It was a conversation I had with our realtor/former elementary school principal Rod about 5 years ago-one I will never forget. And it went something like this:
Hi Valerie, it’s Rod.
Hey Rod! What’s up?
Well I have someone interested in looking at your house…
(Train whistle sound in background.)
Oh my gosh! Oh My Gosh!! The train! It’s coming right at me! Help!!! Help!!!
(Silence. And then snorts of laughter.)
As it turns out, Rod, who once presided over a school assembly dressed as his own wife, was much better at humor than selling homes…
I live in a town where both day and night, trains rumble by just a few blocks beyond Main Street. I’ve gotten so used to the sounds of their whistles blowing, that I usually don’t really notice them.
The other night though, I couldn’t sleep, and around 3 am, I heard the familiar blasts of a train whistle. At intersections, train engineers usually blow their whistles in the same pattern. Long. Long. Short. Long. Morse code for the letter Q.
What’s the story behind the letter Q? When the ship carrying the Queen of England would come into harbor, it sounded the letter Q to let other ships know it should be given the right of way because the queen was on board. Trains went on to adopt this same signal as a warning to yield the right of way.
This particular train engineer had a flair for the dramatic. He varied the lengths of the long and short whistle blasts at each intersection, until finally leaving town with and his final Q.
Long. Long. Short. Looooooooooooooooooooooooooooong.
I didn't think he would ever stop!
I’m glad this guy was having fun with his job, and I’m glad I was awake to hear his performance. But I had to wonder. Does Rod have a new job now?
My latest concoction, the day tripper backpack done up in a lovely tan and red hibiscus barkcloth. Might I modestly add that I think it’s pretty Long. Short. Long. Short?
(Make that C for cute!)
Happy Monday, my Dears !