Thursday, May 24, 2007

Train Wrecking

My husband loves trains. You might think working as a porter and a waiter on Amtrak through his college years would have gotten this out of his system. Not so. Which is why, when I had a seminar in New Hampshire last summer, we took the train as far as Boston (that was as close as we could get). The whole family. 23 hours. Change trains at Albany.

It was a less than stellar experience. Only two of the seats were actually together. The train was cold. (A word to the wise to knitters travelling on Amtrak. It's cold. Make sure you're knitting a large wool afghan.) We went through Cleveland and filled all the remaining seats at Ungodly Hour A.M. Sleeping in public is not my forte. But we made it.

Once in Boston we went to claim the few pieces of baggage we had checked and found we were missing a suitcase. My suitcase. The baggage masters at Boston South Station were reassuring. It had probably been left in Albany. It would be in by morning. Afternoon at the latest. Just fill in the Missing Baggage Form. All well and good, except I had to be in Plymouth, New Hampshire. It's a different state. I don't care how small the Eastern Seaboard states are, Massachusetts and New Hampshire are Still. Different. States.

Marc had been eyeing me sideways through all this. I was being terribly adult and understanding. This apparently filled him with trepidation. With good reason, because once we reached the hotel, I realized what was in that suitcase (well, besides most of my clothes, toothbrush, shampoo, and whatever).

This is hand-spun, hand-dyed Malabrigo. Let me repeat that. Hand-spun. Hand-dyed. As in you will never ever in a million million years find a replacement. Gone is gone. It's history. Give it up. No way. Not-gonna-happen-lady-completely-irreplaceable hand-spun hand-dyed Malabrigo.

This is the point where I burst into tears.

It took four days before we were reunited. I developed a close and personal relationship with the baggage masters at South Station. The yarn hadn't left Chicago. Never mind that the train was delayed three hours and there were maybe 8 suitcases in the checked baggage. Three hours was not enough time to make sure the train was loaded properly. The yarn arrived the next night.

My good friend, Baggage Master Mike in Boston, got it on the Trailways bus to Plymouth the following morning. The yarn and my suitcase saw more of New Hampshire than I did. It missed Plymouth twice - coming and going. We're not sure if it went all the way back to Boston. I have my suspicions. We finally tracked it down at the Trailways Station in Concord, NH. The nice lady said she'd get it on the next day's bus to Plymouth. I almost jumped through the phone wires.

We picked it up.

Marc still loves trains. This year he wants to go to Jamestown. Guess how we're going to travel. I will not be checking my bags.

1 comment:

Bobbi said...

hmm, I've only been on the train once and it was a short trip, but we just put our bags above our seats, is that not normal?