sharing my life experiences, reflections and insights as a mother, a writer, an Occupational Therapist, an unschooler, and and a spiritual being having a human experience

I took a spontaneous trip back to Raleigh with my daughter last night

She was home for just one night

For a weekend after Thanksgiving

For time with family

It wasn’t enough time

It wasn’t enough time for her to recharge

It wasn’t enough time for me to love on her

To fill her cup

Trying to get on the road to be home by 8pm

Reluctant to leave

Leaving on a Monday around 4:30 pm 

So much traffic…

I sat in her room 

As she packed up to head home

Reluctant to leave

Leaving on a Monday around 4:30 pm 

So much traffic…

I sat in her room 

As she packed up to head home

I listened to her

I was a shoulder to cry on

As she vented and stressed about returning to her place


Then, I had an idea…

The train!

In 30 minutes I managed to:

Locate a train for the next day

She could drop me off on her way to work

I could take the 10am train home

“But Mom, I have to leave for work by 8am”

I can hang out at the train station

It’s a beautiful train station with comfortable places to sit

I had taken a train back home several months ago

It was a Friday evening train

It was crowded and my first time ever riding 

An Amtrak Train

Tuesday, mid-morning

That should be easy!

I packed an overnight bag

Last minute trip

No time to worry

Limit my luggage to carryon bag and back pack

I was focused and got it done

My husband got food together for us

We loaded her car and were on the road at 5pm

Half a tank of gas

“I got home on half a tank, it should be enough”

I had a feeling we would need gas

She talked and I drove

Driving my old civic

The car we gave her when her Subaru became unreliable

Lively and engaged in conversation

Much different mood than an hour before in her room

Low gas warning light

She found a station with low price with Gas Buddy

As I filled the car with gas

A woman in a red Camry asked me for help

She was lost and out of gas

She wanted directions

I did not know my way around

My phone!

I used my navigation app 

To enter the address of where she needed to go

I read to her what it said

She looked lost and confused

“Please help me” she repeated

I asked my daughter to write down the directions

She asked for a few dollars for gas

I dug in my wallet knowing I had no cash

Between the two of us, we only had coins

My credit card!

I offered to fill up her car with some gas

“Thank you”

She was so grateful

She was parked too far from the tank 

And parked with the wrong side facing the tank

She struggled to drive between my car and another

To turn her car around to pull up to the tank

I wanted to offer to drive the car for her

I chuckled at the situation

“Are you laughing at me?”

Amused by the situation and happy

Happy that I could help her

I told her I wouldn’t have helped if she had been a man

And she understood and agreed

Happy to help her out

Knowing her feeling of being lost

And out of gas

I had been in a situation as a 23 year old

At night driving home without my wallet

Turned the wrong way and was so low on gas

It was 1993 and I had no cell phone

I imagined I would need to stop at a gas station and beg for a dollar to fill up my tank…


I did not have to stop that night

I made it back to my apartment

Here I was almost 30 years later

Helping someone else in a similar situation

My daughter and I were happy that we took the time too help

I heard her ask someone else for directions as I filled her car

She was headed to the hospital

I was even more grateful that I was able to help her

She had found someone who would help her

To let her follow them to get her back on the right road

To get to the hospital

I never asked where she was going and why

My daughter and I enjoyed time together at her house

Watching our favorite TV show

And then off to bed to get up by 6:30 am

She has a spare room in the house she rents with a friend

It has been convenient for us to visit and stay with her

It feels so good to be there for her

When she needs us

To spontaneously pack a bag

And drive her home


Comments on: "Tuesday Train Ride: The value was so much greater than the cost" (1)

  1. […] My kids come first and thus I missed finishing this post in order for it to coincide with the podcast. I guess I just contradicted myself because in theory, I could have written it while riding. Yet, I did write a blog about my 18 hour adventure. […]

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