So this is how my day started.
I was heading to work and stopped at the little convenience store in Kiefer, Oklahoma. The convenience store is about all there is in Kiefer and it’s a wonderful gathering place for the older farmers and ranchers in the area. Every morning that place has a gathering of weathered men swapping stories over coffee and whatever pork and dough product is in the warming tray by the cash register.
I love stopping in there. Everyone is friendly and polite. It’s a little slice of life that I would love to drop into some morning, but I’m pretty sure those men would have no idea what to talk about if I plopped down in one the booths with my carbonated coffee. Still…
Anyhow, this morning I was there a bit too late to enjoy the early morning meet-up so I grabbed my all-too-important Diet Dr. Pepper and jumped back in the Jeep to hurry off to work. Kiefer, however, had a different idea. Just as I turned left out of the parking lot to head toward the highway that would lead to the land of convenience stores on just about every corner–a far cry from this sleepy, small-town cousin–I heard it. The melancholy wail of the whistle from an approaching train. Uh oh…these trains can be pretty long and I know there’s really no good way around the tracks at this point without going miles out of my way.
So there I sat, on a gray, blustery Monday morning, tapping my fingernails on the steering wheel as car after car whizzed by, the red warning lights on the crossing gate blinking their taunting back and forth pattern at me.
I had choices.
Option A: I could get frustrated. Trust me when I tell you that I have the throw-a-frustrated-cussing-tantrum gene alive and well in my system. My dad was a very good man, but he did NOT have the gift of patience in some circumstances. If you were a nervous patient in his dental chair, he was a saint. Find him stuck in traffic for any amount of time? Well, let’s just say I learned some of my most colorful language during moments like these.
Option B: Go with it. There was no getting around it…literally. Frustration did not seem like a happy direction to head after a wonderful weekend, nor did it seem an appropriate emotion for starting the new week.
So I popped the top on that DDP, I cranked the radio and I sang. I sang loudly (pretty confident the rumble of the train would cover my less-than-stellar vocals…also pretty sure I didn’t care). I even threw in some dance moves. I probably entertained the heck out of the occupants in the pick up trucks to my right and just behind me. I may even be the subject of a stealth video featured on some stranger’s Facebook page. But it just didn’t matter then, and it sure doesn’t matter now.
The Train Track Disco was the perfect choice–in fact, that train passed all too quickly. My day was a pleasure from that point forward. Here’s to hoping I catch a train tomorrow…and I wish you one as well.