photo by Sheri Dixon

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Clickety Clack Part One

The sun is setting out of the left side of the train and the clouds reflect it on the right.

We're crossing Holmes Lake, a tiny little blue splat between Marshall and Jefferson TX. Looks funny to see the moving blue orb that is my phone blinking on the iPhone map out in the middle of nowhere- no highway, no road, nothing a car could drive on.

Train tracks are like that sometimes.

Sparky And Gomez are across the aisle- both surfing the web on their phones although Sparky is taking photos with his more than surfing.

We've been to the snack car via the observation car and are pretty well settled into the coach seats for the night- grandmother, mom and very excited 3-ish year old boy in front of us and several young adults in various stages of napping and/or movie watching behind us. The observation car was a melange of older folks playing dominoes at the tables and little kids draped over the lounge chairs.

Other than the train being about an hour late, which is actually pretty on-time for Amtrak, the only snag in our vacation plans thus far was the rental car company calling us while we were eating dinner in Mineola before the train already about 60 miles from home.

They wanted to confirm our reservation and that we needed pick up/drop off at the train station in Sturtevant tomorrow.

Oh. And to be sure I knew that if I want to use my debit card I'll need my most recent pay stub and 2 paid utility bills.

What the hell?

You're telling me this NOW? Less than 24 hours from when I need the car and when I'm 60 miles from home with no way to get that stuff?

Why yes. Yes they are.

Of course I don't need any of that mess if I pay with a credit card instead.

I don't have a credit card.

Joe had taken us to Mineola and started handing me his credit card but she said that as long as the credit card name matches the name of the primary driver, all would be well. He put it back in his wallet in disgust.

I said no worries, we'll just go to an ATM and get cash.

"I'm sorry- we don't accept cash".

What the fuck.

The boys started looking concerned.

"Never fear", I said. "I'll fix it once we get on the train".

Here's what I found out.

Yes, it IS Enterprise's policy but boy they sure are sorry whoever booked the car didn't mention that to me. Too bad they can't help with that. The funny part is that we've rented from Enterprise- recently- and paid with this self-same debit card without issue. Weird, but ultimately unhelpful.

According to the websites, both Avis and Hertz WILL accept my debit card without the bullshit idiocy restrictive rules of Enterprise.

Both open up at 7:30 tomorrow morning and by 8am I should have us a car.

So just a minor glitch. Nothing to fret about.

I know the world is going to hell. My heart is heavy with the current events of the last few days here in Texas and in Florida.

But right now the train is clacking and creaking, rocking along gently; the world's largest cradle. The scenery outside has gone from dusky to navy to turned off for the night. The whistle's blowing and the boys are settling in. I got 4 hours sleep last night and the reclining seat sure is comfortable.

I'll fix our rental car situation tomorrow. Sometimes all I can fix is what's right in front of me.

Sometimes that's all anyone can do.

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