My home town was a wonderful place to grow up. As a teenager there wasn't much to do there but as a kid, it was paradise. My friends and I would grab our bikes and take off to explore every day (unless grounded from our transportation). We did everything; rode doubles, rode with no hands, lined up from one side of the road to the other side and held hands, compared banana seats. That was the life. Our only barrier was the railroad tracks. We couldn't cross them.
The tracks split our town. Some of the schools were on one side. It was a very happy day when our school bus got caught by a train and made us late. We were the envy of all the school kids, or at least WE thought we were. I loved those tracks. I loved the sounds of the trains. I loved going over the tracks. I loved counting the train cars. I loved seeing the caboose. I loved walking on the tracks. They were everywhere.
Our church (think very small, had an outhouse, sometimes more wasps than people) was out in the country and very close to the tracks. My Dad had to stop preaching when the train was crossing. I can still feel the church seats and see my Dad standing up there smiling and waiting. After church we (the kids) would go to the tracks and use them as balance beams. Not safe, but fun.
When my Grandmother moved to town, she moved in on the other side of the tracks from us. Right by the park, how cool was that! And I was finally allowed to cross the tracks. It was a big production of calling my Grandmother and asking if I could come over then telling Mom. I then had to call my Mom as soon as I got there. My Grandmothers house was close to the tracks. When I stayed the night I loved to listen to the trains go through during the night. I think that is memory I remember most when I hear a train whistle and the clacking. Laying in my Grandmothers spare bedroom, in the bed I have right now, and hearing the trains. Some days I don't know who I miss most: My Grandmother or My Dad. I can hear a train right now. How funny is that!