The Train that Kept on Coming and Coming and Coming…

Dear Reader:

Engine 8108….what in the world was your problem yesterday? You ended up providing quite a challenge for me and many others “to boot.”

Let me start back at the very beginning of my story. Around 10:30 a.m. yesterday (after taking small portions of my medicine) I knew I needed some staples at the store and decided I would run over to the Piggly Wiggly and pick up lunch from the deli while I was there. It should have taken less than half an hour to run this errand. But as Robert Burns so accurately observed…”the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.

I cut through the “back roads” of Summerville….Marion Avenue, to Carolina to Cedar Street to get to the grocery store. So far, so good. Just as I was nearing the train tracks that run through town by W. Doty Avenue in connection with Cedar…I heard the clanging sound of the train whistle and slowly the flashing warning bars started descending.

There was one car in front of me who pulled up and stopped just short of the tracks…I stayed back behind the pedestrian crossfare to leave W. Doty open for traffic going perpendicular to me.

I had my IPhone and decided to take some shots of different sections of the train including the engine with the numbers 8108. It was a warm, muggy but beautiful morning and I wasn’t particularly in a hurry at first so I stared at the different colored box cars and the graffiti on some of them that was actually quite good. The back drop of old houses behind the train tracks was nostalgic.

As the clicking sounds of the train continued along the tracks…I did a little day dreaming and thought of the important role that these tracks have played in Summerville history…as still seen in one particular mural today.

I always loved going in the old Post Office where the New Deal mural  (Train Time) dating back to the 1930’s was located on the walls and is still there today…even after the building changed to the Public Works (Water) and now the new art center for Summerville.

As I came out of my reverie I looked at the time on my dash board…it was eleven o’clock. I left the house just a little after 10:30…Wow…this was the longest train I ever remember waiting on…a good 20 minutes or more.

I kept leaning forward to see how much farther the box cars were coming….there was still no end to them. It was now a little after eleven. Suddenly the train started slowing down and came to a stop.

I thought to myself….why is the engineer stopping? And then it got worse…it started backing up!!! “Oh dear Lord ….NO!” 

By now…all the cars behind me started going around and cutting up West Doty Avenue (runs parallel to the tracks) so I joined them as soon as I could squeeze in.

The problem however didn’t go away…because there was still no place to cross the tracks. I was five minutes from the Piggly Wiggly and just couldn’t get there. For the first time I felt my frustration mounting…my stomach didn’t feel quite right…it needed some food in it.

Then I noticed something…while I was starting to do some serious pouting over the unusual train delay…a couple had pulled an overturned bucket (into a seat) under a shade tree (while the woman sat on the grass) to watch the train go by…it was so endearing it made me re-evaluate my impatience.

By literally “going around my elbow to get to my thumb” I finally found a crossing area a couple of miles farther up the road towards Lincolnville. I had done it…I was on the other side!

Within five minutes I was at the Piggly Wiggly….apprehensive that the deli line was long by now…(the Sunday deli is very popular)  to my shock and delighted surprise, however, I was the first one in line. The server said it was unusual not to have a crowd at that time on Sunday…I explained to her about the train problem and we chatted amiably about it as she fixed my dinner.

At the crossing I had found earlier near Lincolnville….I could see the end of the train heading into town… so I figured after picking up some groceries and getting my dinner…I was ‘good to go’ getting back home. Wrong!

I went another back way home (Palmetto Street) and there were trucks and men waving at me to take a detour at that section of the train tracks… no crossing  at that track site. The train cars had stopped again!

As I followed the detour…I found myself ironically back on Cedar Street (where it had all started) facing the tracks from the other side…still unable to cross! What are the odds of this happening?

I will have to tell you as I stared back at the train in disbelief….(what in the world had delayed the train again?)…I could feel my shoulders sagging…I was tired, hungry, and frankly disgusted.

I finally found another crossing…but by the time I got home…it was noon. My half-hour run to the grocery store had lasted a whole hour and a half!

*If any of you readers experienced my same dilemma yesterday or happen to know what the issue with the engineer of engine 8108 was…please let me know so we can solve this mystery. It was certainly a day spent ‘at the tracks’... literally! (But the only betting going on was how cold my lunch was going to be and how watery my iced tea drink would be before I got home.)

So until tomorrow…Yesterday I felt like the old joke “I need to develop some patience….immediately!”

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

Stop! Wait! The doorbell just rang and it was Vickie….she was bringing me slices of carrot cake she had just made…my favorite!

Forget  the  earlier aggravations of this day (Choo! Choo! and all)…It has ended in the yummiest way possible….from dreadful delays to delicious dessert….Thanks God! What a way to end the day! Thanks Vickie! Choo! Choo! Woo! Woo! :)!

 

*** Just as I was closing down the computer I checked my email one last time and found a message from the wonderful Sis Kinney, one of our loyal readers since the start of Chapel of Hope Stories, almost a decade ago.. She heard last week that she has breast cancer. It was discovered unexpectedly while she was having a MRI on her breast for something else… which turned out to be nothing.

When this happens we can’t help but think how fortunate and lucky we are that it was discovered (even accidentally)…and for Sis …at a very early stage.

Sis is having surgery tomorrow (Tuesday) for a lumpectomy followed by radiation. As long as no cancer shows up in the adjacent lymph nodes Sis will have a lower dose of radiation five days a week for five weeks. Obviously if anything more serious is found…chemo is the next option..  which will be followed by more intense radiation.

Sweet Sis said that she didn’t want sympathy but she could sure use everyone’s prayers. Sis…with so many of us  sisters in pink…you will be getting a lot of empathy… along with our prayers!

Please keep us updated and we will keep our prayers updated alongside any and every procedure you face….while you hold God’s hand. He never lets go! My prayer is the surgeon gets in there tomorrow and nothing more is required than the minimum procedure….then back to better health than ever! You will be faster than ever chasing all those beautiful grandchildren! 🙂

 

 

 

About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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4 Responses to The Train that Kept on Coming and Coming and Coming…

  1. bcparkison says:

    Prayers for Sis. Prayers are need just about every where I look. Come Lord Jesus…we need you/

    Like

    • Becky Dingle says:

      You are right….thank goodness Beverly…there is no limit on the number of prayers we each can get or give…one of the few things in life that remain free of charge from the moment we take our first breath until our last. I am so sorry to hear of your mother’s fall and subsequent injuries…then to top it off with your father’s difficulties (including his personal difficulty 🙂 it certainly can be overwhelming……..prayers, prayers, and more prayers to you and your siblings as you meet these daily challenges.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. gin-g Edwards says:

    That is wild…we watched the train in Columbia with the grands…fun bc we weren’t hungry. Prayers for Sis

    Like

    • Becky Dingle says:

      Timing is everything in life…if I had gotten to the tracks one minute earlier I would have made it across with no idea of the problem behind. Sometimes the timing in our lives is good and sometimes really awful…but the best time with family and friends are the best!

      Like

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