Christmas Eve on the Train

Lost Mule Lodge

… a journey that began with a cabin in the woods

On Christmas Eve, while you were gathered around your family and friends – we were on a train.  We were coming home from visiting family.

While listening to the rhythm of the steel wheels on the ribbons of track, we watched the lights of the city disappear behind us, thoughts of the Christmas Eve travelers filled my head.

Why were so many people traveling on Christmas Eve?

The fresh faced college students, the Amish family, the weathered elderly couple – where were they all going?

Who would be there to greet them when they got off at their stations?

My mindless chatter was suddenly interrupted from the seats behind us.

Two voices were beginning a conversation that caught my attention.

With the city far behind us, the train was rolling through the beautiful countryside, mile after mile of corn stubble poking through the thin blanket of snow.

It was the occasional farmhouse lit up with festive lights against the black night that sparked their conversation.

At first there seemed to be some appreciation for these farmhouses in the middle of nowhere so brightly decorated – but then I heard this…

“Why do you suppose they bother to put up lights when no one even sees them?”

“How can they stand living out here in the middle of nowhere with nothing to do?”

My mindless chatter was beginning to take on a defensive tone.  Nothing to do…  Really, is that what they really think?

Then  their conversation really got rolling…

“What do you suppose they do all day?”  “Where do they go to see movies or eat dinner?”  “Or get coffee?”

Then I hear – “do you think they even have internet out here?”

My defensiveness was turning to amusement.

I wanted to tell them how sweet it is to drop into bed at night with your muscles aching from the pure exhaustion of manual labor from mending fences, cleaning the hen house, chopping and cutting up the downed trees for firewood, and keeping everyone warm and fed.

I wanted to let them know that the work on a farm is endless and starts before sunrise and is never done.

I wanted to see the shock on their faces when I tell them – we have not been to see a movie at a theater for 3 years, and that we can stream about any movie we want to see with our freaky fast internet.

I wanted to tell them that we much prefer preparing dinner at home than to go out, not just because of the expense – but because we enjoy cooking together.

I wanted to tell them that what they think is not always reality.

As we were approaching our stop – I smiled and I told them…

I told them to have a Merry Christmas.

Because the chatter in my head told me, the country life we love is obviously not for everyone.



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  1. Katie

    Great post! It’s so enlightening to hear conversations like that. Your country life seems wonderful to me.

  2. Mary Kay

    I agree with all you’ve said… not to mention the beautiful celestial show you can see away from all the lights of the city 🙂

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