We’re in FlorEEda!
We actually got in yesterday afternoon, but I was too lazy things were too hectic to get in a post. The train ride was fantastic. It took us about 7 hours to get to Philadelphia, where we had a little layover before getting on a new train to come down to Deland. The second leg took about 18 1/2 hours. If we had driven that same route, it would have taken us about 5 1/2 hours to drive from Pittsburgh to Philly and about 16 hours on to Deland. But add in rest stops, food breaks and vehicle maintenance, and I bet the time would have come out about the same. In a car, however, we would not have had reclining seats with foot rests, nor would we have been able to get up and walk around, go to the toilet, or sit at a table and play cards. The train was definitely an enjoyable way to go.
Flying is obviously much faster, and I suppose that we could have more than made up for the lack of leisure time on the train with an extra 18 hours of time at my mom’s house. But at my mom’s, we’ve been sitting around the table, playing cards and visiting. Guess what we did on the train? Yep.
I knitted an entire little dishcloth while on the train, too. Yesterday morning, very early, I sat at a table and knitted while the kids slept with my mom and brother. A handsome older woman came in to the dining car and asked about the yarn I was using, as she was also knitting and had brought an afghan panel to work on. She sat with me while we waited for the coffee counter to open. I asked her about her slight accent, which sounded French; she said that it was, and that she had grown up in Northern France after fleeing Hungary, where her family – who were Jewish – had been persecuted during World War II. We had a delightful conversation about everything from language, children and education to yarns and politics. Before I knew it, an hour had passed.
But now we are down at my mom’s, and it has been wonderful to see my brother again and hear about his incredible stories of life on the left West coast. I am very proud of him. He has been through a rough bit, with a foray into drug abuse that nearly cost him his life. Now he is sober, and writing about his experiences. They are hard to read, because I see what he has been through with a too-vivid lens. But his stories are compelling and real, and I think he will get them published one day and enjoy some success with them. The best part, though, is watching him interact with the girls. They warmed up to their uncle right away, even though they’ve only seen him a few times before. O2 has especially taken to him, wanting to sit with him on the train and hold his hand when we are walking places. I only wish we had more time with him, but he has to leave tomorrow to get back for work. So tonight, we are going to celebrate his birthday (Nov 1) and my mom’s birthday (Nov 15) with cake and a little party, Florida-style. Now, I just need to find a recipe for a citrus cake.
(Pictures soon, once I figure out how to upload them.)