from Brattleboro,although that will be remedied tomorrow. The bus was a half hour late but since it travels so much faster, we still arrived in Springfield with plenty of time to catch the train south. I’m happy to finally be moving as the leaving is one of the harder parts of a journey for me.

When I was a girl, our family used to drive to Washington, D.C. every April to visit my aunt, uncle and cousin. Last May, I helped to drive the school bus to D.C. with our junior high students. It feels fitting and easy to start this trip with a long weekend in Washington. I will stay with my nephew,Sam, and visit friends there. More on that later…

Yesterday, I finally managed to winnow down the contents of my new suitcase/backpack so that I could close it easily. I cheated a bit by mailing my big hiking boots out to Arizona where it will be easy to carry them in a car. I also have a daypack. If I get this right, I’ll try out adding a picture of my luggage here:

Please be patient with my learning curve with pictures!

With my bags all packed, the waiting to leave began. Emily was substitute teaching in Marlboro this morning in the primary room so she invited me to help with morning meeting and to attend All School Sing. As we sang the going out song, The Road is Calling as leaves are falling, the sense of really leaving hit me strongly. I’ve never been good at goodbyes and this one was a bit of a challenge. Since Em has inherited my teary leave-taking, it was probably just as well that we said good bye in front of a primary class. I left quickly and with tears in my eyes.

Once at the train station, I sat in the sun with a couple of NY Yankees fans chatting about baseball and Italian food. I have my own seat here on this train but know they were only the first of many people I will meet on this journey.

Wow. We’re already in Hartford, CT. My time flies when you’re having fun! Now to see if I can post this. Another traveling challenge …


Leave a comment


  1. Well, the picture is at the bottom of the post and not where you wanted it, but at least it made it in! I still got teary, even in front of the 2nd graders, and then of course Camilla had to ask if I was sad, so we temporarily abandoned read-aloud and talked about why I was sad. Oh well, best laid plans. It was strange coming home to an empty house today, knowing it will be empty for a while. The cat already refuses to do anything but follow me around. We miss you.

  2. Jean

     /  October 1, 2011

    Bon voyage Ellen, enjoy the free spirit !

  3. pam perkins

     /  October 1, 2011

    Ellen, I have bookmarked your blog, but since we are leaving for Borneo on 10/4-10/23 I might miss some of it. I will look forward to following your adventures and meeting you when you are here in California in November. Good luck and have fun on this life-altering experience. Pam

  4. merrie beth frost

     /  October 1, 2011

    Ellen have a wonderful time and I’m sorry I didn’t get to see you at CURVES before you left…Your blog made me teary….your a great person, you deserve to have this wonderful experience 😉

  5. I keep hearing “Riding on the City of New Orleans…..”

    Bob Immler

  6. Phyllis Biegun

     /  October 4, 2011

    Go Ellen! Go Ellen! Go Ellen!


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