Train Wreck

puffplantsThat’s about what I feel like right now. Physically? I have plenty of energy! Mentally? Not. I don’t think I’m alone. Some co-workers were standing around at the end of the day talking about bagpipes (yes, don’t ask) and I walked up and asked if someone could please pour a bucket of cold water over my head. To wake me up, not because I was hot. Everyone was talking about obtaining alcohol in the near future, even those who don’t drink alcohol, and when I said I was going to walk to the Plum Market after work, my boss asked me if I would be carrying a paper bag with me. With alcohol in it, of course. What were you thinking? Yes, it has been a long week. And a slow one. Months and months of designing, writing, editing, discussing (to death), editing some more documents totaling probably 400 pages along with the accompanying coding is slowly grinding down to a maintenance mode and whatever my next project(s) will be has(have) not been assigned yet because the powers that be are still figuring out what/how much/when to do them. Eventually when that all gets ironed out my boss will parcel them out. I was kind of looking forward to a little bit of slack time but summer is a particularly hard time for me to be a slacker. At work that is. I can slug around on the beach forever. I get antsy when I’m at work and things are slow. Ho hum. Pour some cold water over me.

Sadly, there was a tragic train wreck here in the armpit of the Great Lake State yesterday. Five teenagers. Dead. Just like that. A 14-year-old girl and four older boys. Dead. The approached a railroad crossing and Amtrak was speeding along and the gates were down and they tried to RUN THE GATES!!! The train hit them and pushed/dragged them (or whatever) for a MILE! I have gone around a railroad gate exactly once in my life. It was a couple years ago and we were driving up Fletcher Road to Dexter-Chelsea Road, headed to Houghton Lake, and there were no trains visible in *either* direction. I know. I stopped and looked. And looked again. And again. The GG said, “drive.” And finally I did. No trains. It was some kind of crossing signal error. I do not know what. But I was freaked out even without the presence of an actual train.

I heard about the train wreck on my way home from work yesterday. I can’t believe I was so preoccupied with my own insignificant problems that I didn’t give it any thought. This morning when I opened up my work email, there was a message from our overworked, underpaid building receptionist moom (I have no idea what she gets paid but it should be about a million dollars so, by definition, she’s underpaid). She passes on alerts about traffic situations and this was from yesterday about the train wreck. That’s when it hit me in the gut. Five teenagers went out yesterday to have fun on a beautiful summer afternoon and didn’t come home. Did they do something stupid? Yes. I don’t care. This is why all of us mooms are constantly hounding our kids to be careful whenever they go out anywhere with anyone in any motorized vee-hickle. We want them to come home again. Healthy and unbroken and giving us the hard time that teenagers do. I *still* tell my 20-somethings to be careful whenever they leave. And my moom does the same to me and I am old. My kids have always been good, defensive drivers and so have I and so this isn’t an expression of mistrust. Rather, it is an expression of love. Sh*t happens! Please, please, please watch out for it. I want you home again and I don’t even care if you yell at me because I asked you to clean your room or maybe just because I looked at you funny.

Everybody be careful out there. Do *not* try to run railway crossing gates unless you are positive that there are no trains coming. And no, my work team didn’t go out for a drink. At least not together. Maybe we should have. But hey, we’re the geriatric team! (Think whatever you want about that…)

2 Responses to “Train Wreck”

  1. grandmothertrucker Says:

    Ask Sheila Morley, or better yet, don’t as Sheila about trains. As a teenager, her friend was standing next to her as she held his hand, watching the train go by, and he was sucked under. Right in front of her and Sally too…. not sure who else was there. Kathy and Doug had them in Canada on their boat. Tragic… just awful. They ran back to the boat and told Kathy, and she thought it was a bad joke. A nightmare.

    Me and my friends sat on the bridge on 12 Mile in Royal Oak, and watched a train go by close up, and we NEVER did that again. We did put pennies and little rocks on the tracks to watch them get flattened and smashed. We were little. Like 4th and 5th grade too. Mom and Dad never knew. The kewl kids hung out there after school and sometimes at night until about 8th grade……

    Before Kindergarten, my big ( fat liar ) sister Suzie and Sally Sparhawk ( girl around the corner ) told me that they went on a train ride, all the way around the world in one day, and they just got back. I believed that, but better yet, I wanted to go too. So, JOE THE MAILMAN ( ask ANY Courtois kid about Joe The Mailman….. nother stories…. ) he saw me 1/2 way up the steps to the train track with my tricycle, and brought me back down and walked me home to Mom.. 2 1/2 blocks away.. she did find out about that.

    Joe brought home Suzie and Liz too, ( lost or running away from home…? ) but you’ll have to ask them what happened… maybe Kathy knows….. He brought everybody home when they were lost, cause, well, he was Joe The Mailman, he knew everybody and where you lived too. Kinda like the Uncle you never knew you had and didn’t even know, but ya knew him. He knew who you were…. and where you belonged and who you belonged to.

    How did my mom survive all the crap we kids put her tender little heart through??????

    Tankers and school buses have to stop before all tracks whether the gate is up or down. I don’t have to, but I do, and cars honk all they want, I’m 80 feet long darn it. You can see big trucks in train wrecks on yahoo in training class. eeeek!

  2. Margaret Says:

    We’ve had some horrific train accidents here also since we have a pretty busy train track that goes through the center of my town. Kids are kids and make mistakes; that scares me SO much. My younger one has done some bone-headed things in cars; when I read about stuff like that, I get an upset stomach. I’m very sad for them and their families. I’m glad that your hellish week is done.