Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Train Station - A Thanksgiving Story

She had to admit the snow was beautiful, falling down quietly around her as she stepped out onto the platform of the train station, pulling her red wool scarf tightly around her neck and matching hat down closer around her ears. Emily Grayson held out a mittened hand and let the fresh white powder collect in her palm. Daylight was giving way to darkness, peacefulness falling down around her in white snowflakes from the nighttime sky.

It was only supposed to be a couple hour train ride to her family’s farm in Vermont, but they were forced to stop midway through the trip, with so much snow collecting on the tracks it was impossible to go any further. They were grounded at a tiny train station in the town of No Where, Unincorporated.

She wished that she were enjoying the scenery of the snowfall at her parent’s home tucked under one of the fluffy blankets her mom kept on hand for such a time as this. She wished she had her hands curled around a hot mug of her mother’s cocoa and breathing in the deep aroma of holiday pies baking in the oven, their sweet scent filling the air, not sitting in a train station in No Where, what kind of name was that for a town anyway? She thought to herself.

The large doors leading inside the station boasted an impressive shade of red, the hardwood floors creaked beneath her feet and the wooden benches stained in deep mahogany reminded her of the church she and her family used to attend when she was a child. Her journal clutched to her chest, her words only audible to God, “Really Father? You had to pick today for the first big snowfall of the season, You couldn’t have waited until tomorrow?”

 Going back inside and taking her place on the bench where she had stowed her overnight bag underneath, she felt the eyes on her, she was only able to look into them for a second, they were deep and dark with nothing but deadness behind them that seemed to go on forever, those eyes would forever be burned into her memory.  He was just a boy maybe eleven or twelve, his legs stretched out before him, his arms angrily folded across his chest, Emily wondered what a boy so young was doing sitting in a train station by himself on Thanksgiving during a snow storm.

10 Years Later

 Summer break was over and classes had been underway for a few weeks, Erica was sitting in the front row of the lecture hall during her college English class her focus on Professor Grayson, certain she was the one, it had to be her.  Erica had been praying for years that she would see her again, the girl from the train station, the only person to ever look at her, really look at her.  The girl was a woman now but Erica would never forgot her.

When class was dismissed Erica slowly walked up the large handsome cherry wood table Ms. Grayson often sat on while teaching her class.  Pulling the burgundy leather Bible with the black satin ribbon dangling from the pages from her book bag she held it out in Emily’s direction.  

“Ms. Grayson, I think this belongs to you.”

Emily took the Bible in her hands, not recognizing it at first but it looked strikingly similar to the one she used to have, but lost many years ago. Opening the front cover Emily immediately recognized the scripture written in her mother’s handwriting, looking at the young girl standing in front of her, Emily was silently searching, pleading for answers.

“I took this from your bag 10 years ago at the train station in No Where, during the snow storm.”

Not recognizing the girl standing before her Emily looked into Erica’s eyes, she remembered those eyes, hauntingly dark, sadness so deep it seemed to run on forever, she never forgot those eyes, they were the same eyes she was looking into now, except the deadness, the loneliness, the fear that she saw in them so long ago was gone and replaced with light, bright dancing light.

It was all coming back to her now, “I do remember” Emily’s voice a whisper and pleading confusion, “but it was a boy not a girl that night.”

"Ms. Grayson" saying it more like a question than a statement, “My father passed away before I was born and my mom never got over losing him so she dulled the pain with alcohol. She had just gone into rehab for the fifth time, I was staying with a foster family and I couldn’t live there with them anymore so I tucked my hair under a hat, put on some of my foster brothers clothes and ran away, I was going to jump in front of that train you were on, but it was snowing so hard and I was late getting there…” her voice trailing off.

“When you got up and walked outside onto the platform I went through your bag looking for money, I was just so hungry, but I pulled out this Bible instead and then you came back inside, I didn’t expect you to come back so soon, and I didn’t have time to put it back so I kept it. I didn’t really want anything to do with God or this Bible but I just kept reading the scripture written on the inside cover.  The next couple of years were rough and it took a long time but eventually I gave my life to Christ, and so did my mom, she has been sober for eight years now.”

Emily stood there silently, stunned not knowing how to respond to everything she just heard. Finally placing a hand on the girl’s shoulder, “I think you should keep it Erica, and pass it along to someone who needs it”, pressing the Bible back into the girl’s hands.

“Thank you Ms. Grayson I will make sure it finds a good home, oh and one more thing”, the excitement in her voice rising. “My mom goes to college here too, we are getting our education together, I would love for you to meet her sometime” late for her next class Erica gave Emily a quick wave as she bounced up the stairs two at a time.

Emily waved back a smile spread across her face.

Erica and her mom Natalie spent Thanksgiving at the Grayson farm that year, and every year after that, on their way passing through the same train station where Emily and Erica first met. A few years later the entire Grayson clan was on hand cheering and clapping as Erica and Natalie Montgomery walked across the stage to collect their diplomas.

The Train Station, No Where, Unincorporated - Present Day

The legend of the Bible is a closely guarded secret among those who know about it. No one knows the mystery of where it comes from and no one ever speaks of it outside the walls of the train station, but every year at Thanksgiving for as long as anyone can remember the Bible shows up on the same bench and every year visitors from Thanksgivings past come from all around to give Thanks, some preferring to stay in the shadows, while others come with picnic baskets in tow filled with turkey and stuffing and mashed potatoes to share with old friends and new ones alike.

She walked through the door, very thin her eyes sunk deep into her face, gazing about the room as if she didn’t see anyone, Jane Emerson sunk her whole body into the wooden bench as if she were trying to disappear into it. They watched as tears slipped down her face while the snow outside slipped from the darkened night sky. Jane was replaying the events of that horrible day two months before in her head. It had been raining hard and her husband was late getting home from work. Jane was starting to worry when she heard the car pull up outside, running to the front door and swinging it open, it wasn’t her husband’s car, but a police car, with two policemen walking up to the front porch, rain gear protecting their uniforms, the words swirled around her, foggy, muffled, barely hearing them.

An accident

No survivors

Jane’s husband was gone and she spent the next two months crumpled on the floor, and finally unable to take the pain and loneliness anymore, Jane found herself in the train station in No Where, Unincorporated that Thanksgiving night  like so many others had before her, intent to step off the platform and into the path of a whistling locomotive.

She heard the cheerful laughter coming from the tables decorated with brightly colored table clothes and cornucopia’s that were set up throughout the station, what a dumb place to eat Thanksgiving dinner Jane thought to herself hearing the whistle blow alerting everyone that a train was coming.  Placing both hands on either side of her she pushed herself up off the bench and felt something underneath her hand, wrapping her fingers around it she picked it up and craddled the very well-worn burgundy leather cover and a black satin ribbon dangling from the pages in her hands, Jane opened the front cover and read the scripture handwritten on the inside cover, realizing it wasn’t just a book, it was a Bible.

Gus, a tall man somewhere is his thirties who had visited the train station just the year before after loosing his job, got up from his seat at the table and gently placed a blanket around Jane’s shoulders and a hand on her arm, Miss please come sit down we would love it if you would share this Thanksgiving meal with us, sweeping an arm in a wide circle across the table, with that everyone at the rose from their chairs and surrounded Jane, pulling her to the table and filling her a plate full with turkey, mashed potatoes and stuffing, it was the first time Jane remembers eating in months.

One by one the visitors of Thanksgivings past that had been milling around in the shadows wrapped their heavy coats tightly around themselves, heads nodding to each other in acknowledgment and sly smiles exchanged between them knowing the blessing of the exchange they had just witnessed, and quietly they headed towards the door on their way to spend Thanksgiving with their families, remembering when it was them.

Isaiah 40:29-31
He give strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.  Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men will stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings on like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

This will be my last post until after the holiday

Blessings and Happy Thanksgiving.

Disclaimer:  This is not a true story, at least not to my knowledge, I totally made it up.


  1. This is beautiful! I found myself lost in the story:) Thank you for sharing this and Happy Thanksgiving to you! Love getting to know your heart sweet friend!

  2. Hi Kandi ~ Wow, this is a beautiful story! I loved it. God's love is truly amazing and our hope is in HIM. Isaiah 40:29-31 is one of my favorite passages. Thank you for stopping by commenting on mine. I appreciate the prayers.
    Have a great Thanksgiving!

  3. It might not be true...but it certainly could be...God is GREAT. Have a beautiful Thanksgiving Kandi!

  4. Kandi, this story is beautiful! Like Kelli said, I got lost in the story. That's the sign of good writing. ;) I love the scripture in Isaiah too.

    Happy Thanksgiving, my sweet friend!

  5. What a beautiful and powerful story you've woven here Kandi. Thank you so much for sharing your heart, and your vision with us!

    Have a Blessed Day, and a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  6. Kandi,

    What a beautiful "Thanksgiving" piece of writing; you have such a wonderful gift of writing to share! This story was a blessing and a delight to read. :)

    Have a joyful and blessed Thanksgiving Kandi!
    Higs and blessings,

  7. This is a wonderful story, Kandi. I love the description--you put right in the train station. I could almost smell the old wood, the diesel fumes, the stale cigarettes. Wow!
    Thank you for your prayers for my Uncle Butch. They mean a lot.
    Have a blessed Thanksgiving!
    Pam from

  8. I read this story a couple days ago... Sunday. I clicked back over today to see if you had anything new and noticed I didn't leave you some love!!! I hope you know how much you encourage me.

    Thank You for Kandi and the passion You burn in her heart. I want to ask that she know how much she is loved. I lift her up in prayer for protection, peace, and joy. Allow Your children to continue to be bold for You. Continue to put lost souls on her path. Continue to minister to the broken through her. Use us, Lord, Your willing servants! Touch the lives of those that find their eyes on this and other godly posts that proclaim Your victory through Your son, Jesus Christ!!!

    In His Holy Name,

  9. Kandi, I love your writings. There are so many things to learn from them and they certainly keep a person interested and wanting to read more. The Lord has sure given you a gift for writing.

    It is great to be back even though I am not writing everyday.

    Blessings to you always, Kandi.