On Tuesday evening Eldon took My Joy and Me to the home of my son Conrad and her daughter Jill. They took us to the Elkhart train depot, a relic of an era when train transportation was the way to travel. Conrad walked around the building and discovered an open door and the man in charge who pointed out that the door was n0t locked, just stuck. The train was too late for Conrad and Jill to stay into the night.
A family with a son and a girlfriend waited with us. The nineteen year old son was leaving for three months of training to prepare him for two months of international service with Youth with a Mission. His parents and girlfriend were obviously proud of him. (It reminded me of the time I left my home for Civilian Public Service at age nineteen.) The train arrived in Elkhart an hour late.
We were ready to stretch out on the narrow bunk beds provided for us. During the night I tried to tell My Joy about the beautiful moon, but she could not hear me and anyway, I discovered the upper bunk had no window. At breakfast time we were seated across the table from a couple from Portland going to Washington, DC. They had been traveling for three days. Later we wished we had learned more about them.
Priority given to freight trains and track repairs delayed us so we arrived in Pittsburg four hours late. The delay caused us to miss our connection, so Amtrak gave us bus transportation to Harrisburg, PA. Other passengers going to Washington D. C were given another bus. Our travel bags looked much alike, and we set them down side by side beside the bus to Harrisburg and expected them to be handled properly. At Harrisburg, all bags were claimed but one and that one looked like My Joys. But it wasn’t hers; It had a Portland address on it. We assumed it belonged to our breakfast companions and expected that they were frustrated as were we. We wished we could talk.
“Lost and found” promised to do its best to locate My Joy’s luggage and return it to her. With some frustration we rented a car, and set the GPS for our hotel in Lancaster.
On our way we passed the headquarters of Eastern Mennonite Mission in Salunga, Pa. EMM supported me for four fifths of a lifetime and now I receive from them four fifths of a life time pension deposited monthly in my checking account. This was a courtesy call to express my gratitude. I did not know any of the half a dozen staff members that surrounded us. The one person on staff that I remembered from her early years in Florida was on sabbatical leave. Rachel suggested that I try to meet the president of EMM. He was on a long distant phone call to Kenya and could not be interrupted. We were soon on our way to Lancaster.