The Station - by Robert J. Hastings

Saturday, May 31, 2008

So, this weekend, while doing a little "spring cleaning" I came across an old Ann Landers column I had clipped out of a newspaper back in November of 1999. (Wow - remember back in the day when we read an actual PAPER and actually took a scissors and cut stuff out of them??) In November of 1999 I had lived in the Twin Cities for one year and was most likely still feeling a bit homesick - I spent the first two years I lived here driving back to Fargo and Detroit Lakes every weekend to hang out with my dear dear friends I loved and missed so much. Thankfully, back then gas was only .79 cents a gallon when I moved here - not this ridiculous 3.92 we are paying at the pump right now! Anyway - the article was a "reprint" for Ann Landers and talked of a guy who had so much to do when his wife was diagnosed with terminal cancer - dreams, promises, etc. This man lost his wife 18 months after her diagnosis and The Station held great meaning for him. I LOVE this writing as well - how true true true.

The Station is as follows -

By Robert J. Hastings
TUCKED AWAY in our subconscious minds is an idyllic vision in which we see ourselves on a long journey that spans an entire continent. We're traveling by train and, from the windows, we drink in the passing scenes of cars on nearby highways, of children waving at crossings, of cattle grazing in distant pastures, of smoke pouring from power plants, of row upon row upon row of cotton and corn and wheat, of flatlands and valleys, of city skylines and village halls.

But uppermost in our conscious minds is our final destination--for at a certain hour and on a given day, our train will finally pull into the Station with bells ringing, flags waving, and bands playing. And once that day comes, so many wonderful dreams will come true. So restlessly, we pace the aisles and count the miles, peering ahead, waiting, waiting, waiting for the Station.

"Yes, when we reach the Station, that will be it!" we promise ourselves. "When we're eighteen. . . win that promotion. . . put the last kid through college. . . buy that 450SL Mercedes-Benz. . . have a nest egg for retirement!"
From that day on we will all live happily ever after.

Sooner or later, however, we must realize there is no Station in this life, no one earthly place to arrive at once and for all. The journey is the joy. The Station is an illusion--it constantly outdistances us. Yesterday's a memory, tomorrow's a dream. Yesterday belongs to a history, tomorrow belongs to God. Yesterday's a fading sunset, tomorrow's a faint sunrise. Only today is there light enough to love and live.

So, gently close the door on yesterday and throw the key away. It isn't the burdens of today that drive men mad, but rather the regret over yesterday and the fear of tomorrow. Regret and fear are twin thieves who would rob us of today.
"Relish the moment" is a good motto, especially when coupled with Psalm 118:24, "This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it."

So stop pacing the aisles and counting the miles. Instead, swim more rivers, climb more mountains, kiss more babies, count more stars. Laugh more and cry less. Go barefoot oftener. Eat more ice cream. Ride more merry-go-rounds. Watch more sunsets. Life must be lived as we go along. The Station will come soon enough.

Amazing isn't it how it couldn't be more true. It is that reason, the life must be lived as we go along part that my man finally got his car - The elusive Mustang GT.
It all actually transpired three weeks ago - (Mother's Day weekend - EEK!) but I promised not to blog about it until he had a chance to drive it up to NoDak and surprise his Dad. The only person I know who talks more about something but never goes through with it is Rob's dad! I told Rob I did not want him to be still talking about the sports car he never got thirty years from now! So, he drove it up to Grand Forks this weekend to surprise his dad with his purchase on his way to the annual golf tourney in Grafton.
And the story goes like this...after taking the kiddies to the zoo on a Saturday morning, we drove through the car lot as we do most weekends at least once. There sat this car, a shiny deep red colored Mustang GT. "Get out and take a look" I tell him - and he's out there for several minutes (we've looked at enough of these that most looks are simply drive bys now) so I hop out, check it out quick and tell him - "take it for a drive - we'll be across the street enjoying ice cream" (see I scream you scream)So, he drives it, he likes it, we go home - I tell him all the reasons he has to get the car (hertz shifter, aftermarket racing exhaust, only 5k miles on it, life's too short, etc etc) and FINALLY, he goes back to the dealership alone. (Amazing how hard it is to test drive cars with two little kids and no grandmas in town!) Seriously, how many men out there would need this much convincing to go out and buy themselves such a gift?? About 2 hours later he calls me sitting inside his shiny new car. CONGRATULATIONS ROB - You did it!! Unfortunately - he's been sick about it. He's worried about taking money away from me and the kids - has he SEEN the amount of toys, etc that we have around this place?? We "need" nothing until a trip to Disney!! True, this car is not a necessity. Suze Orman would frown upon this purchase and say DENIED...but I think life is just too damn short. What are we working for if not to fulfill our dreams? Rob's one dream in life has been to have himself a sporty car - well, you got it baby - you got it! People keep asking me what will I get for Father's Day if this is what he got for Mother's Day (and he DID offer to switch days with me by the way). The thing is - I have everything I've ever wanted. My two adorable (I can say that because they are asleep finally!) angelic children. All I've ever wanted was to be a mom and I've been granted that wish two times over. Yes, there are things I want out of life yet - but nothing that I would regret not having should my train pull into the station.


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