Last weekend I went to DC to visit my Daughter.

I am grateful that I got to spend time with her.

I am grateful that her University had Parent’s Weekend and all sorts of activities. I am grateful that her sorority had nice things planned. I am also grateful that we decided to blow off all formal university and sorority events…

I used Amtrak to get to and from DC. On my train home, you know, when you’re tired and exhausted and just want to get home and get into your jammies with a cup of tea (remember- you’re me in this moment) my train, which had been humming along quite nicely, came to a stop somewhere between Philly and Trenton.

We sat for about fifteen minutes.

We came to find out that another northbound train had become disabled. We were to take their passengers.

This was frustrating as we were given no timeline for how long this would take.


When I reached Penn Station in NYC, and I became rational again, I realized that I was glad that our train was able to take those people. All I could think about was what if I had taken that train instead…

So I’m grateful that my train was able to take all the passengers from the other train. Sometimes we forget that we often need to help out others who are in a tough situation.

31 thoughts on “Gratitude Saturday

  1. I guess sometimes we need to kick ourselves in the pants to remember to use our empathy skills. We live in our own heads and worlds so much (myself included) that it takes a disabled train to make us open our eyes.

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  2. Somewhere between Philly and Trenton: my heart has been both turned paste and hardened to granite a multitude of times somewhere on that stretch between Philly and Trenton – a mysterious, emotive dispersing, yanking corridor – that tract between two Revolutionary strongholds. I appreciate your gratefulness. And I suppose the following lends (quasi?) to philosophical footings, but at the end of the day, which you articulate simply and beautifully, that is the wisest choice – if peace of mind and grounded logic, or manifest contentment are desired perspective driven outcomes. Yes, that is a pensive tract of land. And somewhere along the way, it was described to me that gratitude is an action word. So I write this comment with that in mind. I cannot help but think of the minds in Philly meeting in large hot rooms wearing dense wool suits hashing out a more tenable situation from whence they came and the myriad byproducts of their resolve. I think of the Delaware River between Trenton and Lambertville, and how bloodied, torn, and tattered material wrapped front bitten feet spent their 1776 Christmas securing the city of my birth with a level of irrationality so grand, that its inaction the only logical recourse. I think of how everything goes away – retrogression’s inevitable outcome into infinite darkness. And I am not certain (for certainty is a form of treason), but if my ideas on the matter are sound (I choose presumption in this moment): I smile; smile and sing, and let otherwise stranded strangers board a functional version of stranded strangers. Trenton Makes the World Takes has a whole new meaning : )

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    1. I remember seeing that Trenton makes what the world takes as I was traveling southbound…thank you for the lyrical and well thought out comment!


  3. What a nice weekend for you and your daughter. I laughed at rhe soriorty part and skipping their events. 🙂
    Wise thought you shared about the train! Its so easy to feel like you did in the beginning, when your train first stopped. Especially when we just want to get our jammies on. 🙂

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  4. I wonder if there are people who would initially think “Thank goodness we stopped when I’m so exhausted and want to be home with my tea — so we can help out these strangers who are on a disabled train?”

    Liked by 1 person

      1. My Aunt Linda. And friend Kimberley. My aunt is the kindest, most thoughtful person in the world. Then there’s Kimberley. We were out of town when an epic rainstorm hit Palm Springs. She remembered we were out of town and checked on our house while her own house was flooding.

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  5. It’s all in the attitude of the individual and often we are the only ones who can change our own. After coming off such a good weekend I’m sure it was easier for you to adopt a magnanimous attitude.

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