Meals and Memories to Savor

Ruby's, Oceanside, CA
Overlooking the Pacific during lunch

This is my second post about our trip in September via Amtrak.

Going by train was perfect for us in many ways, but there were some drawbacks. Even on a sleeper, sleep can be difficult for some. The sleeper gave us a place to socially distance, but after a time it was good to go sit in the observation car. We appreciated the showers available to sleeper car passengers, tiny though they may have been.

We arrived ahead of schedule in Union Station in LA. Then we boarded the Pacific Surfliner to go South to Oceanside. This is where we met our son and his girlfriend.

This was a visit long overdue. And it was so good to hug them both and be with them in person. Good medicine for the soul.

My son recommended a nice burger place at the end of a pier, and off we went. The air was warm and breezy, the sun bright, the smell of the ocean welcomed us. All that fresh air heightened our appetites

We had spent 2 nights on the train, eating snacks and microwaved meals. It was time for something freshly made and cooked by skilled hands. Ruby’s satisfied our cravings.

What is it that makes food taste so good when you are outdoors?

At Ruby’s we had the best cheeseburgers ever. My husband mentioned it today at our dining room table. In Oceanside we ate, talked, laughed, watched the pigeons who wanted our fries, and enjoyed the company. Someone at our table may have “accidently” dropped some fries.

Oceanside from the pier
Oceanside, California, from the pier

We also enjoyed this view. Living in the heart of Missouri, where corn, soybeans, and cattle are everywhere, it is hard to imagine the vast ocean and sandy beaches. The waves, the sound of the surf, all the people enjoying the sun and water….it was as if we were transported to another world.

Ruby’s. Open for Patio Dining. Our son and girlfriend in the foreground.

Can you bottle that ambiance and bring it home? Sprinkle a little on your own home cooking and get the same result?

I wish.

The gift of hindsight shows me how it all comes together, like a favorite dish made by loving hands. What we bring to it makes the difference.

Anticipation of being present with one another after a long absence. Beautiful scenery. Fresh air. Delicious food. A time dedicated to enjoyment. No one in a hurry or needing to be anywhere else. Ingredients for meals and memories to savor.


In my previous post I showed you images of the train that we were able to ride last Sunday.  You can read more about it here on their website

Sitting in the passenger car, traveling maybe 30 miles an hour, moving through wooded areas and passing the backyards of a small town, we could hear and feel the sounds of that engine, the rhythm of the wheels on the track.  Beyond the windows the world seemed to crawl by.  We could look toward the engine and see the billows of smoke coming from the stack.  And a Conductor came through and punched our tickets.

My daughter was able to enjoy a quiet moment while her husband and son were on another part of the train.  Like her, I’m drawn to the view out the window, the blur of the woods as we glide by, and I wonder….what could be around that bend.

May your day be filled with cool breezes and a moment to relax.

Each image process in Light Room 3.


Safe return

We have returned from a fun weekend trip to Illinois to visit family…including that Grandson.  More photos to come later this week.

And our electricity has returned as well.  We were one of those thousands/millions of people without power due to the strong storms that came through the Midwest on Friday. 

Though it’s nice to connect with you online, it is even more exciting to me that now I can do laundry!



 We loved watching this scene last week on Lake Erie.
Kids taking sailboat rides, but also waiting for the wind to pick up.
Each time I look at this I think of this poem, by
Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1916):
But to every mind there openeth,
A way, and way, and away,
A high soul climbs the highway,
And the low soul gropes the low,
And in between on the misty flats,
The rest drift to and fro.

But to every man there openeth,
A high way and a low,
And every mind decideth,
The way his soul shall go.

One ship sails East,
And another West,
By the self-same winds that blow,
‘Tis the set of the sails
And not the gales,
That tells the way we go.

Like the winds of the sea
Are the waves of time,
As we journey along through life,
‘Tis the set of the soul,
That determines the goal,
And not the calm or the strife.