Trains have always played a special role in my life. When I was a small child, we lived close to the railroad tracks. I love the sound of the screeching whistle and waiting and watching to have an opportunity to wave to the train men who always waved back and shouted friendly greetings. I still recall the clicky-clack of the wheels on the all too familiar rhythm. A daily occurrence, often twice or three times a day, we heard this familiar sound. It was fun to watch till I could watch no longer, straining to see just how far. I recall thinking, "I wonder where it's heading, where it's going."
I often would read all the names on the huge assortment of box cars, to try to figure out just what type of things it was transporting. Often we watched cattle cars of cows. I loved those, hearing the moos and the clucks of chickens, but I also remember those didn't smell very good!!
At night, the trains that I enjoyed during the day became the dreaded dragon, who roared through our house at 3:00 AM and illuminated my bedroom with much light and scary shadows on the walls. The screaming, screeching whistle, shrill, hurt my ears. The house shook on its foundation. I huddled under the blankets with the pillow over my head. Waking to this was never pleasant, and often it would take a few minutes for me to realize it was only the train and that I would see it tomorrow and love it again. Unfortunately the three large front windows on which Mom had put those pretty Priscilla crisscross curtains always permitted the dragon monster to scare the living daylights out of me night after night.
Hurray! It was morning again, and the train was coming. Thank you, God, for daylight!