Trains, planes and automobiles...A holiday train brings back memories...

We run outside each time we see the Tas Rail train coming, hoping its the one with the Christmas light.
The frequent research we regularly conduct, required for various forms of transportation from location to location, has made us keenly aware and curious when we spot a train clanking along the tracks, a ship at a distance out to sea or an airplane overhead taking off from a nearby airport.

Transportation of many types include rental cars, (often for a three month contract), cruises, flights, taxi fares, an occasional ferry or an excursion on a bus.  Researching and utilizing these means of travel adds considerable time and effort as we arrange, coordinate and expense as part of our overall world travel plan.

Tom has counted the train cars for a maximum of 17 doubles/two packs or 34 car lengths.  All he's seen to date is containers/cans but no box cars.
Shortly after we arrived in Penguin, Tasmania nine days ago, one of the first things we noticed was the fact that our vacation rental located across the street from the beach also included a passing train several times each day.

After over 42 years of "working on the railroad" Tom's curiosity was peaked while I watched it pass in a state of wonder and awe.  Who doesn't enjoy seeing a train pass, especially when not tied up in traffic at a crossing?

The Tas Rail track is a narrow gauge, 3' feet, 6 inches (1,067 mm) which is smaller than many tracks throughout the world.
Carefully observing its comings and goings, it appears it passes three times a day and once during the night.  Neither of us are bothered during the night by the close proximity and have only happened to hear it when we're already awake.

On a few occasions in these past nine days, we noticed a train's locomotive passing adorned in twinkling Christmas lights.  We keep trying to get a photo of this.  By the time we hear the whistle, grab the camera and head outdoors, its already passed.  I must add we're more than a little determined in capturing the photo.  Why?  I don't know.  Maybe it just a Christmas thing.

We've enjoyed watching the train "heading round the bend."
Long ago, when we decided to travel the world, there were many changes we had to make to accommodate this unusual lifestyle, a life without a home.  This included no longer having a Christmas tree, giving each other gifts and sending Christmas cards.

Based on our way of eating for both health and weight maintenance (we can't head to the guest room closet to pull out clothing one size larger nor can we risk not fitting into our current minimal wardrobe), we no longer bake holiday treats, sharing them with family and friends while we snack on a fair share of our own. 

Tom says that most trains no longer have a traditional caboose, instead using what is called a FRED (freight rear end device).
For years, I made dog treats as gifts in the shapes of dog bones and terriers including batches for our own furry beasts.  No longer do we/can we have a dog to call our own.  We left that option behind long ago.

Although we left all of these and more holiday traditions in the past, we still feel the holiday spirit in our hearts.  It doesn't take a lighted tree with a plethora of beautifully wrapped gifts beneath, a stack of received cards or the smell of Christmas cookies baking in the oven to instill the holiday spirit within us.

The Penguin depot is no longer used for the trains instead its utilized as an event venue.
Perhaps the appearance of the lighted train for us, is like a visit from Santa or a reminder of times past which we'll always treasure; times we spent with our loved ones, celebrations we had with our friends. 

Do we have any regrets during this time of the year?  None...none at all.  We haven't lost our connection with the meaning of Christmas nor other holidays throughout the year. 

The day we picked up the Tasmanian rental car that silly flappy storage piece was broken.  We took a dated photo in the event the car rental company blames us for this.  These things always seem to fall apart.  What's the deal?  All of our luggage is shown in this photo except for two medium sized (carry on) wheeling duffel bags.
For us, every day is a celebration, a holiday in this life we've chosen, a gift we never fail to appreciate, a gift which remains in our hearts and minds in childlike wonder.  Who we are, whom we love and who we'll become in years to come travels well. 

As for the lighted train...we'll be watching and joyfully sharing the photo. 

Happy holidays to those who celebrate this season and happy life to all!

Photo from one year ago today, December 13, 2015:
The sun was already behind this hill when we arrived at the Uprising Restaurant in Pacific Harbour, Fiji but the colors remained long enough for a few shots.  For more details, please click here.


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