There was nothing to decide. How could I not dash around the corner (stick in hand) toward the Norway Store and a yummy chocolate twist that would be my last one of the season!? The twist lady had asked on Tuesday, "What day will you be leaving?"
"Friday," I'd said.
"Be in for a twist that day, will you?"
"Oh yes Ma'am, I wouldn't miss it."
"Alright, I'll see you then, warm twist at the ready." And so there was nothing to decide.
As I dashed, dear Readers, this greeted me:
It was St Ives coming out in its finest to send me off royally - back to California, back to weird protests, back to wonderful family and sweet hugs. And for all of it, I am thankful. ...well, maybe all but the weird protests. Hmm.
I paid for the twist, and said farewell. "See you next year!" the lady said as she handed me my change. "Always good to have you back." It's like that every time I say goodbye here - endless kindness and good wishes. It's the 'layering' of St Ives, I think - the getting to know its people and creating relationships. That, above all, is what keeps me coming back for more.
But it was time for us to head to the train station, and so we made our way down the stairs and out onto Fore Street. Roller bags on cobblestones, the familiar sound of Friday mornings in St Ives. Along the way, as my husband was dragging both of our bags and laptops (endless kindness) we saw Josh, scone-baker extraordinaire, hurrying along toward his Digey.
He saw our bags, and paused. "Going?"
"Yes! Home to the family. Back to California.. goodbye..!" We waved.
I turned to see him fading away into the distance, as St Ives itself was fading and the train whistle blew. From St Ives to St Erth, and its pot of tea while waiting for the London Paddington. Then from St Erth to London, gliding along in the smoothest ride I've had yet, as only the Great Western Railway can do.
And then - what was this? In London, a loud voice on the P.A. system ordering us all to do something..I couldn't quite make it out..
"All passengers are required to leave the station. Due to a reported emergency all passengers must evacuate. Get to the nearest exit immediately."
Exiting the train we were instantly swept along with the crowds, I keeping my eye closely on my husband's back so as not to become separated. Crowds of people everywhere trying to get out. But no panics or shoving or shouting. Just efficient movement along toward the exits. I kept thinking that if this were happening in L.A., there would likely be pandemonium and all manner of hysteria. But we all just followed the crowd, and eventually found ourselves outside and breathing sighs of relief.
It was all fine, but that doesn't mean it was fun. Thousands of miles from home, and a loud voice shouting orders?
I want my momma.
See you along the way!
tea at St Erth railway station