Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Forces of Nature

I’ve had this blog written in my head for weeks.  It would be a simple statement: “All Aboard!” with a photo of me standing in front of an Amtrak passenger train at the Flint, Michigan station.

After much thought and internal debate, I finally purchased the ticket three months ago on May 29.  I would be riding the rails. The first leg would take around six hours to travel from Flint to Chicago. Then, after an eight-hour layover in Chicago, we would depart for another 19.5 hour ride.

I love trains.  Maybe it’s the kid in me but I’m fascinated by railroads, trains and train travel.

This trip, the first of any distance by train, would include a roomette. That’s a small compartment where the two facing seats fold into a bed.  There’s a fold down bunk, should I had had a travelmate.

But I wasn’t standing on that depot platform this morning. No train whistle, no surge forward as I begin the journey.

No, this trip was stopped by the forces of nature and a hurricane named Isaac.

You see my final destination on this train trip was New Orleans, Louisiana. NOLA as it’s sometimes called.  The Big Easy. Crescent City.

There will be no Bourbon Street. Not beignets and (strong) coffee at Café du Monde. No sightseeing tour of the Garden District or City of the Dead. No drunk standing in the alleyway taking a leak.

Instead, I’m here, at home, safe and sound.

And as promised to the gracious hotel clerk who helped me cancel my room reservations, I’ll be saying prayers for her safety and the safety of everyone in New Orleans.

And I’ll pray that New Orleans will be there for me to visit on another day.

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