Saturday, June 2, 2007

Not what I should be blogging about

I have many things I should be writing about: the wedding of one of my husband's dearest friends, the anguish of jury duty, and the unbelievably precocious and lovely things my daughter says (small sample 1: "I love you so much, Mama--as much as the sky. That's a lot of love. You send the love up to the sky, and then it falls back down on you. Right, Mama?" [Mama: "snuffle."] Small sample 2: She's taken to saying, "Enjoy!" whenever she hands anyone anything. Trés charmante.

But what inspired me to actually log in is this:
I now live--and probably will continue to live--in state where people are forever being hit by trains. Lots of people. People in cars. People walking. People on motorcycles. People in trucks.

And not the severely impaired, elderly, or despondent. No: for some reason, one of the base-line characteristics of the people who live here (now, I have not tracked "natives" vs. "immigrant" residents) is either a) the inability to recognize train tracks as the location upon which trains are most likely to be encountered; b) the inability to hear or see thousands of pounds of steel bearing down upon them [and remember, these are not, by and large, people under the influence of temporary or permanent impediments to sensory perception]; or c) some bizarre cult-like expectation that they can stand against a train and win.

It makes me very anxious about raising my daughter here.

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At 7:09 AM , Blogger Snickollet said...

The samples of what your daughter has been saying leave me wanting more.

As for the trains, how odd. When the light rail trains were being installed in Portland, OR (where my family lives), one thing people worried about is that the trains are so quiet that people who walk the tracks can't hear one approaching before it's too late. To that I can only ask: why are they walking the tracks at all?

At 8:29 AM , Blogger Terminal Degree said...

This post makes me shudder, because I used to walk those tracks all the time as a kid. (I visited relatives who lived in your part of the country, and their home was near the tracks.) I loved to walk on those tracks, as did my mom, who grew up walking on them. We were obviously nuts to do it.

At 9:06 AM , Anonymous tracey said...

There, terminal degree has solved the conundrum - there is a rare and geographically isolated genetic predisposition to, um, silly behaviour causing you to walk on railway tracks.

At 12:17 PM , Blogger Theodora said...

My husband did something I think every parent should do -- when his daughter was little, he wrote down all the cute things she said, and then gave her the notebook on her 18th birthday. Muy encantador.

At 9:04 PM , Anonymous luolin said...

I think light rail is different, because the tracks often go in the middle of the street so that you have to cross them when you cross the street.

I'm another one who walked on train tracks as a teenager, and hope my kid will *not* do the same. We just figured we would hear the trains when they came, and nobody did get run over by a train in that town while I lived there. (California, not Oregon).

At 5:54 AM , Blogger Dorcasina said...

Tracey, I fear you are right. This is why I'm glad my daughter is adopted! (Although there remains the fear of undue environmental influence).

I, too, walked on train tracks in my younger years. What I don't understand is how one could miss the fact that a freight or passenger train (not those stealth light rail models) is approaching. The rumbling, the vibrations, the frankly deafening thunder as it approaches? Maybe the news stories simply omit the fact that they were all wearing iPods or talking on cell phones? (in the latter case, I consider it positively Darwinian....)

At 1:22 PM , Blogger OTRgirl said...

I'm in California with CalTrain running up and down the penninsula. 12-15 people a year are hit by those trains, half are suicide.

My point is, I, too wondered how people could be so oblivious. Then one day on my commute I was stuck by a gate with flashing lights on the wrong side of the track while my train was loading on the other side (miss the train, wait 30 minutes to an hour). One guy jumped the gate and ran toward the train. The rest of us waited and yelled at the conductor to open the gate.

While we were yelling and focused on the guy trying to board the train, the northbound express whipped right by our faces. It came around a corner and I swear, I didn't hear it coming at all. Horns blaring, wheels screeching--I heard none of it. My heart has never jumped from 72 to 150 that fast before or since. If we'd followed the idiot's lead, we'd have been dead.

The conductor didn't let him on anyway. ha!

If you're intently focused on something else, it can happen...

At 3:06 PM , Blogger Dorcasina said...

Yikes, OTR--
Okay, there goes my momentary smugness at the random stupidity of my fellow citizens...

At 6:45 AM , Blogger Yankee T said...

Hit by trains? Yikes. A classmate of my older daughter's (get this) lost his leg when his FATHER was teaching him how to jump onto the back of moving trains. He was in fifth grade.


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