This battered beauty makes every mile with Mother. I will never forgive my daughter-in-law, Carissa, for gifting Mother with it when Mother complained her old one had worn out. I’d been looking forward to its demise for a while. Except for that betrayal, Carissa is a perfect DIL. Please note the frayed seams and the deluxe cat collar fortifying its temperamental zipper. Though lots of folks think it’s a fanny pack, Mother wears it prominently displayed in front where no one will catch her by surprise.
While we’re on the subject of money, when Mother told my brother she couldn’t afford her ticket, he put one hundred dollars in her account. One concerned sister gave her two hundred, enough for the trip and spending money. Lest you think that money went on her trip, it disappeared deep into the bowels of her savings account. Financially, that trip worked out really well for her.
The three of us caught the train in Marshall, Texas, unaware the price of the shuttle from the Shreveport Airport seven miles from home was included in the ticket. You can be sure we caught the shuttle on the way home, sparing Bud the return drive for pickup. Mother was as excited as a kid at Christmas as we boarded Amtrak. We found seats on the second floor of the coach. They were spacious and comfortable, a delight after air travel. Mother made fast friends with the conductor. We spent a great portion of our ride in the lounge car. I highly recommend it.
During our four-hour layover in Fort Worth, we had time for a leisurely lunch downtown When the eager waiter whisked her leftover chicken salad back to the kitchen without asking if she was done, he had to come up with a replacement for take out. Mother always gets at least two meals out of a restaurant meal, especially after she gleans the leftovers off her dining partner’s plates. Back at the waiting room in the depot, Shirley and I made a quick trip to the bathroom, leaving Mother alone for just a few minutes. We should have known better. On our return, Mother was deep in conversation with an elderly gentleman who’d moved to the seat next to her. I warned him she’d already buried seven husbands and he ran like a rabbit. I told Mother a long time ago I didn’t want any more mean brothers and sisters, but still have to remind her occasionally. I guess that poor man didn’t want a mean daughter, either. I didn’t get a chance to tell him I was kidding.
An hour or so before we got to Oklahoma City, our host called to see if we were still coming the next day. “No, we’ll be there in an hour.” Fortunately, she picked us up anyway.
More to come……