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The Amtrak train departing Mendota, Illinois to Chicago is currently 4 HOURS behind schedule. What does one do while waiting for a tardy train. If you're me you look at weather charts and make a post. Either that or you sit and stare at your wife and kid as they entertain themselves on an I-phone. Look at them go, fingers whizzing and all dialed in like a radio. What a world.

When we left Cedar Rapids we checked to see if the train was on time. At 10:15 am it was running like a red dog and right on schedule ready to leave Mendota at 1:19 pm. At 1:00 we are at the station and the phone dings...Amtrak train 0004 has been delayed. Now at 5:00 pm we are still at the station, waiting, but not patiently. We should be in our room at the Omni by now looking down at the hustle and bustle of Michigan Avenue. Instead, I'm surrounded by the sounds of silence, straining to hear the whistle of a long lost rattler chugging through the Illinois snow.

I'll never get these 4 hours back. But it's not productive to think of the productive things I could be doing with my time off. I'm focused on on the smoke plume curling out of the chimney. There's a look it takes on when its bitter cold and I recognize it for what it's worth. 

Something else comes to mind. For more than 2 hours I've been forced to slow down and sit. Sit and chill...that's what I'm doing, chilling. The more I reflect on the concept the more intrigued I am. You see, I never have time to simply relax. Now I'm so chilled I just counted 2 age spots on my hand. I'm pretty sure one of them wasn't there when I took my seat earlier today.

No doubt about it, I'm living in the moment. I can even feel the warm air on my cheek as the heater pumps away at my right side. My kid just gave me the thumbs up...with a smile. I'd say something but she can't hear me thanks to the new ear buds dangling from her head.  

Hey, some clouds just showed up on the horizon. This is a big deal. There's a change brewing. That old zepher the Southwest Chief is straining in the distance. Looks like the long awaited meeting is about to happen. I'll let her take me in her arms and carry me to the city on the lake, the one they call Chicago. Better late than never.

All aboard and roll weather...TS

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