Calamity Train

My husband’s alarm at 4.15 am barely registered as I determined to sleep through, but the phone call he got half a hour later did. I heard him exchange a few words and then his voice as he stood in the doorway.

‘There is a problem with the train. I am going through tonight.’

‘OK.’ I said.

‘Can you give me a lift in?’ he asked.

‘Yes,’ I said.

He disappeared to pack a case. 

As I lay there trying to get back to sleep, I realised he would want to take food, he always does, even though they have shops where he was staying overnight. I swung my legs heavily out from under the covers and slipped my feet into my crocs.

Two minutes later in the kitchen, I had a pan on the stove boiling water for pasta and a pile of fresh ingredients I was pulling from the fridge. Most importantly, I had the kettle on for a cup of tea.

‘What are you doing?’ my husband asked.

‘You get ready, I will get the food,’ I replied.

Fifteen minutes later, the pasta was cooked, cooling and mixed with mayonnaise, red peppers and chicken, with baby tomatoes, cucumber and avocados on the side. I had soaked some home-made muesli in a dash of apple juice and added yoghurt, fresh mango, kiwi fruit and a sliced plum.

Then I got the cream sponge he had bought the day before and cut a generous wedge, which I put into a Tupperware box with some sponge lemon slices. 

Two triangles of cream cheese spread and a box of crackers finished the feast.

‘I hope you have not gone mad,’ he said.

‘Just your usual,’ I replied.

He inspected the stash.

‘I don’t think I will be able to take the cream cake,’ he said, ‘it will be too much. I will just take the lemon sponge.’

‘Ok,’ I said, ‘want one of my bananas?’ This was a big deal from me. My banana stash, as regular readers will know, is very special to me.

‘I already took one, ‘ he confessed, ‘I had it in the other bag.’

This has left me the whole day to do my assignment and the Day One creative challenge, which I received this morning and have been mulling over.

Clearly my husband has other ideas about the blog. The phone rang at 11.30 am.

‘Yeah we are half way there,’ he said, ‘the train could not get through due to track wash away.’

‘Track wash away?’

‘Yeah, there was about 150ml of rain last night and the engineers are working on it now. Some of the track needs to be fixed back down,’ he confirmed.

‘So you are ringing to tell me about track wash away?’

‘Yeah. I thought you might be worrying about what caused the issue. I know you like to know these things for your blog.

But I was not thinking about my blog. I already had a post for my blog, the creative challenge.

The only thing I could think about was Calamity Jane. I loved Calamity Jane when I was a kid and watched it over and over. Since my husband had described the problem, I had had the song, ‘The Deadwood Stage‘ going around my head along with a vision of cheerful railway workers fixing the track as passengers waved to them from the bus:

Oh the reg’lar train’s not comin’ on over the hill
With the engine steaming behind its iron grill
Train can not move
We’re coachin’ today
Oh! Track wash away
Track wash away 
Track wash awaaaaay.

If only I’d had the time to tell my husband and teach him the words, but he had to go and get back on the trip. Still, I am sure he will appreciate it when he gets back. I will practise it in the shower tonight.
 

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