We have a tradition in my house…it is called the Memory Jar. Inside of the clear Bormioli jar are thin slips of white computer paper. Every time something happens in our family that we want to remember we write it down and throw it in the jar. Every New Year’s Eve, my husband and I sit down together after the kids have gone to bed and we take turns reading them out loud.
This is a day trip that we had been planning and really looking forward to! We were going to take the train up north to Old Orchard Beach and spend the day there. The train station is right across the street from the beach where there are old wooden roller coasters, a fishing pier, and plenty of restaurants.
It was a perfect day filled with family quality time. The weather was perfect, sunny and 80 degrees. We played on the beach, drank lemonade, ate ice cream, and went to a restaurant. Afterwards we bought tickets to go on some rides together. It was a blast!
I had my eye on the time the whole day, to make sure we didn’t miss our train back home. The last train of the night was leaving at 6pm, so I wanted to make sure we had plenty of time to get to the train station. After riding some rides we walked over to the train station to wait for our train. 6:00 came and went, and no train had arrived. We were not the only ones waiting, and everyone began to get worried. All of us with phones started to research what could be the hold up. We called Amtrak and they couldn’t give us any information except that the train was delayed. They couldn’t tell us how long it would be. Minutes turned into hours, and we were still waiting.
Our perfect day quickly turned into a nightmare. The sun was gone and we heard live bands at the bars down the street, the town’s nightlife had started. The air was filled with cigarette smoke as people walked by while my daughter was asleep on the park bench. We were tired, dirty, and growing impatient. We needed to get home. We texted some friends to ask if they would make the hour trip to come pick us up. Thankfully one of them could, so he got in his car and started heading our way. It was now 9pm and we were totally stranded with no new information about the train.
Finally we heard a train horn.
9:15pm our train finally arrived. We quickly told our friend to turn around and hopped on the train. Apparently there had been an accident on the train tracks up in Portland and there is no way (how?!) for Amtrak to tell it’s customers.
Riding on the train back home we knew this would be one for the Memory Jar.