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Train trip gives her time to think of repetition

July 1, 2012
Messenger News

An awful habit plagues me, but I'm quite sure it exists.

When I tell anyone something I think is important, I almost always tell her twice. Or him. It matters little, man or woman, I repeat myself just the same. Just the same.

OK, I did that on purpose, but you get the idea.

Whenever my friend Dawn is home from the Army and we drive along Fifth Avenue South, I invariably point out where my grandparents lived. One house remains; the other is gone. A hill the missing house sat on also is gone.

Out along D14, a former classmate, Judy Musselman, lives in the home where Sarah Sutton had her doctor's office. Every time I drive past there with my sister, I tell her that.

Both women know these things, but I keep repeating the knowledge. It just happens. I like to share, to include people in my life.

On my recent vacation in Denver with my daughter, I slipped into the habit of repeating myself, and this wasn't just telling someone where someone else lived. Hearing myself repeating information actually bothered me, but I could not break the habit.

A 12-hour train trip gives you time to think, and one of the things I thought about happened to be this puzzling habit of repeating myself. I had to think about something because I finished reading my book way too early in the trip. Reading kept me from going crazy in the Denver terminal when the train was three hours late.

To be charitable to Amtrak, however, there was good reason. A heat-twisted railroad tie, noticed by an employee for a freight train, had to be replaced before the freight or Amtrak could get out of the mountains. Thus the wait. I read, but those three hours of reading at the terminal severely shortened my reading time on the train.

Now I'm rambling, another bad habit. Or so I've been told.

I chose a lower level car on the train, and from Denver to Osceola, with the exception of a Hastings-to-Lincoln spat in Nebraska, I rode alone in that car. I felt like a queen in her carriage, except they couldn't shut the door because air conditioning wasn't conditioning anything.

I didn't go quietly into that good night, though. Even with no one to talk to, I talked. Occasionally, someone peeked into the car on his way to the bathroom, but never seemed inclined to enter the conversation.

I tried to tell them I'd not been banished to my own car for excessive chatter, but no one wanted to hear the story. For hours I told anyone who passed that I had chosen to be in that car. Nothing. No reaction. It's no wonder I repeated myself.

All this thinking about repetition has convinced me it's not my fault. If people would listen to me, would respond, I wouldn't have to repeat myself. It's as simple as that. No one listens to me. No one. It's not me being paranoid. No, not paranoid. No, I'm not paranoid. Hun-un.

Even if I do repeat myself.

So long friends, until the next time when we're together.

Sandy Mickelson, retired lifestyle editor of The Messenger, may be reached at



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