Archive for the ‘Hudson Line’ Tag

An Attitude of Gratitude   3 comments

An attitude of gratitude, that’s the philosophy I find myself embracing lately. A prime example is when I turned on the TV a week ago Sunday and saw the  news accounts of the tragic train accident on the  Metro North Railroad . Since the Hudson Line is the line I take in to the city, I identified viscerally. Thinking of the four people killed I found the same haunting thoughts echoing through my mind as had when I’d heard about the workers in the Twin Towers or the students and teachers  at Sandy Hook. They left home, thinking it was going to be a day like any other…….but they never came back.

I come back again and again, and I don’ t take it for granted.

My thoughts were with those people this weekend. I was attending a party in Manhattan Friday night, and going back again Sunday morning to  meet my friend, CM for our annual museum visit and lunch. Readers of this blog know that normally I’d be kicking  up my heels in joy to be traveling to the city twice in one weekend. And I was, although perhaps my kick was a little lower. I wasn’t afraid of traveling that stretch of track so soon after operations resumed. I was just respectful.

And while I waited for the train I took in the beauty of the Hudson. Yes, even in winter:

DSCN1056OK I cheated and waited in the warmth of the overhead waiting area.

DSCN1057I enjoyed the southern view

DSCN1055I enjoyed the beauty of the old station

DSCN1054I noticed the flag was flying at half staff for Nelson Mandela

DSCN1059I almost missed the train!

DSCN1064From the train, I appreciated  the soon to be replaced Tappan Zee Bridge, and was grateful for all the times I’ve driven across it safely – especially that time in 1969 when the wind blew my VW into the next lane.

DSCN1080I appreciated that I arrived safely at The Metropolitan Museum of Art

DSCN1081And that once again got a chance to see the treeDSCN1083And the precious 18th century figurines beneath it.

And most of all…..

DSCN1086I was grateful to arrive back at the Peekskill Train Station safe and sound.




Close the Book. Put The Phone Away. Try Life, You’ll Like It   6 comments

I was in a window seat on  the 11:35 AM express into the city, absorbed in my book , as a beautiful morning rushed past  unseen. Halfway down the page, I was distracted by a scolding thought. Head in a book is as bad as eyes on the smartphone. It’s all the same. You’re missing the life in front of your face .

I realized this rogue thought was right. I wasn’t any more present on this train than those people I rail against who are so absorbed in their phones. After all hadn’t two different people at the gym told  me  just last week that they always see me on the cardio machines but were loath to say hi because “your head is always in a book” They both said exactly the same thing!  I now realized that my explanation about being in a book club and the gym being one of the few places I could get in a solid chunk of reading did nothing to set me apart from the phone zombies. Paper world, electronic world, neither holds a candle to the real world. I closed my book.

The Hudson Line of Metro North runs alongside the river from which it takes its name. I was seated on the land side so I set to admiring the trees in various states of losing their leaves, realizing it was a unique view , one that would never be seen again. I could take this same train the next day, and that some of the leaves could be gone, or more gold than green. It was beauty that would never repeat itself.

From time to time, I looked up at the houses set in the sloping hills.  Homes I coveted for their view of the river, and imagines how the people inside were spending that particular moment we shared.

It was  time for  the  Hudson. I couldn’t let that slip away. I looked  across the aisle  just in time to see the Tappan Zee Bridge zip past. A new bridge is in the works so  this old bridge was a sight to be savored.

I marveled at a tiny lighthouse that zipped past. In all my trips to the city, I’d never noticed it, probably because my head was in a book.

Sailboats drifted dream-like down the river. Never again would we all be here together again.

And as I took it all in, a movement in my peripheral vision broke the spell. I didn’t give it much notice . Being a  Saturday morning train, riders  are often napping.  I  assumed it was someone rising from a slumped position. And indeed it was someone. It just wasn’t the someone I’d expected.


He just sat there, perfect posture, gazing  out at the Hudson. He knew what life was all about.

I got out my camera and asked permission to take a photo, and when I inquired if he was always so good, the young man replied that yes she was, but that she was especially  happy this morning, because  she loved hiking and was tired out  now.


And as if on cue.


“You’ve already been hiking?” I asked , amazement in my tone. He smiled and nodded.

Wow I thought, Now that’s getting the most out of life!  And when they quietly exited the train at 125th street, one stop ahead of Grand Central Terminal where I was headed, I realized that had I been reading my book,  I’d never have observed this slice of life!

Speaking of slices of life I came near to missing.  Yesterday I noticed for the first time that I had some really faithful flowers that were still giving it their all. In my  long rush  to get out the door and to my car each morning  I’d been neglecting to give them the attention their summer-blooming neighbors received. And so, to those  who are toughing it out to the first frost, I salute you:


Now, all of you, go out and be mindful!

Posted September 30, 2013 by virginiafair in Uncategorized

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