Today in My History

2001: Plague Update
2002: Teach the Children
2003:  By Request
2004:  Judy, Judy, Judy
2005 S
uch a Good Hostess
2006:  Snippy, Nasty People
2007: Happy Birthday   
2008:  Daddy Shower
2009:  Blog, Blog, Blogging Along
2010:  WWJD?
2011:  A Tribute to Brendan
2012: From the Sublime to the Ridiculous
2013: Sunday Stealing Past
Sunday Stealing
2015: Cowgirls and Indians

2016: The Problem with My Mother

To Grandma's House We Go
2018: Saturday 9
2019: Sunday Stealing

Theater Reviews
Updated 3/6
A Bronx Tale

Books Read in 2020
 Updated 3/9
"Call of the Wild"

Personal Home Page

My family

Books Read in 2020
Books Read in 2019
Books Read in 2018

Books Read in 2017
Books Read in 2016
Books Read in 2015
Books Read in 2014
Books Read in 2013

Books Read in 2012
Books Read in 2011
Books Read in 2010

updated 7/16

(you know how to fix it)

Some Background Links:
The Philosophy of Juice & Crackers
The story of Delicate Pooh
The story of the Piņata Group
Pumpkin pies
Who IS this Gilbert person anyway?

mail to Walt / mail to Bev  


10 March 2020

I found this on Facebook.  It was written by author Amy Ferris ("Marrying George Clooney").  It is so perfect, I wanted to save it here:

Let me tell you about dementia. It grabs you by the throat and doesn't let you go. It's nasty and cruel and leaves wreckage - like a tornado - in its wake. Human hearts and souls destroyed. It annihilates families and friends and decimates hope. It causes unbearable pain. If you're lucky they'll remember your name on occasion, if you're not so lucky they'll scream obscenities at you demanding you leave. Dementia is filled with sadness and heartbreak. Filled to the brim. Those you love can't love you back; those you walked with and held hands with and made love to stare blankly at you. Their eyes clouded over, glazed over, hazed over. Dementia keeps you childlike and vulnerable and yes, incontinent. A once active and vibrant body crumbling under it's own skin. It is an awful disease, one that makes you wish the patient will just close their eyes and be at peace; it's what you hope for when you close your eyes and pray to whoever you pray to, whoever you chant to, whoever you holler up at the heavens to.

My mother doesn't scream and demand I leave any more -- hasn't done that in a couple of years, but all the rest is all too true.  When you love someone with dementia, there is a part of you which is just sad all the time.

...but here's a change of topic.

Walt and I stumbled across a PBS show last night, called "Great Scenic Railway Journeys."  If you are at all interested in trains, I recommend checking it out on your local PBS station; it is being run several times.

It's the story of many scenic and historic tourist railroads in this country -- did you know there are ~500 of them???

 More than just a tour, the program explores how these railroads defined the spirit of an era, creating a new industry and re-writing the history of transportation. The railroads featured in the show include Verde Canyon Railroad, Golden Spike National Historic Site, Branson Scenic Railway and several other iconic railways.

I have always loved trains, which is guess came from my father working on one for about 30 years.  He was a railway mail clerk, sorting mail on a train ("The Lark," a Southern Pacific overnight passenger train running from San Francisco to Los Angeles) to Los Angeles.

the Lark

This is how the job is described:

Railway mail clerks had one of the toughest jobs in the Post Office Department, sorting mail on swaying and lurching trains from 1864 to 1977.

He was one of those guys who picked up bags of mail at various railway stations, hanging on poles, which he hooked as the train moved by, and continued to sort them all the way to L.A.  My then boyfriend went to high school near the train and sometimes stood out in the field to wave at him when the train went through.


His schedule was that he would leave, for example, on a Monday morning, work the train all night to the next morning when it arrived in LA, spend the day in a hotel and then get back on the train that night and be home on Wednesday.  Then he'd have two or three days off and then do it over again.  Our weeks were never the same throughout my childhood.

He worked on the train until 1968, which is when the Lark stopped running, and they began delivering mail by bus.  He then moved into the main post office, which he hated so much he had a nervous breakdown and had to retired.

Anyway,  I guess it was his working on trains that made me like them so much.  We often drove to the train station in San Francisco to pick him up and sometimes I got to get on the mail car (I remember the paper cups where I could get iced water...my favorite memory of the mail car!)

Walt and I have ridden the train a few times.  Our longest trip was to Colorado, when our friend Jane, from England, was spending time there.  That was a fun trip because there was a regular on the train who would let us know what was coming up around every turn on the track.  Only time I have seen a tree with many bald eagles in it.

I took the train to Seattle a couple of times to visit my late friend Diane.  And we've done tourist trains, like the Skunk Train, from Ft. Bragg to Mendocino -- a fun train because it was a steam train.

After Brianna was born, I took the train to Santa Barbara to see her.  I loved that ride and hoped to do it regularly, but my visits didn't fit in with her parents schedules and taking the train meant I had no transportation in Santa Barbara, so I only did it that one time, but it was a great ride.

Walt and I drove to Canada on our honeymoon and I said then, 54 years ago, that it would be wonderful to take a train trip across the Canadian Rockies, but we never did.

I know that today's trains are much better for the environment, but I'm sorry--there is something just so powerful and exciting seeing a nice steam train.

UPDATE:  I forgot about the Durango to Silverton. which we took with the kids.


Skunk train.

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