Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

The USA By Rail

Posted: 30 July, 2016 in Uncategorized
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It’s been a while since I posted on this subject, but this entry is all about a journey! Specifically, Stacey and I are moving back to Seattle. I’m going there first, to find an apartment., etc., and she’s going to follow later.

After analysis, I’ve determined that rail travel is the way to go. I can carry more luggage than I can on an airplane, and the Trusty Old SUV™ won’t last on a 10-mile trip, much less one across the USA. So I’ve booked my seat on the Lake Shore Limited from here to Chicago. From there, I’ll be on the Empire Builder to Seattle.

Well, actually to Everett. It’s actually cheaper to bypass Seattle and get off in Everett than it is to get off in Seattle. Weird.

It’s 3 o’clock in the afternoon. I spent most of the day printing out train schedules and route guides before learning that the route guides are available—free—on the train. I also Googled® “rail travel USA” so I’d be aware of any “gotchas” and prepare for the ahead of time.

One of the first “gotchas” I found was that freight companies own the rails, so they have priority. An experienced rail traveler’s blog said that she usually gives an Amtrak train a 60-minute window before she considers it late.

Except for short subway rides in New York City, the last time I did any serious rail travel was in 1960. We had just returned from my dad’s 3-year assignment in Japan with the US Air Force, and he had made arrangements to pick up a new car at the Rambler factory in Kenosha, Wisconsin. We got off the ship (air travel was too expensive in those days) in San Francisco, took a taxi to Oakland, and got on the train to Kenosha.

All I remember about that trip (hey! it was 56 years ago!) is (1) it was long, and (2) I had a ham and cheese sandwich in Ogden, Utah.

But this trip will be well-documented. Between my laptop, my iPad (WordPress app, built-in camera), my cell phone (ditto), my Nikon Coolpix® and my Canon digital SLR, I plan on keeping a detailed account of the journey. After all, this may be my last cross-country trip, and possibly my last train ride.

Of course there’s always the possibility of a jaunt from Seattle up to Vancouver, BC…. But that will have to wait until my name change, which will lead to my getting a passport.

So according to my ticket, I’ll leave Rochester at 11 p.m., August 15, and will arrive in Chicago at 9:45 the next morning. I’ll have a layover in Chicago until 2:15 the same day, and I’ll arrive in Seattle at 8:40 a.m on the 18th. (Oh, dear…what have I gotten myself into?)

And now that that’s all settled, it’s time for all the fun things about moving. Packing. Deciding what to keep and what to get rid of. Cleaning the apartment.

So little time, so much to do!

Robyn Jane

When A Parent Dies

Posted: 6 February, 2016 in Uncategorized
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My father and I have been estranged for the better part of 7 years, ever since I was outed to him as transgender. Over that time, I have made several attempts at reconciliation, only to be rebuffed every time.

Today my daughter called me with the news that my father—who had a stroke almost a year ago—is dying. She said that she had spoken to my stepmother who informed her that he was going to be 88 on his birthday—“if he makes it that far.” And since his birthday is next month, well, you can see the implication.

This evening I called to see if my father would speak to me. My brothers were there with him, and he accepted my call. I told him that I loved him, and much to my joy, he said the same thing. We had a mostly-good talk (I say “mostly-good” because I was on my cell-phone and he was on speaker phone, and his speech has been adversely affected by his stroke), and we ended on a positive note. I asked if I could call again next week, and he assented.

I finished by speaking with my brother, who said he’d call me tomorrow and we’d talk about what’s going on, and what I can expect.

I’m trying to keep it together long enough to write this, but it’s hard. Hard to sort out the jumbled thoughts and mixed emotions, hard to see the screen through my tears. Hard to realize that the man I’ve looked up to and idolized for such a large part of my life will soon be gone.

But I’m trying to stay positive by concentrating on the fact that we are in fact effecting a reconciliation. My daughter and her mother (my ex-wife) will be flying out to see him soon, and I wish I could afford the air or train or bus fare to see him one last time.

It’s been hard these past few years, but he’s my father, and I love him.


I’m Barely Holding On

Posted: 20 September, 2015 in Uncategorized

I keep trying, but it keeps getting harder. It seems as if things take three steps forward and two steps back. Medicare has announced it will cover medical procedures for trans folk, but most of the physicians providing surgical services don’t accept Medicare.

In order for Medicare to provide coverage, I have to be in therapy with a diagnosis of gender dysphoria…which diagnosis I received 7 years ago. So I put in a request almost 6 weeks ago for an appointment and finally got a call back last week. My appointment is for the middle of November.

All of which has aggravated both my depression and my Generalized Anxiety Disorder to the point where I’ll probably have to spend a month in therapy dealing with those issues before I can even start on why I made the appointment in the first place.

There has to be a better way.