Riding the Walkersville Southern Railroad

A Clue for Adrianna (Captain’s Point Stories Book 1) – The first novel in the Captain’s Point series.  A romantic women’s fiction/family saga/chicklit novel written by Annie Acorn & Juliette Hill writing as Charlotte Kent.

Also available in print on iTunes and for Nook and Kobo.

Chocolate Can Kill (Emily Harris Mysteries Book 1) – a full-length, cozy mystery by Annie Acorn.

Also available in print on iTunes and for Nook and Kobo.

All of my life, I’ve been fascinated by train travel. I came by this honestly, as visits to my maternal grandmother’s house were peppered by trains passing along the Monon Railroad tracks that ran a half block behind her house, the motion of their wheels creating a melodic rhythm that lulled us to sleep each night.

Afternoons, weather permitting, my sisters and I would spread a quilt beneath the large maple that held pride of place on the back corner of what we referred to as The Lot.

Here, we impatiently awaited the lowered gates and flashing lights that announced the afternoon train’s approach. Then, in no time at all, the dark cookie-cutter cars began passing slowly before our eyes.

My younger sisters carefully counted each one, but I paid special attention to vignettes glimpsed through the different windows – a couple leaning towards one another in conversation as they dined, a child held up in his father’s lap so that he could watch us as we watched him – each one a story to my developing writer’s mind.

Over the years, I have enjoyed many railroad journeys, first as a young mother and the last as a widow, each its own special memory.

Given my history, it was no wonder I was thrilled to learn that Sister #3 had arranged a dinner excursion on the historic Walkersville Southern Railroad for forty of our extended family members and dear friends.

During the day on the eagerly awaited Saturday, it had rained, but as I drove to join my sister and her husband, the sun peaked through the clouds, illuminating leaves already turned red and gold, a few drifting towards the ground.

As our small group approached Walkersville, Maryland, the clouds melted away, and a single hot air balloon appeared to be floating towards the sun that was itself heading towards the horizon.

I had never been to Walkersville and was delighted to find it comprised of neat Victorian homes, most embellished with either bright red geraniums or fall-colored chrysanthemums. The outer walls of the tiny train station wore a coating of soft yellow, and across the street, bright orange pumpkins were arranged for sale in front of the local Feed & Seed.

Gradually, other guests arrived until, finally, our full group of forty was assembled, enjoying a gentle breeze as we waited for the signal to board.

Inside the dining car, comfortable chairs greeted us at cloth-covered tables, and once we were all seated, the train’s whistle announced our departure for a two hour ride through rural Maryland.

Iced tea and lemonade were served, followed quickly by bowls of Tomato Florentine soup. Next came crisp salads and warm dinner rolls.

One table over and up, three of my smaller nieces pointed excitedly as we passed beside a large pasture filled with black and white cows, some of whom lumbered in our direction to catch a better look at us. Tree limbs filled with fall-colored leaves waved at us in the breeze, and we passed over a small river, its calm surface reflecting the evening sky.

The main course was served and enjoyed, the train came to a halt and then proceeded to move backwards, past the station, and approximately the same distance in the opposite direction as we enjoyed yellow marble cake smeared with a thick layer of chocolate icing, accompanied by coffee or hot tea.

Outside the dining car’s windows, light glowing from occasional farmhouses added interest to the darkened world that now passed by.

Too quickly, our two hours were over – four train related quizzes with prizes, a beautiful sunset, and rounds of convivial conversation now behind us.

Station lights illuminated our way back to our cars, and we said our goodbyes – some to friends who had traveled from North Carolina to join us.

Sister #3’s eyes shone as she shared that, while she had often ridden in the Metro to downtown D.C., she had never before traveled on a more traditional train – now a dream come true, and as we headed southwards towards home, I marveled that the four of us sisters had now come full circle.

Once, we had been restricted to sitting on our quilt beneath Grandmother’s maple, watching other travelers as they passed. This evening, we had all shared a special train trip together. I couldn’t have written a better ending to our story if I’d tried.

Annie Acorn

A Tired Older Woman: Loses Weight and Keeps It Off! – by Annie Acorn

Also available in print on iTunes and for Nook and Kobo.

Murder With My Darling (Bonnie Lou Mysteries Book 1) – by Annie Acorn

NOTE: Author is NOT responsible for anything the main character says!

Also available in print on iTunes and for Nook and Kobo.

Captain’s Point Stories Box Set – The first box set in the Captain’s Point series.  A romantic women’s fiction/family saga/chicklit series written by Annie Acorn & Juliette Hill writing as Charlotte Kent.

This set contains the first three novels of the Captain’s Point series – A Clue for Adrianna, A Man for Susan and Love’s Journey as well as the Christmas short story A Christmas Kiss.

The set is available on iTunes and for Nook and Kobo.

 

 

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