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Carrying on a Tradition

Taking advantage of a day off from school (Rosh Hoshanah), I decided to head into New York to personally make arrangements for Patrick and Chrissy's engagement party. I was looking forward to meeting with my contact at the New York Yacht Club and afterwards having lunch with Patrick. Wanting to make my trip into the city a relaxing and restful one, I decided to take the train, hopping on the Shoreline East in Clinton.

Will I ever do anything in a restful manner? Typically, I left a few things until the last moment, including ironing my linen skirt. Naturally there was a spot smack dab in the middle of the front. Took care of that. Next decision - what top to wear. I knew the temperature would get up to 76 degrees but the thermometer outside was just hovering above 50. Hmmm...what to wear that was stylish and not too bulky to carry around New York. I solved that problem with a Pashmina I got while visiting Heather in Stockholm in 2001. Perfect. Warm, not too frumpy looking and light.

OK - into the car at 7:35 for a 15 minute ride to the train station, leaving me 15 minutes to wait for my train. Perfect. That is until the elderly woman in the silver Camry pulled out in front of me and obeyed the speed limit down Route 81. As we approached the local Dunkin Donuts, I willed her with all my might to take a left and get a cup of coffee. What was I thinking? She was of the age where she either had decided only to take right turns or she was too smart to drink a cup of coffee and drive at the same time (she probably saves a lot of money by making it at home anyway). Well, I was lucky because another 2 miles down the road she did take that right. Once again the road belonged to me (and the string of cars behind me). By now the anxiety level had risen just a tad but I was still OK. I had in fact left a 15 minute window; I couldn't have lost more than three or four minutes. Then I took the wrong turn at Route 1.

Having been to the Clinton railroad station only once (and at night) to pick up Patrick, my usually good sense of direction completely failed me. I realized it quickly (when there was no train station to be seen), turned around, headed east and saw the station. Phew....pulled in and parked the car...7:55...10 minutes til the train. I walked liesurely up the platform only to discover there was no place to buy tickets. A gentleman assured me I could buy one on the train. Well, that was fine except I had been planning to purchase my tickets with my credit card and had very little cash with me (anxiety level was getting a little higher.) There was no time to get to the nearest ATM. Fortunately I discovered I had enough money to get a ticket to New Haven where, I now realized, I'd have to dash down the stairs, through the tunnel, up the stairs and into Union Station, stand in line, get my ticket and reverse the process....all in ten minutes. The gentleman assured me I'd have time.

When I purchased my ticket to New Haven from the conductor, I thought I'd confirm with him I would indeed be able to pull this off before the train pulled out of the station. He took my money, assured me I would and walked off, probably wondering what kind of nut travels to New York City with only $10 in her wallet.

Now this is where the good part starts....As the conductor continued down the aisle, the woman in the seat behind me tapped my on the shoulder and said, "You'll never make it. I'd be happy to give you a twenty if you write me a check." Before I could help it, my jaw dropped and I said,"You would?" I realized how ridiculous I must have looked and before my expression of complete astonishment changed her mind, I accepted her offer and said, "Thank you!" I really don't know why I was so taken aback at this act of kindness. There still are lots of decent, trusting people in this world and all around us. So, check for cash was exchanged and it turned out my savior lived minutes in Chester and on the same road as my vet.

As I relaxed back into my seat and pulled out my reading material, I was thinking that clearly, on this crystal clear, sky-blue day (the kind of pre-fall day my father loved), someone was watching out for me. And so I traveled the train to the city, really and truly relaxed and happy, and anticipating my lunch with Patrick where I planned to present him with the wedding ring his grandfather presented to his grandmother 68 years ago. Whether it fits, can can hold up for another 60 years, or even goes with the ring Pat gave Chrissy will be for them to determine.

There's a lot of love connected to that beautiful, little band of diamonds and right now it's right where it should be...in Patrick's pocket.

And now, having finished this blog entry and headed of to bed, I swear I can hear my dad in his impish way saying, "Kathy, you are such a sap!"

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on September 13, 2007 9:55 PM.

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