Tag Archives: commuting

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Friday night lights

I just discovered a blog entry I never published. At the time, I was settling into a new job. It’s ironic that I find it almost exactly one year later when I’m looking for a new position. The blog entry was in draft mode and is dated 7/18/16:

“Since the first day at my new job in Boston, I’ve missed the 5:07 train twice. The express follows thirty minutes later but regardless, both were on a Friday. Last week, I still managed to get to an early movie with my girlfriend. Tonight I decided to manage my blog and hang out with you fine people.

I just updated the settings on my site and took a few photos to share with you:

stairs
My new gym membership – 150 steps

I didn’t “run” the steps this evening but walking up still left me winded.

shoes
My new best friends

I leave my stilettos at the office and rely on Merrill street shoes for the commute.

train
Commuter rail train

Arrival of the train is always a welcome sight to the Sheldon Cooper in me!

Thanks for joining.  I know I’m not sitting here alone.

fans

This Friday night I’m with my 1,000+ followers.  Thanks for hanging out with me!”

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What are you scheduled to do this weekend?

Shut eye

I don’t usually sleep on the train but sometimes I force myself to take a nap and shut out the busy day and people around me…

 I close my eyes and listen to the comings and goings as I drift off to lala land. The end of conversations from the new arrivals are an eavesdropping point of interest, as they find their seats away from one another. The train whistle I’ve learned to drown out is a welcome charging sound into my dream. The train rumbles over the crossings and I enter into New York City’s polar opposite, the city that always sleeps. It’s a great place to spend time. I never know who I’m going to meet or what we’ll talk about in our bustling little world.

My subconscious helps me relax and tells a story just like the one I drifted from…

Ag – Au

My lifelong friend, Melanie, always turned the phrase “Make new friends but keep the old.  One is silver and the other gold.” The quote is spot on and my last few weeks can attest to it.

I met a new woman on the train. She lives in the town where I grew up and down the street from my in -laws. Somewhere along the way, we started sitting together and swapping stories during our long commute. I’ve since met her Air Force husband and young daughter and she’s seen pictures of my chia-pet-bearded husband and our two college-age girls. Maria is outgoing, ambitious, talkative and hysterical. We’ve chatted about challenges with our parents, children and life in general. Adding to that, we’ve also laughed about people on the train, our husband’s quirks and yesterday, winter laundry. She had me in stitches talking about clothesline-dried jeans that were stiffer than her husband’s military uniforms. She brought me right back to being a teenager in the 80’s. My sisters and I would want to wear our favorite jeans so badly that we would wash them at night and, since we had no dryer, hang them outside to dry regardless of the cold weather. They’d be stiffly standing at attention waiting for us in the morning. Maria is the silver lining to life’s problems and like the nanny in The Sound of Music – Maria, makes me – laugh!

I met an old friend in the subway station last week. Susan and I originally met in high school but have kept in touch in a variety of ways over the years. I was not only thrilled to see her but also glad she knew me under other circumstances. It was an incredibly hot summer day, I didn’t have on any makeup and I think she caught me cursing the subway car that closed its doors in my face. As a former teammate, she is familiar with my intensity;  she’s seen me sweaty and talking smack in the past. I think she also knows I can clean up pretty well (if I need to). We started talking a mile a minute.  We picked up where we left off  the last time we talked, updated each other on our families, talked about her recent house purchase, my new job and mutual friends in just a few green line stops. Seeing an old (longtime!) friend was, as we said in the 80’s, “awesome”! Sue always has a smile on her face, tells a great story and laughs at my jokes. Who wouldn’t want to keep a friend like that around?

Maybe Maria and Sue will be my lifelong friends too.  They hit the spot.  If not, maybe I can get them  bronzed?

Pearls of wisdom

Hundreds of people move around me every morning and evening.  Riding public transportation re-introduces me to the locals, highlights veterans of the commuter rail and every once in awhile allows me to recognize other people with similar schedules. Tonight I  inadvertantly sat down next to a younger woman that had stood out to me on on the Monday morning subway. She was probably noticed by many;  the quiet type you have to watch out for. This chick had some seriously sharp objects and she was stuffing them into her bag.

My girls would have been mortified but I let the woman know that I remembered her from North Station. She acknowledged my memory and asked if I knitted or crocheted too? I told her that I had when I was younger. I confessed that I wouldn’t know where to start and it was more a memory of my husband’s Nana. I explained that I had a few of her sentimental creations but her station in life was now North of our own. 

I like to think she appreciated my morbid sense of humor. She liked to believe I understood her explaining the impact of a smaller needle and double strands. I altered the conversation with a smile and a question to take the focus away from a free knitting lesson.

What are you making?”

She demonstrated that it was the bottom of a purse and threw the question back asking what I used to make?

Really long rows. I guess you could’ve called them scarves.”

She encouraged me to fold them in half and make a purse. I certainly hadn’t saved them. I slung the current bag in my lap over my shoulder and wished her luck. 

She was a veteran knitter and I was just a local trying to stay on schedule. I wonder if I’ll see ‘Pearl’ again tomorrow? 

Who did you run into today?

Moments

June 22, 2016

When the commuter rail approaches my stop, I’m not one of the people that stands up and waits two miles for the door to open. I’m folding my magazine or finishing a chapter and waiting for my row to disembark. Im never sure if either strategy is saving any of us time or energy. Either way, we all herd into the subway station at once.

Today,I was in the back of the pack when we left the train. As I got to the bottom of the subway stairs, I saw the start of our herd walking off the platform and into the red inbound car. The subway doors closed in front of the rest of us that were still on the approach. We missed being passengers by seconds. We got burned. Branded. It left a mark. I will not let that happen again….mainly because the cars after that hour get cramped. Just Two minutes later I was on the next car – but I was also on my feet. All The seats were taken.

It was the first time I had to stand up on the red line.

For five stops. 

I was tired and It was early. I tried to think about something else. Horses came to mind. I wanted to be like them. Horses can sleep standing up.

I’m not experienced enough to read from my book or iPhone while standing up and holding onto a strap or railing. So, I read the ads on the car walls. The hospitals I was passing had ads about vice self-help courses and an adult ADHD study. The Tech school wanted members for its credit union. The school on the other side of the Charles had me convinced I could be a professional photographer. 

Then there was the ad with a phone number in 140-point font. It merely said – “Overweight and feeling down?”

No! I’m just over the wait and feeling downtown is still too far away.

What’s your game plan for the day?