Train Shed, Harrisburg Transportation Center

And finally, it was the day that I was to return home from my grand adventure with my sister. I packed my bags as soon as I got up that morning, and everything actually fit. Hooray!

We visited with my sister's friends' kitties and then once more with the city kitty colony that my sister manages. And my sister made the two of us a nice veggie and ham and cheese omelet for our brunch.

We enjoyed a sisterly chat - oh, people, I will be the first to admit that I talk-talk-talked my sister's leg off, we had so much to say. And we hung out with Dexter's mama JR, whom you may view in the extras.

Dexter's mom is a tiny little thing, about a seven-pounder, with classic tabby markings. Each of her three tabby boys outweighs her by almost a factor of three. But she is fierce, and she is known as the queen of her kingdom.

My sister told me they saw JR take on two bully tomcats, each twice her size, and whip them both. When a third tomcat joined the crew of miscreants, my sister began keeping JR indoors. She is a lovely cat, very affectionate (she purred the whole visit), and only about nine months older than her boys.

And then I bid my farewells to the kitties, and my sister took me downtown to the Harrisburg Transportation Center, where I arrived by bus on Tuesday. This time, I asked if we could arrive with 15 minutes to spare so I could take some pictures.

And so we strolled around and looked at things - you know how obsessed I can get about neat buildings. And of course, being train enthusiasts (our father was a railroad man), we had to go see the trains. I was even allowed to pop my head outside for a few quick photos of the train shed.

From Wikipedia: "The current station was built by PRR in 1887 and significantly rebuilt with its distinctive barn roof in 1905 following a serious fire in 1904. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975, and is also designated as a National Historic Landmark. The station is one of the few railway stations in the United States that still has a train shed above the tracks."

And then suddenly my bus number was called and I was giving my sister a good-bye hug and a kiss, and a thank-you for everything. And I took my things and sat on the side of the bus so I could see her for as long as I could: my sister whom I am so grateful for.

I waved madly and blew her kisses, though I knew she couldn't see me through the tinted glass windows. And I couldn't help it; my eyes welled up with tears.

Then the bus lurched into action, and I was suddenly on my way, homeward bound! I had caught the 1:40 pm bus, which boarded at 1:30 and actually left on time. The driver told us we were due to arrive in State College around 3:30, which sounded fantastic, as it would allow me plenty of time to catch the first afternoon bus home from campus, which departs from behind the libraries at 4:19.

But there was road construction on the Seven Mountains, with paving occurring around the Laurel Creek Reservoir. When we found ourselves sitting still in traffic on the big hill at 3:30, I just knew I wouldn't make my connection. I began to huff out loud. Suddenly it was very important to me to catch that first bus on campus, which would take me home by around 5 pm.

So I was all suited up and standing in the aisle when the bus finally ground to a halt in State College at about 4:05. I knew it would take about 15 minutes to walk to my bus stop, and I didn't HAVE 15 minutes. So I ran for part of it, yes, with all of my gear on and my daysack bouncing on my back!

It was with great relief that I DID make the first bus home (the next one would make the same trip one hour later). And sank with a sigh into my seat, relieved, the day's travels practically over.

The bus dropped me off a few minutes from our drive way, and I walked the last bit, my legs suddenly exhausted. I suddenly felt every single mile I had walked in the past few days, and they were MANY. But I had done it! I had walked out my front door, caught several buses, visited my sister, and made my way with her to the beach and back.

Oh, and who was there at home to greet me but my two favorite fur-faces, one about two feet tall and the other about six feet tall. The bigger one (my bearded husband) was sitting on the front porch watching for the bus.

The littler one was inside waiting on the steps; and you should have seen the delighted little look on Dexter's face, to see me arrive finally back home! It was a fine welcome indeed. What an amazing journey!

The soundtrack is . . . The Who, with the Amazing Journey.

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