Sunday, January 11
Appreciating The Little Things
On nice days - at this time of year any day we're blessed with sunshine and mostly blue sky is "nice" - instead of going home from work via the highway, I take the scenic route through a neighborhood that seems unconnected to the good-size city across the river.
First past tiny houses of various shapes and sizes, most on equally tiny lots with neatly kept yards. Then a right turn onto a stretch of country road lined with much larger homes on much larger lots, and eventually, houses on only one side and open fields on the other. Houses shaded on all sides by tall trees that have somehow thrived and grown taller despite several floods and many assaults by wind and freezing rain.
I never take this route to work because of the railroad crossing that divides the residential section from the small warehouses and other things industrial on the far side. Ten minutes waiting for a train to pass is not in my hurry-up-get-to-work schedule. Even coming home, I don't go this way if I have to be anywhere else. It's reserved for days I can savor the sights and smells that only a city-dweller finds "charming". I even hope the bar will be down at the crossing, for that means more time to de-stress while pondering the places those RR cars are headed. Chicago? St. Louis? Farther east??
Last Friday, I felt somewhat cheated when the lights began flashing and the bar came down for "just" a switch engine and a couple of hopper cars approaching from the right, not the usual mile-long train that inspires day dreams of far off places. But my disappointment was short-lived when the long wooooo woooooo engineers are required to sound at crossings was followed immediately by a burst of "woo woo woo!".
Well, this made me look up toward the cab, where a nice bit of eye candy - really nice! - and his helper were grinning at me and waving furiously. Of course I waved and grinned back! Then they were gone and the lights stopped flashing and the bar went up, but that five-second exchange kept me smiling for hours!
Here's hoping your days are sprinkled with unexpected smiles too.