Waiting At The Amtrak Station


Another month in the Florida Keys comes to an end and I’m waiting once again at the Amtrak again. It’s time to go home to Pennsylvania for a month. It’s become a way of life, going back and forth. I spend time with my son and two of my grandchildren and go home for a little piece and quiet and catch up on all the things I didn’t have time to do during the summer. Then I go back.

I love taking the train. I hate airports. I enjoy flying but the hassle of the airports is a turn off. I love being able to walk around or go to the dining car for a meal or the cafe car for hot or cold sandwhiches and drinks. The seats are big with lots of leg room and the restrooms are big. ( I should make a commercial!)

Right this minute I’m on my way north – been traveling for ten hours – 22 to go including a two hour layover in Philadelphia. That is my favorite stop. A huge historical building withwith  ceilings and quite a few restaurants and stores.


I always meet interesting people. Today I met Vernita. (I took her picture before she knew I was taking it.) She said her name was biblical and she was the last of the line of women with that name.

We talked about faith – she a Christian and myself a Buddhist. I can appreciate someone who is sincere about what they believe without trying to say they are right and you are wrong.

I arrived at the station early this morning and so was she. We had a couple hours to talk – about her life and mine. She was traveling to meet up with her boyfriend who travels to job sites. Someone stole her phone at a cash register  and she was feeling vulnerablev with no way to connect. We will most likely never meet again but for a short time we were friends.

Sometimes we meet people and hit it off. We open up and talk like we’ve always known them. But maybe the next person, like the woman beside me now has no interest in sharing more than a few sentences.

What is it that draws us to some people and not others. This woman is going to New York so we’ll be traveling together until I get to Philadelphia and change trains to Harrisburg.

The train will rock me to sleep. Sunrise will be beautiful. I look forward to another great day tomorrow.


Taking the Train Back To The Keys


I’m taking the train back down to the Keys until mid July. ( But I think it will be a bit  more  modern than this and maybe a little more comfortable.  I have developed a love for the train. A bit longer to travel be a whole lot but a lot less stressful. I’m hooked.

I’ll be first stopping first in Ft Lauderdale for a couple days to visit an old friend I haven’t seen in far too long, and hopefully make some music. We had a heavy metal band in 1982. He was also my voice coach. Eventually, from singing too much and abusing my vocal cords, I developed callouses on my vocal cords. I started sounding like Rod Stewart.

I quit singing from forcing too much power out and singing in smokey bars. I had to quit. I could sing for a short while and the callouses would swell.  Nothing came out.  So I thought letting them rest would help. But even talking too much made me sound too gravelly. My ego wouldn’t let me be someone’s sideman on keyboards.

I’ve spent years developing my own sound on keyboard without singing. Now it is maybe time to write lyrics and try again. My lyrics had become poetry. I think I should get the old vocal cords checked out, sing softer, learn a different style and practice some good voice exercises. Broaden what I’m doing. What do you think?

Anyway – time to go!  See ya on the train!