Summer is most definitely here!! There is zero doubt in my retired military mind that the temperatures of the past week have clearly indicated this will be a hot one too. For those readers with pets – please share with others the absolute importance of not leaving our four-legged family members in vehicles - as it is a for real matter of life and death. Our eldest daughter took a weekend trip with her husband to Florida – with their dogs spending time with us. We like to meet in Ashland as it is about an hour from their home. It’s also where she graduated from college at Randolph-Macon – which of course brings back all kinds of memories for her. I don’t mind going there at all, as there is a beautiful train station in Ashland that typifies a part of our history and culture that can sometimes be overlooked. Long before Southwest® and AirTran® became a very convenient and relatively inexpensive way to get away, the train was the way to go anywhere. Certain things will forever be the same as long as key parts remain available. This week’s image typifies the small town station greeting an approaching train. You’ll note the young boy perched securely on his father’s shoulders, with his sister holding their father’s hand, all watching the approaching train, which their mother is riding on - returning from a weekend wedding. The anticipation is pretty clear here – an element which has been repeated countless times in a variety of locations all over the world where passenger trains run. This scene is no different. What makes this particular situation quite interesting is that preceding the train’s arrival, there was a small puddle with the instant attraction that is universal in all young boys that literally begged to be played with. The boy of course heeded the call, and contented himself quite merrily away, while his older sister cast her doubts about his choice in location as it was rather close to the tracks. That dark smudge you see in front of them is all that remains from this momentary puddle from the previous evening’s passing storm. The rest of the puddle is now a part of the boy and his clothes – something that will be dealt with upon his mother’s return. Dad doesn’t really mind – I’m pretty certain he had his fair share of puddles too.
I hope you all get a chance to play in your own version of a mud puddle this summer… please have a safe and Happy Fourth!!