Friday, July 31, 2009

Ridin The Rails!

Train rides are my fondest memories of the first 25 years of my life.

From 1944 to 1969, my mother and I traveled the Atlantic Coastline RR, on the Champion and the Silver Meteor, several times a year.

Mother was born and raised in Palmetto, and married my dad on her 18th birthday in 1943.
She had been riding the trains to Savannah and back during the war years to see her dad, who was at the CC Camp in Savannah.

On my first ride with my mother, she was 5 months pregnant with me in 1944 and that was the beginning of my love affair with trains.

I truly loved the trains, the squealing of the wheels as they stopped, the rattling on the rails and the waddle as we backed into the stations in Savannah and Jacksonville, the long mournful wails as we got close to a crossing.

I did NOT love the fact the bathrooms were locked in the 2 hour lay over in Jacksonville and the 1 hour in Tampa.

The bathrooms were very tiny and very loud, and they rattled and shook me so hard I could hardly stand.
I made many trips to those little rooms because of the amazing water that came out of the spigots on the wall and trickled into those tiny little cups. I think they held maybe 3 ounces.
Did I mention the reclining seats? and the pillows provided by the conductor? Sheer Magic!

The conductors amazed me as they traveled up and down the aisles, swaying to the rocking cars. The same rocking cars that caused me to stagger and fall against the seats as I traveled to the water fountains and rest rooms. Mother packed lunches because there was no money for the dining car, and she would not even let me go peek in the door to see where the rich were eating and drinking.

The trip was 10 long hours, and I loved every minute, that is until my brother was added to the trip when I was 4. Some of the joy was snatched away while he was a baby, but the joy came back as he grew older, but he never loved the train like I did. He entertained himself with tiny toy soldiers.

In my teens I was allowed to do the trip ALONE.What Fun!

My last train ride, in 1969, I was alone, riding for the last time to attend my grandmothers funeral. To see her for the last time.

She passed away and Mother and Daddy drove to Palmetto for the funeral. They would be gone for a week and I had two sons, 3 and 18 months and could not be left for a week with a working husband.

My mothers friend offered to keep them for 3 days during the day and their dad could keep them at night.

Above photo is Eleanor Roosevelt's Secret Service Car, they traveled with her as photographers, using their cameras to scan the crowd. The Govt. did not want it known they were with her to protect her, so they pretended to be her personal photographers.
Club Car
The pictures in this post, were taken last year when I discovered the Railroad Museum in Parrish, FL, a 30 minute ride from home.
Diane and I rode the train for an hour, and of course we snapped and snapped and snapped. For only $12.00 I heard and saw my memories again in Real Time !

If you close your eyes while playing the below video I found on You Tube, you will hear the sounds I heard while riding the rails. This is today's Silver Meteor as it leaves Orlando Florida.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Dogs Rule! At least ours do

OK, so you have seen these dogs before, those of you that have, KNOW I am an animal lover and Our Dogs Rule........But I do have a new story, about old dogs.

This is how King Jake and Queen Baby Girl watch TV with us at night.
Since I am retired, September will be 3 years, I have Learned To Loaf! I do a really good job. When I got up this morning I had decided no bloggin today. The plan was since the owner of the wide screen TV remote, would leave at 7 and return around 10, I could watch my recorded Favorite Shows (the man does not like them, also they come on after my bedtime).

I settled in with remote in hand, coffee cup full, viewed Freestyle and started viewing Raising the Bar. After the second cup of coffee, I put the TV on hold for a trip to you know where, and what to my wondering eyes did appear? Baby Girl, in the new chair (note it is covered with a sheet).

As the Nikon Flashed, one eye opened. Note: she is about the same age as I am and has been retired all her life and has the Loafing down pat.

I took 3 pictures with the trusty Coolpix and returned to TV watching.

By the end of my show, this is what I found.

Pillow on the floor, sheet off chair, Baby wrapped around it all.

You might ask WHY I would put a BLACK sheet on the chair. Click on this photo to see a zillion hairs on sheet.

The thing is, black shows hairs, but a lighter color shows STAINS. The sheets are washable and used to reside on the sofa BEFORE we got smart and bought black leather.

You have probably assumed correctly by now, the Dogs Are in Control in our house. What Fun!

If you want to see Peggy's new comfort Dog, click here. She is the author of one of my favorite blogs, Paddle Tales

Monday, July 27, 2009

Toad's Eye VIEW

A few months ago, I rescued a tiny toad from our pool. I posed him on my husbands finger to take his photo. He was only 3/4 of an inch and soooo cute. Click on picture to see HOW cute he is.

Today's Post is what I think this little guy sees from his habitat.

Recently, I purchased a Nikon Coolpix, purely for the purpose of the ability to tote that tiny thing in my pocket every time I left home. I have several cameras and did not NEED the camera but bought it anyway.

I leave the camera by my car keys and when I grab the keys, I drop the camera in my pocket.

Saturday Morning just before daylight, I rushed out the door and 8 blocks from home, my headlights picked up white things in my neighbors grass.

OF COURSE, I had left the Nikon on the table. I fussed at me all the way to the store and when I got home, fussed about it some more to my husband. Some of the things I said were my concerns over my MEMORY or LACK there of as I get older. My husband said go back down there, I pettishly said, I don't WANT to go back down there. And Did not. Around 10:30 I decided to go to the library and even though it was EIGHT blocks out of my way in the opposite direction, I drove to the site of the mushrooms/toadstool stools.

The sun was shining, the sky was magnificent, blue with white puffy clouds. Who knew but a TOAD what my camera would see when I sat it on the ground and snapped away.

This is what a toad sees from under his little home. I know, they don't really live there, but in this story they do.

The largest was 6 inches across and only about 4 inches tall. In these pictures from the ground they look like trees.

There is a point to this story. If I had remembered the camera, the photos would all be black background with a toadstool. The good thing is, by the time I got back there in the middle of the morning the background was beautiful. If I had taken the photos in the dark, I would not have gone back to take them in the sunlight.
As it turned out, I have much prettier pictures than if my memory had not shorted out on me. Also you would be looking at BLACK background Not Sky and grass. CLICK on Pictures to see what the toad really sees.
Lest we forget................
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

Sunday, July 26, 2009



Friday, July 24, 2009

Shadow Of The Rainbow

I received a forward email of a mother bear and her cubs and the email mentioned a Native American saying

"We have walked together in the shadow of the rainbow".

The google addict that I am, I googled the saying and found this meaning.

When something wondrous was seen or experienced Native Americans called it "Walking in the shadow of the rainbow"

I also stumbled on Elmers Rainbow by artist Susan Afflerbach and her story of MY GIRL TRIBUTE click on my girl to read the story and to find the lyrics of Bless the Beast, please don't miss it. CLICK on the pictures for the details.

My Girls story is the inspiration for today's post and this post is dedicated to the abused Children and Beasties of this world..

My great granddaughters, Nya and Nyima

Jungle Gardens, Tommy and a little girl I don't know.

Click on photo of 3 horses to see the boxer dog running with them

Click on the picture of the cows, to see that baby calf.Twin Calves

The blessing is even for the reptiles, although some would think not!

We all may walk in the shadow of the rainbow if we open our eyes and our hearts.


My writing well has run dry.
THEY say a picture is worth a thousand words, so here is my message for today.

Remember this Blog the next time you say, "Oh, for the good old days."