Thanks for stopping by, whether you got here by a link or hitting "next blog" -- I am glad you are here. I've also done some writing on homeschooling, and what I learned thinking I was teaching.

Friday, November 13, 2009

A Familiar Lonesome Wail

I remember the first time I heard the sound of a train – I was a small child visiting my grandmother in Jonesville, South Carolina. The tracks were several miles from her home.  Though trains ran throughout the day, I only heard them in the morning and evening. But, that wail intrigued me – I had seen pictures of passenger trains, and distant sounds kindled day dreams. My grandmother’s house still stands – does a child dream when she or he hears a distant wail?

The next time I heard a train’s horn, I was a junior at the University of Maryland – our apartment was literally right by the tracks. The landlord said we’d get used to it; he was  right. After the first couple of days I rarely heard it. I had no time for dreams.

But now, that distant wail – haunting and familiar – is clearly discernible at our new house! As I sat down with coffee, it greeted me – having said a goodnight before I retired. I have time for  musing – Does  that train wend its way east and north through South Carolina, and Jonesville, onto College Park, perhaps then chugging into Grand Central?  Another train now passes.  This is no way to get a morning’s housework done!


Flo said...

Forget the housework! Dust will always be there. Thanks for reminding me of my childhood fear of the train's noise. When I visited my Grandma in Latta, South Carolina, the train came by within a few feet from her tiny house. Frightened, I ran into her bedroom and crawled under the bed. She'd find me and offer the comfort of her arms. Thanks for helping me remember the train and her.

bwsmith said...

Great advice -- thanx! :)

Where is Latta? Jonesville is between Union and Spartanburg SC -- maybe we heard the same trains!

Nana Shoemaker said...

For some reason, I love the wail of a train whistle (well, maybe not too close !) just as I, for some reason, love the sound of a screen door slamming. As children we were often admonished for slamming the screen door, but I love the sound...no one has ever been yelled at for slamming my screen door!!

Unknown said...

While in FL, taking care of my Mom as she was dying - I heard a train's whistle in the distance - almost mourning. Then I purchased my home in MD - a train whistle is there too. A connection?? I still hear the train's whistle - and think of my Mom and I joined by a sound.