Saturday, September 16, 2006

A last look back

Now that I'm now living in Florida I thought I give you all one last look back at West Virginia. From May of 2004 I called the Mountaineer State my home, and in that time I've learned a lot about myself, better ways to do things and not only that I've learned to excel in my new career. I also made several new friends who I'll miss, but I think they all understand that this is my time to expand my horizons and be a better Ranger Tom. I'll miss the guys at the Athens Fire Department, some of the best guys I've ever had the pleasure to serve with. I'll miss Kat Woman, a great friend. We had some great morning chats to commiserate over out jobs. But they all know I had to move on because even though West Virginia was perfect for me in the short term, to really get what I needed I had to be flexible enough to be able to move anywhere. That said, my life would be far less without them in it, even for the short time I was there. So now I'm in Florida but there's several options open to me, so I may be on the other side of the country by this time next year. Soon I'll be settling down because I really do need roots, but for now I'm still a rolling stone.
I'll miss scenes like this... A small stream running through the woods on a mountain side...
I'll miss my ballast regulator... Well, sort of.
It was a beast, wasn't it?
A job well done. A perfectly regulated section of track. I was good, wasn't I?
And I'll miss the little critters I'd see at work along the tracks... Here's two little guys I literally had to stop my machine, get off, pick them up and move off the tracks in order not to run over them.
But, with all the good in West Virginia, there was some pains in the ass... There is no strait, flat roads in the Mountaineer State...
Copyright 2006 Thomas J Wolfenden

16 comments:

Kat_womanx2 said...

It was a pleasure to have met you, and an honor to know you. You know I wish you all the best..wherever you may land in life. We did have some fun talks huh?

I was coerced into taking the entrance test for the EMT-I program this morning. Some "higher-ups" felt that I was a good candidate for their ALS program and basically cornered me and bullied me into it with compliments. However, not having the month to prepare for it...and only 2 days to look over the study guide...and then running 22 out of 24 hours yesterday with 40 minutes sleep last night, I don't feel I was able to give it my absolute best shot...I guess we'll see what happens...I did enroll earlier in the day, before I was coerced (LOL), into an online technical program for amimal care specialist. It would be my dream to work in a vet's office with animals....so if I don't make it into the "I" program it may be a blessing...I really don't see how I can do both at the same time. "I" is 10 weeks, m-f 10 hours a day of school...being pulled off the truck and paid 40 hrs a week to learn. The other is an online map course I can do at my leisure, to be completed in 6-12 months depending on me....LOL...but anyway glad things are going well for you!!

Red said...

That stream shot is gorgeous!!

It must be nice to have lived so many different places..

Fathairybastard said...

Looks very nice. I bet you'll miss it. What sort of machine is that?

Bev said...

Aren't you sweet, you 'coon lover you.

Ranger Tom said...

Kat: Haven't I been telling you to take the Paramedic class for how long??? And if that doesn't work out the whole vet's office thing you would so fit into. Good luck with either, let me know how it goes!

Red: I feel like that Johnny Cash song sometimes... "I've been everywhere" I've lived in Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, Georgia, Panama, Germany, Arizona, West Viginia and now Florida with a bunch of other places I've visited in between... It's been a great experience.

Fathairybastard: The machine in the picture is what I operated. It's a railroad ballast regulator. Sort of a bull dozer for the railroad and I used to call it the "Zamboni" of the rails...

Bev: I'm a sucker for any baby animals...

Lisa said...

Wow. The photos are amazing. The countryside is beautiful.

The Ramblin Hillbilly said...

Hey RT I finally had a little time to get a small post up. Hope your having fun in sunny Florida, We'll all miss ya around here.

Your bud

The Ramblin Hillbilly

AlaskaJen said...

The baby racoons are now happy living their little baby racoons lives thanks to you!

I'm really proud of you for being willing to go after your dreams and being willing to take some risks along the way.

This Thanksgiving you and I both will have LOTS to be thankful for!

Cheryl said...

It looks beautiful, but I am sure Florida is going well for you.

cmk said...

The pics--well, except for the last one--look SO much like it does here in the Great White North! Hope you don't miss it too much--but, then, there is something to be said for no snow, right? Enjoy your new home.

Carolyn said...

I doubt you'll miss WV in the winter months. But come summer.. good luck w/the new job :)

Crazy Me said...

Such beautiful pictures.

Jay said...

New places are exciting too, though, aren't they? I move around a fair bit, but I like collecting new experiences...and what better way to find out where you'd like to eventually settle?

Dirk said...

There is no strait, flat roads in the Mountaineer State...
And the bad part is...?

weatherchazer said...

The pictures are breathtaking. I visited WV once and loved it. But you're right, there are no straight roads with zero elevation there- I'll stick to the east coast, where I can poke around on a back road if I want to, and take my hands off the wheel to give a rude speeder the finger! :)

tsduff said...

I've never been to WV, but it looks and sounds gorgeous. After seeing Florida - well, I wouldn't want to live there. I hope you get transferred to a better place :-) Those little fellas are adorable.

I wish you the best in your dream job.