As I was working at the train restaurant yesterday, I saw The Katy (UP1988) heritage unit go by. One more Norfolk Southern heritage unit checked off my list!
When I worked at the grocery store, there was a gentleman older than me that I got along with and who I could tell anything too. He’s one of those individuals that are hard to find now a days. After years of friendship, he decided to take his own life.
I’ll never forget the day I went into work when it happened. People crowded around me as I punched into the time clock. You see, I’d hangout and work with this gentleman several hours a week.
First it was my best friend then it was my future wife who told me the news. My friend and co-worker had taken his life the night before with a shotgun. I attended his funeral wondering what signs I missed, what could I have done to prevent this tragedy?
Sometimes, I run what if scenarios through my head to try to bring him back but no matter what I do, he’s gone from this realm of existence. There will always be a bit of guilt on my part for not recognizing something that may have saved his life. At the time, everything seemed just fine and this individual was hard to get personal information out of.
If you know someone who’s committed suicide, please don’t feel guilty and put the burden on your shoulders. It’s a choice the individual made and it’s likely their mind was made up well in advance.
Society sometimes looks at suicide as a way out, an end to all that is shitty in their life. Some may also consider it a cop-out or a selfish act of desire. Unless you’ve been at the brink, that point where you decide if you live or die, who are you to judge?
I sometimes dream it, think it, wonder it, but it’s the same conclusion every time. My good friend is gone and there isn’t anything I can do about it. I’ve thought about it but have never reached the point of doing it.
Please don’t put yourself in a depressive state because someone you know has taken their life. It’s sad yes, but if you put guilt on your shoulders at the same time, it will likely drive you into an unhealthy state of mind. Be strong, support loved ones who cared for the individual, and be the light in a time of darkness.
My how things have changed.
I purchased a new domain through GoDaddy and have begun the process of hooking it up to a webhosting account. I haven’t gone through this process in a few years and I’m anxious to see if it’s any easier.
The domain is Buckeyerails.com and will feature my railroad journeys across Ohio. The site will also consist of videos of legitimate train rides, photographs, or videos of trains going by. This project primarily allows me to get back into the field of using WordPress as a user and customer.
Those who work with and build WordPress sites for a living end up with a ton of experience. As someone who writes about WordPress for a living outside of the agency space, I’m not afforded the same luxury.
Setting up the site gives me an opportunity to find themes, plugins, and solutions to problems I experience as a user. I haven’t gone through such an experience in years, so I’m looking forward to see if it’s any easier.
It’s the beginning of August when the angle of the sun, color of the clouds, and my garden signal the end of Summer. These summer nights are the last in which I’ll be able to enjoy the night sky in comfortable weather conditions.
One application on my iPhone that’s helped me enjoy the night sky even more this summer is Sky Guide. Using this app on my iPhone, I’m able to look at the night sky in a new way. It shows constellations and the orientation of the night sky in real-time.
I’m able to see constellations of stars I didn’t know existed. It’s a fantastic app I recommend to anyone who owns an iPhone and enjoys looking at the night sky.
After I watched Terminator Genisys which isn’t as bad as people say it is, I drove to my train watching spot since it was close by. This is the first time I’ve watched trains at this spot at night.
It was a little hazy which allowed me to see trains coming from miles away thanks to their bright lights. I managed to see several trains, including the Capital Limited which is an Amtrak train that travels to Washington DC.
This was a surreal experience. It was 2:30AM, breezy, muggy, and I was one of the only people in the parking lot. Occasionally, a car would pass by, usually a cop doing their runs. At one point, I noticed a late night biker who seemed to be overjoyed with having the entire road to himself. He stopped by a tree to watch a train go by, then went on his way.
I felt relaxed, at peace, and content knowing it was only a matter of time before the next one flew by. To be honest, I don’t know what it is about watching trains go by that makes me feel relaxed. If I were to guess, I’d say it’s because of a few reasons.
Trains are always coming and going. I wonder what it’s like to be on the train, hitching a free ride to somewheresville. Then I think about the millions of dollars of freight these trains pull across the country. Everything from chemicals, lumber, grain, sand, and sometimes passengers. Trains invoke a sense of wonder for so many reasons. I think it’s the primary reason I enjoy watching them so much. The What Ifs. They’re also big heavy canvasses of artwork.
I don’t think I’d go as far to say this activity gives me a natural high. Rather, it gives me peace of mind and an opportunity to think deeply about things with the only interruptions being the trains that go by. I can’t wait for the next opportunity on a warm summer night to watch trains come and go without me.
I wrote this post because I want to remember that night. One of the few where I felt happy, content, and inspired.