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One weekend my husband and I decided to take the train down to Austin, Texas for the weekend. We left early in the morning and would arrive that evening in downtown Austin-just after dinner. We had reservations at a hotel downtown, then would take the train back on Monday. I was so excited! I hadn’t ridden the train since I was a kid. It was going to be an adventure!

Our meals were included, but we were required to sit at tables seating four. So we ate with strangers for breakfast and lunch. I was a little nervous-I like meeting new people, I really do. But to sit and eat a meal for an hour with strangers could be potentially daunting.

At lunch we sat with a couple who actually owned part of an island off the coast of Washington State. They had purchased the island with twenty other couples many years ago. At that time, the island didn’t have electricity, but the wives conspired and after about five years the owners managed to get electricity brought to the island. They still had to take a boat to get groceries, but the couple said that was part of the charm. In fact, their share of the island is in their wills because the children are fighting over who gets it.

At dinner we sat with a published author and her husband. She had published her second book on homesteading, and was working on a third book about harnessing natural resources to fuel your home. She and her husband were on a research trip for this book, and were staying in a rental that was totally self-sufficient.

At lunch on the way back we sat with a young man on his way home for Christmas. He lived in Pennsylvania but was attending college in Oklahoma, because his school had the best degree plan for his career. He planned to be an acoustical engineer and design concert halls, so he was earning an undergraduate degree in engineering and would eventually earn a graduate degree in music. He was also an only child who had brought home all his laundry on the train to wash over Christmas Break.

We ordered dinner in our sleeping car because, quite frankly, we were really tired. But we joked that we simply were not qualified to be on the train-we felt we were literally the most boring people on it. In reality I’m sure that’s not true. But a teacher/farmer and a CPA pale in comparison to island owners, authors, and acoustical engineers. I’m glad the world is such an interesting place to live!

Please comment and let me know your thoughts on this post. Have you ever ridden the train?

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