It’s so strange lying in bed of a morning before I’m ready, able or willing to pry open my tired eyes, trying to remember where I am. Sacra…? Tusti….? Para….? Ha Noi….? Right now I’m in Oakland, California. Oakland. Oakland. Oakland. It’ll sink in eventually. Surely it will. Then I’ll move on.
What a strange year it’s been. I mean truly, it’s been a long time I’ve been back from Viet Nam. I’ve spent most of 2013 in the U.S. The first four and a half months since my return thinking I had a job in Turkey. I was studying Turkish. Looking online for sights to see in Turkey. No worries about looking for a job – I had one…..or so I thought. That having fallen through (she said tactfully when what she really wanted to say is “disintegrated precariously ‘neath my trembling feet”), I’ve been on the search; applying online for this job and that. After weeks of digging and ultimately giving in to the fact that it’s nearly impossible to get a job sans Bachelor’s Degree in virtually any country in the world but my own, I’m looking locally. Well, California locally, anyway. There are some nice towns and cities here in which to settle down and work…..for a time.
I wish that didn’t sound so sad. So defeated. “Settle down.” I don’t want to settle down. And I don’t feel defeated. But, I do need work. I do need an income, of course. And I have to say, I do love “Home” (with a capital H). I still intend to travel. It appears it won’t be happening in the way I’d planned (“planned”? …..that was a “plan”?), but I still intend to travel. I don’t want to get all maudlin on you, but I do believe life is a ‘gift’ (in a secular sense, that is) and you really can make the most of it wherever you are. Gawd, cue the sappy, cloying music. Erg. Anyway, life’s good and, well, la dee da, la dee da, la, la. I’ll keep writing here. It might not be earth-shattering news but I’ll be sure to include pictures, whatever it may be.
Speaking of which – here are some pics of my visit to the California State Railroad Museum last month in ….where was that? Oh yeah, Sacramento…..
This train was built in 1862 by the firm of Richard Norris & Sons in Philadelphia. After an ocean journey around the tip of South America, it arrived in Sacramento and was readied for work. Central Pacific named it the “Governor Stanford” after its president (who also happened to be the governor of California at the time).
It’s a large building indeed, but it didn’t appear from the outside anywhere near as large as it seemed on the inside. There were a LOT of trains in this building! That’s Paul waiting for his Ma to catch up.
Peeking in the window of the kitchen in one of the older dining cars.
This train was enormous. That’s Rosie the Riveter standing up front! I liked these steel silhouettes they had standing around.
Loved the mail car.
That’s my grandson, Harlow, checking it out.
I wanted to move in but they wouldn’t let me.
I sat down and talked with this and another gentleman sitting nearby about this train car. It was used during World War II to transport soldiers. Each section had two beds which folded down. Two men slept on each bed. It was hard to imagine. They seemed barely big enough for one person, but two? Wow.
The kitchen in a more ‘modern’ car.
And down the hallway to….
….the dining car…..
Upstairs there were lots of model trains and ‘hands on’ train tracks for kids. Harlow was in heaven.
They also had a variety of old toys. I thought these two were sweet.
The ‘Diner that’s Finer.’ Love it!
I could’ve spent the entire day there and I’d love to go back some time. It was so interesting.
Harlow enjoyed it, too.