Monthly Archives: October 2014

Why not take the train?

We wanted to make a trip out west, visiting two states.  Multiple stops in an airplane is not that feasible especially when the states are as close as Northern Washington and mid state Oregon. We had the time, and the money was better than a plane fare. So we began to ask ourselves, “Why not take the train?”  With a little research and a trip to our travel agent we booked our reservations on Amtrak.  We started by spending a day in beautiful, historic Harper’s Ferry in West Virginia where we would catch the first leg of the trip to Chicago.


The iconic, majestic church on the hill is one of my favorite spots.  We arrived early to be sure of getting a parking space and had much of the day to browse the shop and restaurant laden streets.



And enjoy the “nearly Fall” scenery on a pleasantly warm September day.


Not to mention the handiwork the locals.


We got off to a late start, as our train was delayed while trying to fix a cable of some sort.  We waited and remained in good spirits declaring, “It’s all part of the adventure,”  as the train finally made its appearance.   We did not choose to have a sleeper car, so our night’s rest took place in these roomy lounge chairs.



The morning past and so did the farm lands and small towns, as we watched out our larger than life windows. The train came into Chicago just in time to catch our train to take us farther north-west.  Part of the adventure is wondering if you will make the next train.

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Mountains and rivers dominated the window viewing for most of the next day.


We arrived in Seattle, spent a week with relatives and attended Dick’s fiftieth class reunion.  Back on the train to head for Eugene, Oregon.DSCF3508

After the weekend stop in Eugene, the train headed south to Sacramento, CA.  There another surprise adventure awaited us.  Our train was held up and in need of repair.  We would have lots of time to see the sights in the old town district of the city located within walking distance of the station.


The long ride home was marked with sunrises, sunsets, numerous delays and hours in the dome car.



Waiting becomes an art, even when it’s drizzling outside.  This is called “waiting patiently.”  I woke up when we heard the whistle blow and at the same saw a guy on a bicycle whizzing by us.  We soon realized that he wanted to beat the train to the crossing.  When he knew he was not going to make it, he lifted the bike onto his shoulder and bolted across three sets of tracts as the train was coming very close.  At the next stop we got stickers and a train whistle promoting train safety.

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Utah was my favorite state, as in a nice place to visit.  The rock formations just kept coming and I just kept snapping.


The dome car has mega windows and is a fantastic place to meet people and take picture after picture of anything that catches your eye.  You have to be quick, for taking pictures from a train is like trying to catch a butterfly.  When you get close enough, it’s gone.  Entering Colorado.


Colorado was more red rock and great views, that is until nighttime overtook us and we spent much of the ride through the state in the dark.


I have several of these round the corner train pictures, it’s not that picturesque but at least I got the front car.


DSCF3642                 This is a very interesting photograph.  Unlike the butterfly shots that I missed, this went on and on and I was mesmerized by this particular lay of the land. Railroad, water, sand, highway, water, sand, highway, sand, mountain.


A day late with many new sights, sounds, friends and adventures under our belts, we arrive in Pennsylvania just as Autumn begins to show her lovely face.


We did see several species of wildlife from the train, but they were definitely the butterfly pictures that got away.  Back in West Virginia, I caught these deer as we were in the car driving away from Harper’s Ferry, right back where we started from.


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The Book Blog

My long-awaited book has come to fruition.  It’s the story of my growing up a Pennsylvania farm girl in the ’50’s as part of a large family.  In the mid ’60’s I pursue my wish of going to Hawaii to fulfill my dreams for life.  As a newly graduated Licensed Practical Nurse, little did I know that the hospital where I had accepted a job was a Japanese medical center.  “Little did I know”  is an understatement, because “little did I know” about anything, including life far from home and living in a city, not to mention culture and language.  I was 20, I had a year’s worth of nursing training and just less than a year’s worth of nursing experience tucked under my belt, to go off and meet the world head on.  The book is loaded with laughs, loves, relationships and people from all over the world that I came to love.     Forty-six years later, I finally had time to break open the long time closed envelopes where the letters to home had been stored.  The story I had long dreamed of writing came to life.


book cover


You may wonder how the picture at the top of my blog came to be on the back cover of the book.  I think it is a great story.  My publisher told me she checked out my blog and after reading my story in the book decided that this picture describes me well.  I like it.  I love to be thought of zipping through life with frivolous ferociousness.  Thank goodness for a husband who watches over me and doesn’t let me get into too much trouble.

The book is a product of Port Hole Publications located in Florence, Oregon.  My husband, whom I met and married in Hawaii, and I recently made a trip there to meet my publisher and see my book for the first time.    Ellen Gunderson Traylor is a well established author of Biblical Historical Fiction books that I have had in my reading library for years. I was delighted to have her publish my book.   She signed the one book I will call my own.


It is my wish to have as many people as possible that are mentioned in the book sign my copy.  It just seems like a fun thing to do.


Carol Gunderson, the editor signed it as well.  We were invited to the Port Hole Publication center for Sunday brunch and had a delightful time visiting with other authors and seeing her amazing facilities.


The cover of the book looks very much like the beach at Waikiki in Honolulu, actually the sand picture was taken on a beach along the beautiful Oregon coast and here Ellen is presenting me with stick that drew the letters.  Photo Shop is a wonderful thing.

Besides being able to meet the publisher, the town of Florence was having a festival of books and we were invited. I had the privilege of talking to potential customers about my book,  and learned that many people had been to Hawaii and even some who had been there in the mid 1960’s when my story takes place.  I was much encouraged as a lot of people listened and told me that it was a wonderful premise for a story.


My best line to them and to you is “Let the book transport you to a less sophistacated Hawaii for under 25.00.”    Go to Amazon books and search for A Wish Called Wanda, read the reviews and buy the book,  or contact me and I can see that you get one.


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