I am writing today from the all too familiar corner desk in my home office.  I just returned from a 7 day vacation.  My vacation took me and my bride of 25 years to Boston, via Amtrak and home again.  What a wonderful time.  There were hours of doing nothing on the train, but reading, I finished 3 books on this trip.  (i’ll confess, one of them took me about 30 minutes to read cover to cover.)  We played unnumbered hands of gin, and a few spirited games of cribbage.

We met lots of people on the train. On our return trip first dinner on the train we shared a table with a parish priest from Austria who was riding the rails with us on part of his East Coast American rail adventure.  In Milwaukee as we passed Miller park we met a couple from San Francisco who were big New York Giant’s fans, traveling the loop on the train from San Francisco through Denver to Chicago and back via the northern route.  The northern route by the way is closed due to flooding. Across the from us in our sleeper car was a couple from Chicago, he was fascinated by the train and had a radio with him so he could hear the calls between trains, etc.  We had dinner one night with a couple from out east, we listened to him complain about how late the train was (even though it was almost right on schedule) and then he complained when he felt they were traveling too fast. We met Robert who worked for Amtrak and invited us to his church in Chicago on Sunday, but the train was a little delayed in getting in and it didn’t work out.  We listened in on the banter between a father, his son, and his grandson who had taken the train from Minneapolis to Chicago and back after a baseball game in Chicago.

Where was my computer during all of this?  It sat quietly on my desk at home. I did take my computer bag, it held my kindle, charging cords for my phone, and ipod, cards, cribbage board, a camera, a few snacks, a jacket for on the train, sunglasses, and my crocks for on the train.  While it would have been nice to have a computer at times, I must admit I survived, I could still Google and update Facebook from my phone.

I think everyone should take a ride on a train – not just a trip to the Wisconsin Dells on a train, I mean across country – change time zones.  slow down and watch the interesting people, the sites, and consider how blessed we are.  Shirley commented yesterday when driving through Wisconsin, which is a beautiful drive, that she loves riding through there… “looking at all this makes me feel like all is right with the world.”  I really feel like I had two vacations in one.  One of them was the adventure on the train, the other was in Boston more on that later.