~my thoughts about life~

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Chugga Chugga Choo Choo!

Yesterday, we boarded a scenic railroad for a beautiful train trip.  I guess we were gearing up for our big train trip here in a couple weeks!  My aunt organized the trip for all her "grandkids."  We had nine kids in all, three moms, one grandma, and one great-grandma.  We took along my 81-year old grandmother so my grandpa could enjoy part of the day off.

We had a beautiful ride but experienced our share of problems.  Isn't it always something?  First of all, there weren't enough seats in the regular passenger cars.  So we got stuck with a summer camp program.   We didn't mind the other children.  About five minutes into the ride, an overly flamboyant man began singing very loudly in a microphone.  He sang almost the entire ride up the tracks.  My grandma suffers from dementia and wasn't able to handle the chaos.  My aunt packed her up and moved to the next car.  She was quickly reprimanded that the car she had chosen was only for bicyclers.  She refused to move the elderly woman.  Finally, the kids disembarked so my aunt and grandma returned.

We got off the train to enjoy a beautiful picnic lunch at a park.  Of course, another summer camp group joined us.  We didn't mind too much.  After a quick break, it was time to head back to the train.  Grandma almost didn't make the quarter-mile walk back to the train.  I arrived first and asked where we should sit.  "Anywhere you want," was the reply.  So we chose seats in a car with plenty of room and no singing.  After we got situated, we were once again told we would have to move out of the biker car.  "What's so important about the bikers?" you may ask.  That's what we would like to know too.  People who bike along the trail are permitted to board the train at any stop for $2.00.  Our tickets were $17.00.  We still haven't figured out why they cater to the sweaty men with helmets and bikes.  We explained that moving grandma would prove too difficult and we planned to stay put.

Three employees and one stop later, they practically forced us to move.  We loaded up all our stuff and began walking through the train, which was moving.  I walked behind grandma who was likely to break a hip at any moment.  I practically bear-hugged her to help keep her steady through the rocking train.  Have you ever walked between moving train cars?  It's not easy, even when you have no problems walking.  We passed through the summer camp car, passed through a completely full passenger car, and entered a third car.  It had plenty of room but no air conditioning.  Glorious.  We finally settled down and, I must say, I was close to tears at this point.  My grandma is not an easy woman to handle, which is totally not her fault.

Lo and behold, a minute after we were settled, the man with the microphone returned!  He sang the same songs at the top of his lungs but he was now accompanied by a strong-winded female friend!  The look on my aunt's face was priceless.  The air conditioning was never fixed but the singing kids only rode a couple stops with us.

I am anxious to read the strongly-worded letter my cousin the counsellor with a Master's in Social Work will write.  If we don't get a free train trip to Alaska out of this, I will be slightly disappointed.

Really enjoying that scenery!

Happily posing for the camera


Shelly - Tropical Mum said...

Your post has me seething. I cannot believe that anybody would be so insensitive as to make you move your grandma. Obviously these people didn't have any common courtesy or sense.

I hope that your Grandma enjoyed the day out despite all the discomforts of the train ride.

~she~ said...

Eh, she doesn't even remember that she even went on a train ride. Maybe sometimes we all need a bit of forced dementia to make us forget the bad things in life and move on! :)