Monday, November 29, 2010


So Thanksgiving on the railroad had its ups and downs-- as life on the railroad always does. First, our conductor was marked back down to student status a week before Thanksgiving. He didn't mind that at all- more training never hurt anyone. On top of that, he was told, students never work holidays! Cool! We could plan on being together for Thanksgiving. So we went ahead and made plans. He worked right up until the last minute on Wednesday.

Then he came home from work looking stressed. He said that he was taken off of student status and marked back up again, and put on the board for Thanksgiving! It wouldn't have been too bad if we had planned it that way to begin with, but to be told that for sure we'd have a family Thanksgiving and then to have it yanked right out from under us... well, that's another thing.

I was a little upset, but we have to keep things in perspective: We appreciate this job. Lots of people are losing their homes in this economy, and right now the medical insurance is much needed. It would have been nice to have known ahead of time, but this is what we signed up for. This is life on the railroad.

So just when we got all adjusted to not being together for Thanksgiving, and helping the kids to adjust to THAT, our conductor realized that in fact, the extra board was moving very slowly. Not too many people were laying off sick. He might be home after all.

Then again, things might pick up and he might have to work.

So that's what Thanksgiving was like. It's not so much the stress of the schedule, it's the constant not knowing. You have to develop a sort of zen "live in the moment" attitude about family plans.

I'm working on it.

Really, I am.

So we were together for Thanksgiving dinner, and after dinner. I left my in-laws house a little early to get my hubby's uniforms ready, just in case he would need one (in case he got called for commuter service). It's a good thing I did, because I don't know if I would have had time otherwise. The call came just after I had fallen asleep.

Two lessons learned: Never, ever count on the conductor to be there, because he just can't plan on anything. Also, always, always have a spare passenger conductor uniform clean and ready to go- because he won't always get called to freight.

1 comment:

riley25 said...

Railroad wife... I dont know if yo check this anymore, hopefully it will send this comment to your email. I just want to say thank you for your posts (I understand that you have stopped posting a while back, but just reading a few of your posts so far helped me.) I am dating a railroad worker and we have gotten pretty serious and I would love to be married to him, but last night while we were laying there together I couldn't stop thinking "I dont know if I can do this... he works odd hours, when he is home he of couse sleeps alot ( I am sure you know how worn out they get and he works out on the freight in the yards so no fun), of course as I am posting on this post because you dont know if he will get to spend the holiday with you or not) its just rough sometimes. I am thankful for him having a job and I guess that when I got with him and he got a railroad job I did kinda know what we were getting into but its just hard sometimes lately. We were together for 2 years and we were seperated for the last year (God needed us seperated for the moment to become closer to him before we could join in marriage) but within the last few months we have gotten closer again and always felt like we were never seperated (just one of those relationships), but when we broke up he just started rr a few months before so it was training stages (the good hours lol), but now he is full time hard core rr. I dont know sorry for just going on :) I just want to know if you have any tips for me on becoming a railroad wife. I am sure its def. hard a lot of times but any suggestions to that life?

Thanks very much and I hope you have a blessed christmas!!!