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Rails Through Time

Story ID:10072
Written by:Michael Timothy Smith (bio, link, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:Caldwell ID USA
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I'm back with another train analogy.

Rails Through Time

I watched another train rumble pass our balcony. They roll by too many times for my
liking. Their noise ruins our peace, but they teach us things. Some lessons are not easy. We
have to listen to a lot of noise before the lesson sinks in.

On this day, I watched a train pulling a hundred or more freezer cars. They were all
painted white. The new ones were pure white. The older ones were scarred and stained with
streaks of rust. Many were covered with graffiti, some of which were artistic, others vulgar
or gang related.

There they were, the old and the new, working together, doing their job. The
new ones would roll on for many years. Those older, rusted and stained cars would
soon be retired.

In 1979, I finished community college with a degree in electronics. It was time to find
a job. I worked at a television station, then a radio station and then got a job with a
telecommunication company. I worked at that job for fifteen years and then was laid off.

In each of those jobs, when I started, I was the new car. My coat was white, unstained
and rust free. I followed the older ones, learned from them and grew.

Those older cars retired. Each one that left, gave me room to move up the line, closer to
the engine.

Here I am, older, stained with rust and painted with the graffiti of life. The gains, losses
and trying years have taken their toll. Iím still in line with the younger cars, but my days of
rolling the rails grow short. The younger and eager cars are ready to move up the line and take
my place.

Like most people of my age, there will come a time when Iíll be retired and will be
parked at a siding with the other old rail cars. When my time comes, Iíll gladly step aside,
relax and watch the young ones roll down their lifeís rails.

Life is a long and winding pair of rails through time. We climb one side of hills and roll
down the other. We whip around turns and crawl through tunnels. In all weather, we get our
jobs done. In the end, we rest.

Michael T. Smith