Last week Abilene and I decided to go on a tour
that would take us from Texas,
all the way to California,
and then onto Medford, OR
and Seattle, WA.
We checked out what our footprint would be if we did it on a plane: .89 tons of CO2.
And then we checked to see what it would be if we did it on a train…
So much less, it barely even matters.
So we made some reservations with the train people.
Our economy tickets were about $100 more than what it would have cost to fly,
and we missed out on the 10% discount for AAA members because we don’t have AAA.
But for good reason; they are a powerful lobby in Washington for roads and cars,
and pretty much oppose anything having to do with public transit;
that’s why it seemed odd for Amtrak to be giving big discounts to it’s members…
people who already have cars, and have no real need for the train.
Since nobody really takes trains anymore,
some people didn’t know what to think when I told them that I was going to take my toddler
across country alone in a coach seat while 5 months pregnant.
The Houston to LA leg alone is 38 hours long-
that’s two nights and a day without really being able to lay down.
My mom worried that the train might somehow be dangerous to pregnant women.
My dad didn’t think that airplanes really caused pollution anyway because
jet fuel just falls to the ground.
My brother who lives in England worried that if everyone started using trains and alternate modes of travel
then that would mean he would have to as well,
and it would take him forever to get from England to California for a visit.
We started to pack for our journey…
You pack differently for a train.
And at the same time as we were packing for our trip…
we were also packing up the rest of our belongings
and moving them into the red house
because it’s where we’ll live when we come back.
It’s interesting to sort through your old stuff and remember what was important to you at a time.
Reminds you of who you are.
The red house was made out of bricks in 1939,
and that’s all we really know about it.
Nathan and Joana Smith were married
June 21, 2003 in Coloma, CA
at Emmanuel Church,
A few feet away from the church stands Sutter’s Mill,
where on January 24, 1848 James Wilson Marshall discovered gold,
and the California Gold Rush began.
and a philosopher…
We thought we might just save the world with love.
It’s been six years for us this June,
We’ve come so far already,
And we still have a long way before we catch up to some,
but each time anyone lives
they are doing it for the first time.
Then, a few days ago, my grandpa died.
So, we aren’t taking the train anymore
because if we did, we wouldn’t make it there in time for his funeral.
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