Thursday, September 22, 2011


I've been retired for about 3 years now. I use to be a conductor the railroad. I loved my job, but it was very hard on my body. I had two shoulder, two elbow and one knee surgery due to working for the railroad. Being a conductor isn't just sitting on a caboose now. I had to ride boxcars, tie and release brakes on boxcares, (which is really hard if you don't have a lot of strength, which I find most women don't) go to wood mills and pick up fully loaded boxcars, and then leave empty boxcars for the mill to fill. I was in excellent shape. I felt like they paid me to exercise. Ha ha. But then there were exceptional days that we'd take our train up to a small town about 100 miles away. We could only go 10 miles per hour because the track was crappy, so it would take us 12 hours to get there. The tracks went along a river, and I'd go sit on the nose of the engine and enjoy the sunshine and wave at everyone floating by in rafts. Usually the engineer and I would change into our shorts, and both sit outside on the engine and sunbathe. I couldn't believe they paid me for doing that job. I finally decided to retire, because I was in my 50s and that was too old for me to be climbing boxcars.
Now I'm out of shape and sit and quilt. Big difference. I live in a very small town, (less than 1,000 people) about a half an hour from the main town (population there is 13,000). I have a Hummer and it eats gas like crazy, so I only go to town maybe twice a week, so I get pretty lonely here. My husband works for the railroad, as a conductor also, and he is on call. He takes trains to other cities and spends a day or two at a hotel there, and then brings a train back home. So I'm home alone a lot of the time.
I don't have many friends. I know people, but not well enough to go have coffee or shop with. I moved here 15 years ago. When I worked at the railroad, it was all men, so I didn't make friends there, (though I liked all the guys fine) and it's hard to make new friends. The closet town I live near has a crappy quilt shop, so I drive an hour away to my favorite shop. I spend a couple hours there talking with the owner. We are friends. I have a female friend who is an engineer at the railroad my husband works for, but she has a new boyfriend so I haven't talked to her in months. I really need to make friends. But I don't know how to do it. I always had friends in high school and college, but out in the real world, I don't know how to make friends.
I stay home every day, except to go grocery shopping, or drive to my quilt shop, so I'm all alone out here. I should find someway to make friends around here. I have friends in my home town, which is over an hour a way, but that's a long way to go have coffee with someone. Anyone have any ideas on how to make friends?
I'm going to go take some pictures of my messy quilting room and then I'll clean it and take more pictures. That'll give me something to do today.


  1. Let's be friends with you! I do not know English. I use a translator. But I began to learn the language. I want to learn it well.

  2. I don't know what advice to give you. You could try sports, charity or some hobbies. It is difficult to make friends in a small place, but when you get them, they are usually for life.
    I, myself rather like my "lonely" evenings and enjoy the peace around me. Of course it is different for me, because I'm still working and have a lot of people around me during daytime, but I do know how difficult it can be to make friends. A long time ago I came to Germany from Finland and believe me; it is difficult to adjust to a strange culture, to speak a foreign language all the time and to find someone you feel comfortable with - but it is possible. Perhaps you should get rid of your Hummer and buy something smaller.