That's drizzle . . . not drivel--

Simply living... in the Pacific Northwest

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Ridin' the rails with my guy

Hunter has loved trains ever since he learned there was actually a mode of transportation which accommodated his penchant for lining things up.

We always wondered if this love would wear out over the years, but, no, it seems to be stronger than ever.

Before the summer came to an end, I bought tickets last weekend for us to ride the Chelatchie Prairie Railroad train up in Yacolt. It's got an old diesel engine, a caboose, a club car and an open-air car.  I believe the engine and railway used to work the logging industry back in the days before the spotted owl. Now it carries families and friends visiting during vacation, train enthusiast groups, and, I imagine, the occasional boy living with autism and a fascination for anything "train."

The train meandered along about ten miles per hour throughout the bucolic countryside, ten miles down to Moulton Falls and back, with a thrilling tunnel in between. Cows, horses and goats scarcely noticed our presence as we rattled by. Motorists waved. The sun shone. Perfect.

I noticed Hunter's body language during the ride. I know part of what he was doing was stimming, resting his cheek on the side of the car, watching the tracks pass beneath us. But he was also noticing all the different features of the train. The whistle horns (he numbered each one), the stack protruding from the caboose (why?), the placements of the lights.... I'm so proud of his many perceptions, and I'm so glad to be able to share these types of things with him.

His responses to experiences heighten my sense of gratitude; sometimes he gets a bit overwhelmed with what I guess is inner joy. All he can manage to say is, "Granny....I love....I love..." He can't seem to express  the rest of the sentence. He is just loving the moment.

I love, too, Hunter.

1 comment:

  1. What a lovely story. We live near a railway line and always wave when the old steam trains go by, not nearly often enough. Visiting from D2E, but wanted to read more of your posts.