Train Ride ~ Act of Kindness #12

Train Ride ~ Act of Kindness #12

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photo credit: jack catterall

This recent weather calls to mind a trip years ago, when the family and I were scheduled on a flight out of Newark to Washington, DC.

That day, it rained. And rained. And rained some more. Some might say the rain was mild compared to what’s happening now, but the impact was no less dramatic.

The Airport was chaos; all flights were cancelled, passengers were frazzled and staff were overwhelmed. We were presented with the option of staying somewhere – no guarantees of a room anywhere – overnight and hopefully get a flight out the next morning, or taking the train.

We chose the train. There was a mad dash to get to the station where, by some miracle, there were five seats left on the train leaving in 17 minutes.

The train arrived and we boarded, after some fumbling with the luggage, with no idea where these miraculous five seats were. We eventually found two seats in one carriage, with one seat in another. The problem was, the two seats were single ones.

Ordinarily, The Man and I would have had no problems sitting separately. But a three-hour journey with a six-year-old? Separated from either parent? With one parent in another carriage? Not an ideal situation.

I plonked The Munchkin into the nearest vacant seat, and prepared to ask if anyone minded swapping seats, beginning with the occupant of The Munchkin’s companion seat. Then the train started moving. And I heard a voice.

“Need a seat together, do you?”

Well, yes please, but who spoke? Several rows down, a gloved hand waved. And a tall man heaved himself out of his seat.

“Well, come on, then. Come sit here so I can go sit over there.”

So the seat swap took place and The Munchkin and I sat together all the way to Union Station.

I will forever be thankful to this complete stranger who made all the difference on this journey. I thanked him then, and I’ll say “thank you” again now.

Reading Bug ~ Act of Kindness #10

Reading Bug ~ Act of Kindness #10


I came across this Reading Corner at the airport, of all places.

Intrigued, I wanted to inspect the titles and savour this joyful moment of discovering such a corner in an airport. First, however, I wanted to take a photo to prove I wasn’t hallucinating.

But as I lifted my camera, a little poppet galloped towards the shelves, shrieking, “Book! Book!”

I paused. A Reading Corner in a public space with books and a poppet excited by books?

Life had more surprises for me. The father grabbed the poppet. “Meimei, wait. Let the auntie take her photo first.”

It really was too much. I snapped the photo, thanked the father, waved at the poppet and retreated.

Inspecting book titles can wait. Celebrating this little vignette cannot. I am warmed by a father’s kind understanding and gracious patience, and a tiny child’s enthusiasm for books. And by the use of potential retail space for encouraging reading.

There is hope yet.