It's hard to think that this scene would be found in Westchester county, NY - but it is. I don't know how to tell you how to get here, but it is near the Granite Springs post office - and the road (hidden in the picture) is marked as a "Scenic Drive", one of the few I've seen in lower New York State.
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I needed this weekend to recuperate from the week at work. My boss told me some true things about my performance that I didn't like hearing (but needed to hear), and it took the whole weekend to recover from the sting. I also needed time to recover from the physical exhaustion that my general work week brings to me. So when GFJ and I decided to take advantage of a nice cool day to go out for a walk on the rail trail, who was I to refuse?
One of the nice things about the rail trail is that it passes through a vertical cross section of Westchester county, and much of the path is through park land. For most people, it's hard to think that less than 50 years ago, that freight traffic once plied the rails which once were on this path. For me, however, I'm one of those people who see an opportunity lost - we could use another active rail line to handle the extra load now handled by the two ex-NYC (New York Central) North-South lines which parallel the Hudson river.
Many people who live in the region do not even know why this line closed down. The "Put", as people called it, ran from the Brewster, NY area, paralleling both Route 100 (roughly), the Saw Mill River Parkway, and then the Major Deegan Expressway until the line ended near Yankee Stadium. The line was not electrified, so passengers couldn't reach Grand Central Station without using a shuttle train. (Another wrinkle to this problem was that the subway stop at this point connected with a stub of the 9th Avenue El, which would only bring a passenger as far as the Polo Grounds. Transport to and from the Sedgewick Avenue station was very inconvenient at best.)
Today, trains originating in Poughkeepsie use diesel-electric engines to reach Grand Central. The same kind of power could have been used to bring passengers into NYC if this equipment had been available in the 1950's. Sadly, this was not the case. And now the line can not be reactivated.
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After our walk, GFJ and I went for lunch, and then visited Lili. It was an interesting conversation, and I learned something - GFJ is uncomfortable around me when I present as Marian. Yet, she also says that I would not be recognized as anyone but Marian when presenting as female. Lili said that she prefers me in Marian mode, and also notices something different about me.
Yes, my goal to spend as much of my time as possible in retirement will be affected by GFJ's presence in my life. But I'll deal with that problem when the time comes. For all I know, she will end up managing the day to day operations of her son's business in another state. He'll likely need someone to manage the properties he's amassing, and she will need both a steady income and a cheap place to live. Again, only time will tell....
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Over the weekend, I heard from someone I never expected to hear from again - the "Cat Lady" from New Jersey that I once dated. She's obviously interested in finding out two things - (1) Am I available? And (2) why did I suddenly disconnect from her? The reality is that the two of us didn't click enough for me to pursue her, she had 3 cats - which triggered my allergies to the extreme, and that I didn't feel that she'd be able to accept my Marian persona.
Would I want to see this lady again? I hate the idea of getting a severe allergic reaction. When I was at Lili's with GFJ, we stayed much longer than planned, and my eyes were itching, my nose was running, and I was developing a nasty sneeze in response to all of the animal dander around the house. Thankfully, this lady's cats were all indoor cats, unlike Lili's menagerie, and I could tell that my allergic reaction was caused by cat dander alone, and not by any other animal that came near Lili....
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On the whole, it was a good weekend. Yes, I had to deal with a "down mood" caused by what happened at work on Friday. But I was feeling good by the time I went to bed Sunday night. And this was the best thing of all....