I’m watching the rusty blush of Hudson valley leaf cover and brush fly past the train window. I learned decades ago that sitting backwards is supposed to minimize motion sickness—is this even true? 

The russet is punctuated by straw yellow reeds, at the water’s edge, with even paler pampas-looking feathery clumps. The muddy lake water reflects the slate sky. Ocassional geese paddle against the wind.  

Im going to have to pay $200 in parking fees to get my car back next month. I’m an idiot and didn’t verify the myth of free parking that I’d heard from a colleague. Maybe she knows a guy. Maybe she delights in imagining our horrified faces pinching up in disbelief after the two hour drive. Maybe she’s thinking of some other train station, somewhere else altogether. Two hundred. This is when I like to say, “If that’s the worst thing that happens…”  

What color can best describe all these bare trees? It’s a brownish grayish light umber, perhaps, bleached trunks stippling into the sky like a kind of fur. 

How could you not love taking the train?  The rattle, the sway, the three reports from the engine car at each crossing. My car is not the “quiet car,” but I’m blissed out over its incidental hush.

The drive to Albany started out all freezing rain and slick roads. I was stuck behind a snow plow for some excruciating number of miles. The thruway was a vision of black, ice-free asphalt, when it appeared. I was never so happy to pay a toll. 

Poughkeepsie station. Few board, and we rumble away.  

Tonight, I’ll be among friends. I sure hope there will be somewhere in NYC to see Christmas lights. 

Just taking notes.  

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