Today's newspaper had a few words about an Amtrak train that stalled trying to cross Illinois because of deep snow. The passengers had to spend the night sleeping in their seats with the toilets getting ever so ripe. Hard to imagine so much snow that 10,000 horsepower couldn't shove it aside.
Perhaps it's hard to imagine because I'm here in Southern California, enjoying yet another warm day in my shorts.
But here's the hot flash for all the cold folks; we also don't have the experiences that draw people together, the experiences that sometimes give life its vitality.
Think of all those people on that stalled train, sharing an adventure together, the stories they'll have about each other, and the friends they made overcoming adversity. Many of them will leave with a fond memory about someone they helped or someone who helped them. After all, it is during a crisis that we find out who we are.
In SoCal, we spent the day averting eye contact with the fellow in the freeway lane next to us.
I suspect at least one of those train riders in Illinois packed their family into their station wagon, slapped on the snow chains, and headed to SoCal. On their way west, they probably amused themselves with stories from the day the great train stalled, unaware that they won't be treated to such a slice of life for a long, long time.
Copyright © 2014 Peter Shikli