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Training myself to accept what I can’t control

April Out WestApril E. ClarkGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

The sound sometimes resembles a jet flying overhead, a little too close for comfort.Often there’s a commotion much like the day a tornado hit within a mile of my old house in Indianapolis.Overall, it’s a racket I’m growing accustomed to accepting.But not fast like a freight train. More like a kiddie trackless train ride at a carnival.That never stops.Everyday, just like the beginning to that old Johnny Cash song, I can hear the train a comin’. And it’s rollin’ right through town – less than a block from my apartment.Locals in Flagstaff adapt to the trains and the loud horns conductors sound as they cross the city’s streets. They say clever things like, “Aw, you’ll get used to it,” and “Let’s do train shots!” while hanging out at Altitudes Bar & Grill on Beaver Street.That’s especially fun when a double train crosses Beaver.Being a skeptic, I was a little leery of moving in to a place so close to the train tracks. According to the city of Flagstaff, more than 100 Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway trains pass through here daily. And Amtrak services Flagstaff twice daily.That could be a train wreck for my ears. But, the price is right.For Drew Carey and me.So after a few weeks, I’m coming around the bend. I’m starting to accept those things in life – like trains with loud horns in the middle of the night – which I cannot control.I’m OK that Purdue University’s football team probably won’t win the Big Ten this year. I have the Colts and the exciting promise of a repeat Super Bowl victory. There’s always a winner in football.I’ve also come to terms with the weather turning cold, with winter well on its way. I love summer and all the outdoor activities it offers – rafting, tubing and music in the park. But the ski season is nearly here, and my summer color has already faded to a hue resembling a cavefish. I might as well cover it up with cute new scarves, gloves and jackets.A great excuse to shop.There is also absolutely nothing I can do about aging.Outside of buying anti-wrinkle serum and pulling out any gray hairs as I find them, I can’t stop from getting older. Now the getting wiser part, I can do.I’m taking more time to read – Kurt Vonnegut is my hands-down favorite writer – and I’m writing on a more personal level, which takes research and self-exploration.I’ve found myself to be quite perverse, actually. In a small-town girl kind of way.One of my goals in moving was to start a franchise here in Flagstaff. The issue – which seems totally out of my control unless I start stripping – is I’ll need about $20,000 to put down to secure a loan. I lack the old family money, or high-stakes poker skills, to get my hands on that kind of cash.I have danced on a brass pole …One good thing about this minor technicality is money can be made. And, better yet, saved. People can always be in control of their dreams.Even those dreams that start out big.There’s nothing I can do about the 100 trains that travel past my apartment each day. Or my favorite college football team. But I can get wiser. And maybe even richer.In more ways than one.April E. Clark has never taken an Amtrak train to see the country but would like to someday. She can be reached at aprilelizabethclark@yahoo.com.


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