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Come with me. I am on the train from my town of Rutland, Vermont to help my second daughter with her children and the new baby coming. It is a long trip, and I will actually get a train to Maryland for a quick visit, first, to my youngest daughter and her two children. Eight AM pronto, the train leaves, and I kiss my husband goodbye and settle down. It is a familiar ride to me, having taken it a few times before.

Settled in my window seat, with my notepad and my coffee, I watch town after town pass by me, and it is mesmerizing to watch. A small lake holding up floating autumn leaves, crooked stands of crisp birch trees reaching their bare fingers out to other trees nearby. At a very leisurely pace my train awakens sleeping villagers with its almost non-stop whistle.  It is an adventurous and pleasant sound for a happy traveler. A bright scene of three white bridges spanning a small river comes in sight and I long to capture the sight of the reflection of all of the bridges in the still water, double vision. Not too far up the track begins the sad scene of graffiti on low walls, and occasional old junk left beside the tracks.

Ah…  After almost three hours of cloudy morning, the sun pressures its way through the covering and breaks out over more water, and farmland and bridges.   We are near the Hudson River and I love this part of the journey.  Wide skies, long vistas, and boats on the long river. There is a cute little lighthouse ahead that looks like a toy. Buoys, and larger towns and much bigger bridges. Mountains stretch out on the other side of the river, and I know that soon, in less than two hours, I will be changing trains in bustling N.Y. Penn Station. I am imagining that I could be on a wagon trip beside this same river, watching the tug boats and barges go slowly by as  I travel by trees, and more trees.

After I get on the train to Baltimore, the cities race by me, one after another, Trenton, and Newark, N.J, and Philadelphia, and Delaware and finally, Baltimore, Maryland. One city melts into another like one big urban home, all part of our one nation. Train tracks stitching the countryside together like one big tapestry. A large joy at being in my country fills me, and I bless each city as the conductor walks through my car, announcing our next destination. My very long trip is about to end, and begin. I wonder what I will have to tell next?