Dr. Bill Atwood

Traveling with family and looking ahead

Last Sunday, after church, the family loaded into two cars and drove down to Fresno to catch the train to Hanford. After arriving we walked the few blocks to Superior Dairy to enjoy lunch and then a delightful Banana Split. Following lunch, we walked back to the depot and returned to Fresno via the rails and then headed home to the Oakhurst area.

It was interesting to notice that the people just ahead of us in line at the train station in Fresno as well as the family behind us ended up doing the same thing. We wished each other well for the rest of the evening as we got into our respective cars and left the parking lot.

This particular trip was my great nephew Liam’s idea. He loves trains and was convinced that his one month old twin brothers, Ethan and James, were ready to begin riding the rails. So we all got on board with the plan.

As we were riding and then sitting at the table for our repast two members of the family were holding the youngest members. They are beginning to notice noises and some movement around them. They were born 5 weeks ahead of their projected due date but they are doing remarkably well.

As I held James and his bottle, I gazed into his eyes and was wondering what the world will be like for him and his two brothers. They will live the next 81 years in this century and then enjoy ringing in the 22nd century with their grandkids.

They will have many chances and opportunities. I will be excited when they begin to walk and then are able to walk on their own. It will be fun to begin the process of then reminding them countless times to stop running in the house. In five years, they start school and on that day they will join the Class of 2037. Some of their future teachers are in middle or high school right now.

The boys will experience many different things in our family circle and they will be exposed to events from other friends and other cultures. That is awaiting them every day of their lives. Hopefully they will experience these many adventures with the faith of a child all their lives. The boys will see that there is good everywhere and that most people are just like them.

The boys will grow up in a community that understands the need to support youth activities. The girls selling me the cookies this year will be the women who will be buying raffle tickets from Liam, Ethan, and James for some school group or team. The school boards will be deciding in the next few years what buildings will be needed and what technology will need to be installed for the Class of ’37.

Local infrastructure is going to change over the next few years to accommodate the citizens who will inhabit eastern Madera County for the rest of this century. One by one, each of us will hand off to the next generation our role and allow them the chance to set the course.

I hope to pass on family traditions and one important lesson. Enjoy every day that ends with a “y.”

On Sunday it was an outing that tied three generations together. Trains, ice cream, and togetherness.