A+ Train ~ Act of Kindness #28

I opted to splurge and buy a first class seat for a train journey London to Durham. And received a first class lesson on acts of graciousness and kindness.

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picture: mskathrynne

As the train moved off, there was a mild commotion behind me. A young mother had entered my carriage, pushing along a stroller with a wide-eyed baby, and balancing her backpack and diaperbag. No one really bothered as she muttered, “sorry, sorry” as she made her way forward. Coming in the opposite direction was the drinks cart.

Then the wheels of the stroller jammed themselves on the floor rivets of my seat (I don’t really know what else to call them!) and on the one across the aisle. Baby screeched and almost toppled out, if not for the timely grab by the lady seated opposite me.

The lady cuddled Baby, cooing a nursery rhyme, while gentlemen from surrounding seats rose to help. One took the backpack, one reached for the diaperbag, and two attempted to free the wedged stroller. Mum’s mobile and purse ended up with me.

It took a few moments to free the stroller, and to calm Mum and Baby. As her seat was actually in the next carriage, the lady continued to sing to the baby while walking off, accompanied by two men, one carrying the bags and the other carrying the stroller. Mum retrieved her phone and purse and followed, still apologising and thanking everybody. Meanwhile, the drinks cart had been reversed out of the carriage.

There was a round of applause when the three passengers returned, reporting that Mum and Baby were safely in their seats.

THANKS

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.

 

THANKS