It was lovely. Lots of trees, nicely paved, signs, and on a Sunday afternoon in Dallas in July, blazing hot.
Not far along the path, there is a side that has a train track running next to it. There were some railway cars on the tracks and I saw a red one in the line.
On the way back by, I went around the fence and walked up to take a photo. (Yes, I went around the fence and felt incredibly rebellious. However, there wasn't a sign telling you not to go up. So I didn't feel that disobedient!)
As soon as I saw it, it brought back many memories from my kidhood.
Do any of you remember reading the Boxcar Children books????? Remember, the orphan children who find the abandoned boxcar and make it there home until their long-lost rich grandpa rescues them? There are over 100 books in the series. My logical, sequential side always wanted to read all of them in order, but when you check them out of the library, you read whatever is available in the moment. Hannah and I would constantly check them out and read them. Good memories.
The first book in the series was always my favorite. It appealed to my sense of adventure, survival, eating wild berries, and taking a little space and making it a home. Sort of that Swiss Family Robinson and Treasure Island kind of adventure and thrill.
No, I didn't go peer inside, though it did cross my mind. No, I've never lived in a boxcar (though I did teach in a shipping container for 3 years and that is as close as I've gotten). BUT it reminded me of the way the Alden children made the boxcar their home. They had a little vase with flowers and found what they could to make do and make it cozy. Moving into a new place where someone is already living is something I haven't done in 6 years. Yes, I've switched apartments, but have either moved in with someone at the same time or been the one receiving a new occupant. It's different showing up and having a room to unpack and make feel like home.
Regardless of where the location is, there is a comfort in having a place to rest and come to at night. There is a familiarity in having a few things that are familiar to make it seem personal.
And it's a reminder that ultimately all of this is incredibly temporal. One day, all of this will be left behind - the cozy snuggle blanket, the pretty clock from sister, the beautiful bowl from North Africa, the photos, etc. One day, the eternal home will be opened up. No more goodbyes or transitions, but lots of hellos and reunions. And lots of worship.
So I'm thankful not to live in a boxcar. But I'm more thankful for what's to come.