IMG 1569 e1290827629710 Views From the Traintaken this morning at the Amtrak Station {Hipstamatic for iPhone}

Yesterday I enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving with my parental family.  We kicked things off the night before at a church service, which was so aesthetically warm with dim lights and candlelight, and very intimate and connecting.  The pastor had us all get within small groups of family members or friends, share the things we are grateful for, and partake of the Sacrament.  As I was a little overcome with emotion, I shared that I was so grateful for family, and friends as good as family, that always give me a soft place to land, showing up in many forms.  Also, that I was grateful for my Savior, who has us all in the palm of His hand, and who gives reason to our trials.

This morning Mark and I got on a train bound for Utah to continue the Thanksgiving celebration with his kids and grandkids.  The train pulls in around 4am, tomorrow morning.  It’s about a 16-hour ride.  Soon we’ll be pulling out our pillows and blankets, hoping to get a good nights sleep for the short hours that we’ll have.

There must be something in the air today on the train.  Everyone is being so… nice.  Couples are in love, holding each other close.  Parents are smiling and playing with their children.  Grandchildren are kissing all over their grandmas.  In a world where so many couples are distant and cold toward each other, it does my soul good to see women tucked under the shoulder of their men.

IMG 1593 Views From the Train

One thing I love about trains is that once it starts moving, you are here.  For good.  Until you reach your destination.  I’m easily distracted, so the chance to just sit and ‘be’ is welcome.  There is no feeling of ‘I should be doing this or that’, because I know that I simply cannot go or do anything other than ‘be’ on the train.  I have my honey to talk to, my laptop, my book, my knitting.  That’s it.

IMG 1580 e1290830444376 Views From the Train

So, since 10am, it’s been nothing but good conversation, fun observations, beautiful site-seeing, knitting, and writing (no reading yet).  We’ve been sitting in the Observatory all day – with large windows lining the whole cabin for optimal views.  Imagine hours and hours of  untrod wilderness, full of snow and trees.  When the sun was in just the right place, there was a whole field of snow, sparkling like diamonds.  Breathtaking.  I told Mark it looked like Edward Cullen’s (from Twilight) face.  :-)  But much more beautiful.

From time-to-time we would see a completely random house all alone, totally hidden away from the rest of the world.  There was a time I wondered, what kind of people would choose to live like that? Now I understand that they are my kind of people.  They are likely the kind of people who yearn for solace, peace, and tranquility.  A kind of people that want to live purposefully, without being bombarded with media and influenced by imagery from a very busy world.  A kind of people that want to keep sacred very special values for themselves and for their children.  There was a time I regarded that ‘kind’ as freakish.  If they are freaks, count me as one of them.  I totally get it.

IMG 1596 e1290830646835 Views From the Traintaken from inside the train

Tomorrow at 11am we are meeting everyone to continue the feast.  The feast on food.  The feast on connection, love, and family.  I’m so excited to see the kids,  and our three grand-babies.  There will be lots of hugs, kisses, laughter, and cuddling going around.

“Be Here Now” by Mason Jennings is my song anthem for this post.  Listen, and take in the lyrics.  There’s no other place to be…

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