Sunday last I boarded the train in Sacramento and rode three hours to my destination in San Jose. Certainly I’ve been on trains before, but it’s been a while. I’d forgotten what a nice mode of transportation train travel can be. Rolling along the tracks lulled by the gentle rocking of the cars. It was a nice break from driving. I have made the trip back and forth by car so many times over the years I could set the car on autopilot and like a drunk cowboy’s horse it would make its way back to the bunk house. I entertained myself reading and watching the scenery change outside my window. So much graffiti painted on the backs of buildings and abandoned vehicles. Some of the backstreet artwork was absolutely amazing. New faces came and went as original riders got off and new ones boarded at the various stops we made. Many wandering the cars were wearing green baseball jerseys with players names across the back. The A’s had a scheduled game. Half the train emptied when we pulled into Oakland. One kid found me unbearably interesting. I believe he was around eleven. He’d show up in the seat across from me and announce “I’m here again”. Kind of sweet.
The beginning of the trip did not bode well for the rest of it. Somehow I got the idea my train was leaving the station around noon. This departure time in mind, I allowed for the hour’s travel to the station, plus time to walk to the loading platform. Not familiar with downtown Sacramento, and never having been to the station before we planned to lean on the GPS to get us there. Rick has absolutely no sense of direction. The man could get lost navigating from the pantry to the kitchen. As for me, I have an innate directional indicator. However, if I’ve never been to a location before it can’t be depended on to be entirely accurate. Around 7:45, thinking I had all the time in the world, I sat down to enjoy a cup of coffee and peruse the newspaper. Rick was still fighting dragons in his dreams. Looking at my tickets sitting on the table, the numbers 9:15 a.m. jumped up off the page at me. Whoops. Fortunately my makeup was on and my hair done. Dressed in exercise shorts, and a tee-shirt I ran into the bedroom and literally dragged the sleeping Rick out of bed. Explaining the situation, I urged him to get dressed while pulling clothes on myself. Sitting and standing concurrently we looked like two drunks playing musical chairs. Grabbing my duffel bag and carry on bag on my way out, we hopped in the car. The duffel bag felt unusually light. Later I was to find this was due to the fact I’d forgotten to grab the small pile of clothes I was planning to wear while away. Sigh. With me everything doesn’t always go as planned. It would be a pleasant surprise for Rick I’m sure, if for once it would.
Without coffee, Rick’s Prince Charming card can find itself in serious jeopardy of being revoked. That morning so far was not shaping up to put a smile on his face. It was a relatively one-sided conversation going down the hill. I chattered. He drove along probably quietly devising sinister ways to push me out the car door without spending his remaining years in incarceration.
Arriving in Sacramento, the GPS announced our final turnoff. The street took us on a ride across the American River along the I Bridge. Cool. As lovely as it was it was not unfortunately the correct way to go. Pretty nonetheless. I found this slightly amusing. Rick had to search a bit deeper to find the humor. If life gives you lemons, make lemonade, I say. However, I did not say this out loud. After one u-turn and another incorrect turn back over the bridge we went. Looking out the window I tried not to smile. Sometimes when I’m nervous I can’t help myself. Icicles had actually begun to form on the tip of my nose from the chill wafting across from the driver’s side of the car. Finally the GPS said “right turn”. This time we had the right turn but again, unfortunately, we cut the turn a bit tight. I say we figuratively, for actually I was not driving. Did not feel that was the time to point this out this either, but I’m just saying. The rim of the right front tire scraped loudly along the cement. Oh-oh.
By the time I was dropped off at the station frostbite had set in. Rick just kept repeating, “now I understand”. I’m glad he understood because I had no idea what he was referring to. Somehow I felt it had something to do with women in general, but I didn’t think that was the time to dig further for answers.
The parking lot was full so we said hasty goodbyes exchanging a kiss so cool it nearly cemented our lips together like skin when it contacts a frozen surface. By the time the train pulled out of the station Rick had finished his first cup of coffee and called to wish me a safe trip. As it turned out I was to wear the same clothes for three days until I brought my Mother and her roommate back on the train, but life was good. Rick on the other hand got half way home before the “tire pressure is low” indicator came on. Being Sunday, naturally no tire stores were open. One emergency road call and a spare in place he made it home. If life gives you lemons. Oh, never mind.
I posted this delicious pie recipe last year. A technical mystery has erased it from my history. Recently I was asked by several people for the recipe so I thought I’d post it yet again to have it available. It is a never fail recipe with a little elbow grease involved but more than well worth the effort. Don’t believe I’ve ever served it to company without having someone request the recipe.
2 pie crusts
9 Granny Smith apples, sliced thin
14 thin strips of ripe cheddar cheese
1/2 cup butter
3 Tbsp. flour
1/4 cup cold water
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Slice apples in piles of three apples each.
Place one pie crust in bottom of deep dish pie dish. Forming a circle rotate around piling apples one on top of the other. Take 1/2 of the cheese slices and form a ring in the middle of the apples.
Repeat with apple layer, then cheese layer, then apple layer.
Place the other crust on flat surface. Cut into 3/4″ strips. Layer half the strips across one way and then the remaining strips back across them the opposite way leaving space in between like in a lattice. Crimp the edges together.
Pour over top of pie being careful not to drool over sides.
Bake for 15 mins. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and continue cooking for 40 mins. until golden brown. Cool on wire rack.