Healing on the California Zephyr

“O ttumwa, Iowa, Ottumwa, Iowa…it’s a smoke stop. If you got ’em, smoke ‘em!” The train conductor’s voice crows over the old speaker system. His mustache, his hat, his demeanor, his voice, and his words throw me back to countless nights cuddling my kiddos while watching the conductor on “Polar Express”. The likeness is uncanny. Tossing my carry-on bag into the cubby above my seat, I make my way to the observation deck to catch the…

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