I arrived back at my Mom’s home in Lebanon before she returned back from her boyfriend’s, and I was actually beginning to get worried for her. After calling her boyfriend and learning she had left late and that she should be arriving home shortly, I was relieved, and sure enough, a few minutes later she returned all safe and sound. She still drives an hour and a half each way every weekend to see him, and the roads are narrow and twisty with sometimes reckless drivers on them, so I worry about her with good reason – after all, she’s in her early eighties, and though she still drives well, I just get worried sometimes. It was a relief to have her back safe and sound.
The next morning we returned my rental car and she lent me her vehicle to drive to an acupuncture session in Norwich. I had met the young acupuncturist’s father at Tuckerbox, and while he and I were visiting he happened to mention that his son was an acupuncturist and had written a book called “The Earth Was Flat”. Amazingly, I had picked up that book in some little shop out in California about a year ago, and remembered reading and being impressed with it. The father called his son and left him a message about meeting me, and then gave me his son’s phone number and email address, which I both called and emailed promptly. That had been last Thursday, and now at Monday I was headed to an appointment with him.
The issue was my eye. I have two round spots on my left eye’s vision that have lost definition and distort and block the image. It’s made me concerned, as well as pressures in my skull which hurt frequently and I have to constantly press on the points of pain in order to relieve the tension I’m feeling. I thought that acupuncture might open some pressure points and/or restore energy lines, so I booked an appointment.
His home, which he uses as an office, is located several miles from Norwich on colorful Fall foliaged roads up on the top of a hill with several ponds linked by small waterfalls off his back porch. The setting is surrounded in natural beauty, and there was even a River Otter swimming around in his pond and exploring the banks, and later a couple deer down at the edge of the clearing.
The session lasted about an hour and he used points only on the feet, hands and ears. We had an after-session discussion, and though I hadn’t experienced any immediate relief of symptoms, I was open to possible delayed benefits. At present I still have not been relieved of the eye afflictions, but I’m still working to treat it through energy movement and awareness. I’ve used acupuncture before in my life for back pain and it worked incredibly well, so I know that it can work, just don’t know that it did this time for this purpose.
Returning home, I loaded my things into Mom’s car and we drove to catch the bus (the Dartmouth Coach) that would take me to Boston to catch the 9:30 p.m. train to Washington D.C. and then on to Raleigh.
When the bus arrived in Boston, I realized again how bloody heavy and cumbersome my two bags were. I had to walk quite a distance to get from the bus drop-off to the train waiting area, and I had to stop about every 50 feet to switch hands and take some time out before walking another 50 feet. Yikes, what the heck have I GOT in these bags!?
It’d been a long time since I’d ridden a train. The last train I took was cross-country in Canada, and it was plush and comfortable. That was about 38 years ago. Even further back, when I was just 6 years old, the trains we rode in Alaska between Talkeetna and Anchorage had leather seats that laid all the way down for sleeping, AND they swiveled around to face the other direction, so if you had a party of four you could turn two seats around to face the others and create your own personal area.
The trains today are not like that – at least not this train. The seats are not ergonomically designed (neither are car, airplane or bus seats) and trying to sleep across two seats sideways is a real trick. The seats do not lean back more than perhaps 6 inches, and there are no footrests in front to help elevate the feet, so it’s a pretty uncomfortable situation for an overnight ride.
Fortunately, I was in the “Quiet” car, and that made a HUGE difference. At one point I got up and walked the length of the train up to the cafe car (which is nothing like the restaurant cars of old) and each car I passed through to get there was so loud and filled with screaming or crying children I could hardly believe my good fortune when I finally returned to the “Quiet” car I was in. It was literally designated as the “Quiet” car, and I suppose I was assigned that car because those of us who were riding to the end of the line with this train, which was Washington, D.C. would be riding all night long, and therefore needing peace and quiet for sleeping.
After tossing and turning most of the night I woke up somewhere before dawn and watched the various east coast cities roll by. Early light smudged into the dreary landscape of square buildings and skyscrapers, and after what seemed like eternity we finally arrived in D.C.
During my 4.5 hour layover waiting for my next train to Raleigh, I watched someone’s unattended bags be confiscated by several policeman with a working police dog. About 15 minutes later I saw the young black man come looking for his bags, talk with the police, and then leave to go claim his bags. I don’t think he caught his train on time. Within half an hour a young man came into our waiting area, left his bags and started to walk over to a food consortium when I spied the policeman coming quickly over to confiscate his bags. I called after the young man, saying not to leave his bags or they would be taken, and he turned around and came back, face to face with the policeman, who was very nicely telling him the same thing. He then took his bags with him to get his food.
I strode over to the policeman to ask him a few questions. He was a very kind person and we talked for at least 15 minutes. Apparently when a person’s bags get confiscated, they can get them back but they need to go through a clearance process. We talked alot about the changes that security systems had been undergoing and the reasons why, and it was very interesting to hear about it all through his knowledge and perspective.
Later, when the young man came back from eating, we ended up talking for a long time until he departed on his train an hour before mine left. He was a Cuban refugee who had spent several months in Guantanamo, and had been living in the U.S. for many years, working and doing quite well. He had a Social Security card and paid taxes, but not a Green Card. His was a highly interesting story and I suggested he write a book about his experiences. It’s unlikely he will, but it would help the general public understand more about the lives of illegal “aliens” – it sure did for me.
Finally my train to Raleigh boarded, and for the next 6 hours we clickety-clacked along with a number of stops along the way, arriving in the late afternoon – around 5:30 p.m. My sweet brother Justin was there looking all dapper and dressed up – he had just come from his new job at a hospital to pick me up. What a relief to be off that train! And a joy to see my bro with his temples graying and looking so mature and handsome!
After driving me around his town for a quick look-see, we went to his new house and he cooked us up some incredible steaks on his back porch grill. I don’t normally eat much red meat, but this was so delicious and juicy and thick I ATE THE WHOLE THING! Still can’t believe I did that! But Boy, was it good!
Though he had to work long days for the next 3 days before we’d have much time together, it was great just to be at his place and know that I would see him at the edges of each day up to the coming weekend. And I had a chance to spend time with his cats, Phillip and Bill. Phillip is only 4 months old and very playful, and such a joy to have fun with. Bill is not too happy that Phillip has arrived at the house, and is adjusting to his new young “housemate”.
That night I slept like a babe again, finally able to stretch out and relax after having been so cramped up on the train. I was looking forward to the coming weekend when we would go together to Edgar Cayce’s ARE Institute at Virgina Beach. We had each been interested in Edgar Cayce and hadn’t known the other was until just recently, and this trip would be the first time either of us would visit ARE. We were both anticipating our adventure together. We had no idea what was in store for us.