Last train out

"Train in the Snow" by Claude Monet Photo curtesy of

A fond memoir I wrote to my kids after raising them 18 years and they finally left home and my wife and I were left with a big, quiet house. Here’s what it was like:
So you’re standing on the platform in the train station, you and a friend, it’s pretty quiet, and then suddenly this express train comes roaring by, like a bullet train, a barreling night train, iron wheels clackering loud on the tracks, echoing against the walls of the station, and the train whistle is wailing and the speed and sheer mass of the train is kicking up this huge wind that billows dust and grit into the air and blows your clothes and hair all over and sends loose papers flying everywhere and you can see the people inside the train talking and reading and walking around, eating, playing cards, and the bells at the crossing gate are clanging and the noise of it all is so loud you have to bring your hands up to your ears, you’re laughing at how loud it is but you hope it doesn’t get any louder. And then without warning the caboose is out of the station and gone, and the train whistle stops blasting and the wind drops down to nothing and the papers settle and the crossing gates go up and the clanging railroad bells turn off and everything is suddenly totally silent, much quieter than it was before the train came through, except for now there’s this distant echo inside your head.
That’s what raising you guys was like. And now the train’s gone.
Stay noisy.
love, dad

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