My family instilled a love of travel in me. Childhood memories of road trips, camping and “the box” where we carried food to cut costs, fill me.
On the trips my brother and sister and I would often get souvenirs. Sometimes the decisions took place in an instant. Other times deep thought went into the decision. I watched my sons do the same. Few if any of my souvenirs remain, although the memories shine strong. Some of my sons’ souvenirs decorate our house, they may retain others, others disappeared long ago. In any case, I hope they have wonderful memories as well.
Whether discarded before the trip ended or preserved until the present day, choice stood as a common factor behind them. I selected each of my souvenirs as did my siblings and children in their turn.
Yesterday, I obtained a souvenir that someone chose for me. I traveled to Princeton Theological Seminary to meet with students who will do field education at the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations. We had great conversations and a picnic lunch. Then I headed to the train and the trip back to New York.
I sat, unknowing, in a quiet car. I either missed the sign or there it did not exist. I either missed the announcement or no announcement came.
I had started a phone conversation on the platform. I continued it in my seat. All went well until the conductor made his way down the aisle. He punched my ticket, tersely said, “Quiet car,” and handed me a card.
I quickly ended my call and sat in silence back to New York. I kept my new souvenir. We’ll see how long it lasts.
See you along the Trail.