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Keeping Track

New Grandbaby hugged a lot
Family goodbyes said
Little grandchildren played with and
Oldest daughter time enjoyed.

Then came the inevitable – it is time to go back home to Vermont.
So, I was dropped at the Alexandria, Va. Train station, early Saturday morning.
Train on time, whew.

Even though it was early morning, the weather was balmy enough for a winter day. I decided to hang out on the track platform and enjoy the sun before a 12 hour train ride kept me inside. Actually, two train rides, to Vermont.

There was a young woman near me, but standing alone, so I struck up a quick conversation with her, before the train arrived. I asked her where she was going. “To Vermont to try skiing.” She replied in a thick Asian accent. “Really?” I was totally surprised. “What city?” She was landing in my little city. The end of the line. I was really surprised. How likely was it that one of few people here in this little Virginia station was going to my town? And that I was standing here talking to her? I knew there was a reason for this meeting … I could detect the tracks of God in this encounter.

“Excuse me, please, when I get there, will I be able to get a cab to my hotel. I have never been to Vermont before.” The young passenger seemed nervous about the trip. I was not sure about cabs available at the late hour we would arrive, but I assured her that someone would help her. Then I lost track of her. I did, however, know in my inner “knower” that I had an assignment regarding this passenger.

After about five hours of training through major cities like D.C. and Philadelphia and Baltimore, my first train emptied out at New York Penn Station. Ahh, it felt to get out, stretch in the huge station, and get a bite to eat before getting on the second train. I hastened to check the huge train schedule, and my train was on time! With water and a banana in hand, I discovered, by accident, that there was a line already forming for my Vermont train in a out of the way place, so I thankfully joined it. After a while, I started thinking about the platform lady. She wasn’t in line. Where could she be? I could get out of line and look for her, but the station was teaming with a lot of train loads of people. “Pray.” I heard that in my spirit. Of course. So I did. ‘Lord, help her find the train. Help her to make it.”

I boarded the train, on time and settled in for a long trip home, in the beginning of the evening. The trip was very uneventful, apart from an hour of very uneven tracks that had been warped by the intense cold and snow. There were just a few people aboard at the end, then, as I was gathering my luggage to get off, there was the girl at the station in Virginia. Right in the front car. Yes. She made it! She told me she almost missed the train. I told her I prayed she would make it. And, yes, you guessed it, we gave her a ride to her hotel! Such a fine ending.

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