Sunday, December 17, 2006

Trains, Trains and Planes

My brother wrote: “Then I heard it just as I passed the bathroom door early this morning, a low almost hidden sound of thunder in the distance. Without having to look out the window or at the barometer, I knew there was low pressure. The cloud cover was not too high, but the clouds were heavy and thick and there was no wind at all. It will rain!

“There are no railroad tracks near here; however a main line crosses town a mile away as the crows fly and when I hear the wheels, steel on steel, I do not need the weatherman. You can trust the trains.

“As I managed to open my reluctant left eye and looked out the window, I put my thumbs in my pyjama suspenders and congratulated myself on the great call... it was low clouds, no wind…and I had heard the train.”

When I lived in Gloucester, Mass., we knew which way the wind was blowing, based on how loud the train whistle sounded as it made the crossing downtown. Very loud = southwest. Faint = northeast and watch out for weather.

In South Bend, we were on the approach to the airport. If the planes were loud, it meant we had a good cloud cover and they were under it. If they were landing fairly softly, we knew the sky was clear and it would be a good day.


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