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December 10, 2017
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November 22, 2016

Well, I was hoping by the Friday after the election, things would return to normal in the third car of the 5:07 a.m. out of Port Jervis; silly me. It had been a slow boil to Tuesday’s election and the car had been clearly divided by party lines. Democrats occupied the front half of the car and Republicans in the rear, conductors dare not reveal their politics for fear of being mobbed by one half or another. These last 18 long months have brought a boisterous din to the car, which has only grown louder as the campaign waged on. Husbands and wives were split by this choosing to sit with their fellows rather than their loved ones.

The train was empty on Election Day; I assumed a lot of people stayed home to vote. To be fair some may have caught a later train or left early from work since the evening commute was just as sparse. I was just glad to have some relief from the din. Here it is the Friday after the election, everyone is back and the din has returned. The dictionary defines “din” two ways; as a verb: to make someone learn or remember something by constant repetition. Or as a noun: a loud, unpleasant and prolonged noise, as it was this day. The election being done and the time for persuasions over, this was clearly the noun taking over. This was clearly a loud, unpleasant and prolonged noise. There were no morning naps for quite some time in these past few months.

Thankfully this is now the week before Thanksgiving! Minds and hearts turn to planning menus and travel itineries. The train car is full of talk about the upcoming holiday, and for a while the weary commuters can catch up on their naps.

Soon our college students will be home from school, raiding the fridge, blasting the heat in the house, leaving a mess in every corner they visit. Ah, it is great to have them home and the house to be back to normal once more, until Turkey Day when the din will return as the debate continues with various family and friends. This year we have a spoiler planned to quiet some of the din.

As the smells emanate from the kitchen, at our holiday dinner table there will be something new, two empty chairs. Each will have its own place setting laid out prim and proper; in front of each place setting will be a card. One card will list all the female members of the family no longer here to help us celebrate; they will be gone but not forgotten. The other will list the male members we also miss so dearly. This sobering touch may bring back some of the reason we celebrate and a reason to get along.