Young rider

It is one of our warmer October days. Leaves are still falling. Butterflies are making their way around the plants on the deck. It is nice to be home early.

Today, I met a feisty four-year-old waiting for our train. Her mom pulled up her white SUV next to my truck. Windows were still fogged up, but I could see the two kids on the back seat. Each one had big eyes looking out the window. They were using their sleeves to wipe away the moisture in hopes of seeing something special in the back of the train-station parking lot.

Port Jervis Station is dewy in the mornings. The fall leaves elicit a damp feeling in the lot, and the early train is scary even to us regulars. Almost on cue, Mom jumps out and calls for Janet on the other side of the car. Janet exits on command. Mom then opens the passenger side door and tells Margaret to exit the car. In the early morning light I can see Margaret still strapped in her car seat. Her big brown eyes are framed by her long blonde hair. She reports that she is too small to get out by herself. Mom replies, “You have done it before, now do it again!” Reluctantly, the big eyed angel removes the straps of the car seat, grabs her backpack and slides down the side of the white SUV.

The train is pulling in now. It’s cold and the windows are frosted. The conductor bellows, “Board!” You can see the steam on his breath. Janet hops right up, but Margaret looks back and says, “You know, I am only four!” The conductor offers a hand, but Mom has her by the wrist and she is already two steps up in no time!

I am chuckling to myself as I follow the family to their seats and take a seat one row behind them. Mom and Janet sit in a three-seater, but Margaret defies the trend and picks a two-seater across the aisle. She tosses her book bag and picks out her favorite book.

We are moving now, and the conductor is checking tickets. He looks into Margaret’s big brown eyes and says, “Ticket please!” Margaret hesitates then looks up from her book. “Good morning, Sir!” is her first response. Then pointing to her mom, she says, “I am with my mom and sister, and I hope that one of them has my ticket. Have a good day!”

The conductor, Andy sees me trying not to laugh. He smiles at me and says, “Tommy, we have a young pistol on board!”

 

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