Steve burst into the kitchen, slamming the screen door behind him. As he stomped past his mother, up to her elbows in greasy dishwater, she cried out, “Hey! Improve your attitude!”
I’m not sure if this exact scenario ever occurred, but my parents told me on several occasions to “improve my attitude” when I was throwing a fit about something that had gone wrong. Usually I was mad about someone who had wronged me, or some situation that seemed entirely unfair to me. Probably my parents wanted me to be quiet, but they also wanted me to gain a little perspective and realize that things weren’t so bad after all.
I was thinking about that recently as I was travelling from Fredericton to McAdam, New Brunswick to do some night photography at the historic station in McAdam.
It was a beautiful late summer night, with clear skies and a mostly full moon. Conditions were ideal for some station shots with a backdrop of stars.
As I was driving toward Harvey, roughly midway between Fredericton and McAdam and the point where the NB Southern Railway crossed the highway, I was dreaming that I might be so lucky to catch a train in McAdam.
Descending the hill into the heart of Harvey, I was surprised to see the crossing lights flashing and an eastbound train thundering through the sleepy town. I stopped short of the crossing arms and jumped out to take a few quick photos of the last few cars in the train. There went my chance for a train in McAdam.
I was initially annoyed that I didn’t see the locomotives – I really want to see one of the “new” SD70 locomotives that the NBSR acquired – but I quickly gave myself an attitude adjustment.
I was lucky to see a train at all.
If you consider the odds that the train would happen to be in Harvey in the few seconds that I was near the crossing, it was a stroke of very good luck that I caught it.
With that “new and improved” attitude, I continued on to McAdam to secure some decent night photos.
Thanks, Mom and Dad , for that important lesson so long ago.