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Memoir,  New Orleans,  Non-fiction,  Photography,  Tourist,  Traveling,  Uncategorized

A train ride back to New Orleans: They built it, traveled on it and now me

Let’s go in

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​As I walked through the door of the train station, the smell of life of once was, hit me in the face. It was a pleasant woody loving smell.

The Hammond Depot Station, well the railway was established in 1854. The actual station opened in 1912 and was  renovated in 2008, but they made sure not to change much. The building itself is still the same structure; the old handmade wood benches sit in their same spots and the ticket counter had a worker behind it that looked like he could would pop up at any moment to say “All Aboard!”

 

The smell overcame me to the point I had to sit down to let it all soak in. It felt like I slipped into a time of hope, mixed with worry and uncertainty of the unknown, but the courage of knowing anything can be overcame.

I felt a sense that something would be waiting for me, something wonderful, like a beautifully designed life wrapped shinny paper with a big bow!


Its like someone deep within the very being of my very soul said “get on the train and BE, let go of the fear of your thoughts of what can’t be and BE “. I felt a Light guiding me towards, not only, attaining my ultimate level in life, but being it, enjoying it, celebrating it.

Here it comes!!!
It doesn’t feel like I’m going up the road, back to New Orleans, which is only an hour away. It feels like I’m going a journey to live life, enjoy every piece of it and the people in it. Living it unafraid, expecting a mountain to conquer, a bridge to cross and the courage to discover what I was thought was impossible …

Nice roomy seats, there’s sleeping rooms as well

I have no choice, but to do it, because without even knowing who, someone before me did it and made a way for me to continue down this road of life.

A time not so long ago

My ancestors made it so that I can buy a ticket online without showing who I am, it doesn’t matter if I was male, female or the color of my skin. I can simply go to this same old station of forgotten hard times, show my ticket and sit where I please..

Just like that I can do Me in ease, because of those who came before  fought a great fight just for me…Nola Chic

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Looks like you can jump right on the clouds from the levee and walk the clouds to the sky

This was my 1st train ride, honestly I put it off each time I go out there, because it takes 2hrs to get to New Orleans, which is only an hour ride even by train.. I called to find out why it takes 2hrs instead of the one and found it was, because the train decreases speed when it enters the city. I couldn’t imagine sitting on a fast train envisioning bikes or people walking pass us by.. Either way I already had the $16 ticket, which is a great deal, so there I was entering the stations parking lot. I couldn’t believe it, I was thinking where is the rest of it. I was in Hammond, which is a small slow laid back town, so yup this is it. I got out the door, stepped back, took my glasses off and smiled for some unknown reason. Thinking what we do for love. I spent time with my boyfriend now its time to go back home to my babies. It’s my niece’s 6th bday!
Do I need to say this was a life changing priceless train ride…

My Nola Girls

My sweetheart and I

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Native of New Orleans, who endured 20yrs cruel Minnesota Cold, I decided at 42yrs old it was time to pack up my then 6yr old and come back to my roots. I am all things that would challenge the belief of growing up in New Orleans. I was a 16yr old teen mother of a preterm 2lb baby girl born with a disability. With the help of my mother who had her own struggles. We survived the obstacles laid before us. I'm the proud mother of three children with two failed adoptions, as well as a grandmother of three, two grandsons and a granddaughter. I survived two abusive marriages. I successfully ran a soulfood restaurant and catering company in Minnesota for 12 years. I started creating custom cakes after the murder of my beloved cousin Melvin Paul.  He survived Katrina only to go to Minneapolis six months later to be murdered over a parking spot dispute.  I put my all into my cake business over the years as House of Cakes was started right out of my house in honor of him. I thought by having the big house on the hill, a husband, having a family, foster/adoptive mother at that, being involved in all things that matter, plus having the funds to match would cure me in a sense; but most of it poisoned my heart and soul. I had a broken heart and I felt deep down the only way to repair it was to get back to my roots, my soul, my home,  myself, my New Orleans. I'm here and I'm loving it. Even being in the so called Blighted Area of New Orleans and not having all the financial and material security, I'm happy. I am determined that She, yes New Orleans is a woman is just like me; together we will overcome and will rise from all that tried to kill our spirit. Nothing like starting from the bottom and making your way back up! I'm down in the boot, but I know I have a nice floppy hat awaiting my destiny...

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