Thursday, June 02, 2005

Trainspotting With Celeste

No, we didn't try to score some heroin or anything, but Celeste and I got pretty close to a MARC commuter train as it sped through Riverdale Park this afternoon. As I'm trying to do each Thursday afternoon, Celeste and I took a trip to the farmers market in Riverdale Park, which is held in a parking lot next to the CSX train tracks. Two weeks ago we saw a big freight train pass through. It was loud and we were watching from the parking lot and I'm pretty sure Celeste couldn't quite comprehend what was going past her.

This afternoon, I think the train just scared her. We were closer this time —— on the MARC platform —— and it was a really short three-car train. We'd already bought our strawberries, asparagus, and loaf of bread (it's still early in the season and this market is smaller than our Sunday one in Takoma Park), so we were taking a walk and went on to the platform. I heard a train whistle in the distance, so Celeste and I sat down on a bench and waited. I warned her what was coming, and Celeste was really interested when the crossing gates came down to block off the road.

Suddenly, the train was there. I cupped my hands over her ears, which probably startled her more than the train, and she just pushed back in her stroller and stared as the train whizzed by on the tracks closest to us. After it had passed, the wind generated continued to whip around us for a while and she eventually looked over at me with a "What the hell was that?!" expression.

A little while later, while I was getting her into the carseat to head home, I heard another whistle, so I held her up to see the train pass on the far tracks. Being further away, she wasn't as startled, but it did go by too quickly for her to really figure out what it was.

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