The Observation Car

The observation car on the Amtrak passenger train, has got to be the best part of riding the rails.  Even on a rainy day, there was just so much to take in while rolling across Texas.  After dinner in the dining car, this is where we landed. It is the perfect relaxing space. On this particular rainy evening, just before a brief stop in Austin, Texas, it became the perfect “gathering” place.I was barely seated in the observation car when a young man( on the right below), Mike, wanted to see my camera.  His enthusiasm for photography was contagious.  He showed me many photos he’d taken along the way from where his journey had started in Springfield, Illinois.  He told me he was looking to shoot a ~ what?  I didn’t understand at first.  I listened more closely.  He described with his arms a chomper?  Crocodiles, he said.  Or alligators.  I did NOT burst his bubble and tell him we probably wouldn’t see either of those critters.  I just committed to helping him watch for them through the windows.

This was his first trip “alone”.  He destination?  Los Angeles.  His plans?  To learn the recording business.  I switched seats promptly to sit closer to him.  He wanted me to listen to his music and before I knew it, I was wearing his headphones and be-bopping to his music.  No….to his life.  His story through the headphones was one of a young man who had gotten with the wrong crowd.  His life was in a downward spiral.  He was seeking the Lord to pull him back up, to make him a better man.  His goal now?  To help others and pursue his dreams. I finished the song, took off the headphones, thanked him for sharing his song/life with me and wanting to say so much more…..and his phone rang.  Well of course, I couldn’t help but listen!  We were next to each other! “I’m good, I’m fine.  I know it’s my first trip alone, but you can’t be worrying.  Yes, there are lots of nice people here to talk to.”  ~pause~ “What state are we in?”  Me ~ “Still Texas.”  Him, back on phone, “Man, we still in Texas. This is the biggest place I’ve ever seen!  I’ve been in Texas all day long!”  And this made me think of my own boys.  Their first trips “alone”.  And being the mama on the other side of that phone call.Mason is the young man on the left.  He too, began in Springfield…destination L.A.  His conversations were mostly in “song”.  When he left and came back with his guitar, well, I could hardly control myself.  Music.  Raw sweet music.  I get lost in it.  I looked at hubby and by the look in his eyes, I could see he was thinking of our “boy band” at home, too. (okay ~ my sons would HATE being called a boy band….but then, I am the one penning this! :))  Mason was amazing.  You could give him a subject or just a word and he would immediately produce an awesome country song about it.  And not just silly stuff….GOOD STUFF!  And once he would begin his song, Mike would join in with the hip-hop.  It was an amazing evening.  There is no other place on earth I’d have rather been.Austin, Texas through the window ~Mason sang about his ride on the train.  How it started with five friends, and ended with ten. ♥  That’s how we felt too, Mason.

Mike and I never located that gator or croc.  But just before Austin, Texas, the rain broke for a spell, and we did capture this rainbow together.  Hubby and I left the car a bit later for our room.  We wished them well.  And we meant it.  From the depths of our heart ♥

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This entry was posted in Friends, Friendships, Music, Musicians, photos, Relationships, Texas, Train Travel, travel and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

31 Responses to The Observation Car

  1. Dena says:

    I LOVE THIS STORY!! Good luck to them both 🙂

    • stuffitellmysister says:

      I know. They were ambitious young men going for their dreams. I hope we see them again one day! 🙂 Thanks for reading! 🙂

  2. You lucky people! That’s the kind of travelling where you don’t know what might happen and you’re very seldom disappointed 😉

  3. artsifrtsy says:

    This is why I love traveling by train – you have time to make friends and they can make your trip:) Love the shots you got from the observation car – it’s a great place to hang out.

  4. lizziejoy10 says:

    A lovely feel-good story. Thank you.

  5. It’s always fun to meet interesting people while traveling. I’m sure you left a great impression on them as well 🙂

  6. bubblytee says:

    What a great fun time for you and THEM ~

    I would love love to travel by Amtrack…luky you!

    That last image of the rainbow is beautiful; thank u 4 sharing it 🙂

    • stuffitellmysister says:

      Thanks so much for taking time to view/read! Amtrak is great…..I just wish we could take it everywhere!!!!

  7. julie b says:

    Remember when our whole lives were ahead of us…instead of mostly behind us! What great adventures these guys are in for…we might have one or two left as well…

  8. Dottie Whitsitt says:

    What an amazing story that you have shared with us!! 🙂 Sure makes me want to take an Amtrak trip!! Thanks Paula 🙂

  9. I love this story because I love connecting with fellow journeyers. Thanks for sharing it. ❤

  10. Christi says:

    I knew (or was sure hoping) when you first posted the picture of the two young men (a few days ago), there had to be a story there! And what a story it was; don’t you wish you could track them and see all the adventrues they have in LA? Thanks (again) for sharing an amazing story (and pix)!

  11. Girl…I love this story!! Those boys are amazing, and what a cool experience for you, with their music. You described it so well. And pretty neat for them to have come across you and your hubby – I bet they loved you both. And frankly, I am relieved you did not find any crocs or gators. xox

    • There are actually gators in southeast TX…I have seen them….actually….I ran from one once. He did NOT wanna be photographed. So I hope one day Mike does see one of these so he can capture it….with is camera, that is! 🙂 Sweet and talented boys. 🙂

  12. I’m happy to share my city with you. Austin is mine. : D
    The gathering place- what fun!

  13. Five Quick Minutes says:

    Had to read about Texas…I was born there. Take care and we’ll be talking again soon I hope!

    Christian

    • We love our trips to San Antonio! Take care ♥

      • Five Quick Minutes says:

        I’ll bet so. Still have a sister living in Texas. As for myself, I’d love to leave California, (it’s not all it’s cracked up to be.) but I’m not sure I’d go back to Texas.

        Maybe Colorado or parts of Nevada. But no immediate plans to go anywhere. Thanks for your visits!

        😉 Christian

      • Colorado is beautiful! Okla.is a great place to live AND we loved living in NW Arkansas. I’ve never been to CA. One of these days…..

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