“And all was silent as before, — All silent save the dripping rain.”

Last night I lived a cliche. The wind was so strong it sounded like a train running at full speed. I was whizzed back to my childhood. I remembered standing on the platform at Sullivan Square, a subway station. I’d get as close to the edge as my mother would let me. When a train whizzed by, the platform shook a bit, and I was buffeted by the wind the train made. I loved it.

Ever since the subway rides I have loved trains. When I was in Ghana, I could take a train from Accra to Kumasi, about half-way the trip home. I could take a night train down coast. In Europe, I took trains whenever I could. Some were night trains, and I’d sleep in my seat without having to pay for a hotel. Other times the sleeper train was cheap enough so I could fall asleep in bed with the train clicking below me on the tracks. That is still one of my favorite sounds.

The wind is still strong but has calmed a bit. The rain has continued on and off all morning and will continue through tomorrow. I’m just fine with that. I have books to read, plenty of food in the larder, and Earth versus the Spider to watch. I’m thinking this might just become a perfect day.

When I was a kid, all these rainy days would have made me restless. I’d have spent all day in school with no recess, gotten home and been stuck inside. I’d watch TV or read, but I’d keep looking out the window hoping the rain would stop before it got too dark to go outside.

I remember lying in bed to read. My light was hung over the headboard. I’d put my pillow behind me and get comfortable. All of a sudden, I’d hear my mother yelling up the stairs for me to come down for supper. It always surprised me that I hadn’t even noticed the afternoon had gone, and it was dark outside.

Supper was usually mashed potatoes, meat and a canned vegetable. My favorite canned vegetable was baby peas with corn a close second. I still love mashed potatoes. The other night I had fresh corn, the last of the season. It was so sweet. I hope it made a memory to last through winter.

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10 Comments on ““And all was silent as before, — All silent save the dripping rain.””

  1. hedley Says:

    In the early MDH days I had the dubious pleasure of commuting to London by train, first as a bank clerk and then as a college student. There were small compartments, over zealous commuters with large newspapers, folks that were wet and jammed in and cranky. This went on for 7 years and then it didnt.

    Every now and again i will get on a train with various names for high speed. I rode one very early after the opening of the route from Shanghai to Beijing. My train was hauling until it stopped on a very sharp angle for no apparent reason. I had visions of another train whacking in to the back . Not long afterward there was a crash on the route and a bunch of folks left us.

    I’m really not much of a train person

    • katry Says:

      My Dear Hedley,
      I have taken the train in England and in Ireland. I found the Irish train routes to be giant circles which overlapped. You couldn’t go from A to B unless you stopped at E or F and worked your way back. I did see a lot of sheep though.

      In Ghana, my overnight train derailed, but I don’t think anyone was hurt. It was the slowest train I’d ever been on. We had to walk on the tracks to where another train had been sent to get us. I remember a trestle bridge being scary with the distance between the trestles.

      I lament too few trains here at home.

  2. Bob Cohen Says:

    Hi Kat,

    When I was a kid in NYC I loved riding on the subway. I have always. Had a fascination with trains, planes and automobiles. I think that was the title of a movie.

    Sadly, in this country we have neglected passenger rail service to the point that it’s essentially nonexistent except possibly on the east and west coasts. We took the train from Dallas to NYC in about 1955. I recall that on the overnight trip from Dallas to St. Louis the train was segregated with black passengers relegated to the first three cars which were very old and didn’t include a dining car. Obviously, they were not permitted in our dining car. My family reserved a Pullman compartment on the MKT “Katy” railroad and the trip took two nights and a day. It was an experience that my kids will never get to enjoy because air travel has become cheaper and easier.

    This morning it was cool and rainy. The rain and clouds have moved on but it’s still a cool 60 degrees. I’m sure summer will return again next week.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Bob,
      It is the title of a movie with Steve Martin and John Candy, and then there is Trains and Boats and Planes, the song by Dionne Warwick.

      When I first went back to Ghana, I found out there was little of the train system left, just a short run. It had been wonderful when I lived there. Here, I have never known a wide-spread train system. You are right that the rail service has been neglected. I would choose to travel leisurely by train just for a change despite the cost. One of the neatest train rides I took was from Denmark to Holland. The train went on a special boat to the continent. Another was from Quito to Guayaquil in Ecuador. It was an amazing trip.

      It is still raining and windy. The nor’easter has become a tropical storm. It will rain again tomorrow.

  3. Birgit Says:

    Next train ride tomorrow, we’ll sing next town. Local public transport is often annoying but so is automobile traffic in my region.
    I liked sleeper trains but we don’t have them anymore. The good old rail traffic times in Europe are long gone.

    • katry Says:

      Birgit,
      The cape has a train geared to tourists. It is a wonderful route with cape scenery including, sand dunes, cranberry bogs and marshes. There is even a dinner train. I haven’t ridden it in a while. It might be time again.

      You need cars here though there is now a bus route up and down the whole cape. It isn’t convenient for me.

  4. olof1 Says:

    I love taking the train but do it way to seldom. I do take it if possibel when going to Gothenburg because the traffic down there is nasty and they’ve dug up the entire town because they will make the trains go under ground in the city. The entire city is built on clay, it’ll take forever to make it stable enough to let trains go through tunnels, so it won’t be possible to drive there for many years.

    It rained almost all day yesterday and in the evening it poured down and the wind got stronger. I couldn’t hear the wind though because the rain hitting my cottage sounded too much 🙂 🙂

    Have a great day!

    Christer.

    • katry Says:

      Christer,
      Boston and towns and cities around it have a subway, the oldest in the country. It is both above and below ground. Sometimes I park at a subway stop and take the train the rest of the way into Boston. It saves on trying to find a parking space and the cost of that space. In the summer there is a train from Boston to the cape, and it saves al the aggravation of the line of cars waiting to get on or off cape.

      Todays another ugly day!

  5. Rowen Says:

    Great post, great theme.


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