The daily Astorian. (Astoria, Or.) 1961-current, May 29, 2015, Image 4

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Let’s do
some railing
senators at the news con-
ference complained about
the cross-country mon-
ey-losers. Perhaps that was
ust before Congress out of deference to their
slunk away for the colleague, Dick Durbin,
D-Ill. Perhaps they instinc-
three-day weekend — tively understood that no
which it was,
matter what the
drain, Amtrak has
of course, plan-
a better chance of
ning to stretch
political survival
into a week —
running through
46 states. It’s a
senators from
theory that works
the Northeast
great for the De-
held a news
fense Department.
Maybe the sen-
ators just had a
national vision of
Republicans for
what national rail
service is sup-
Amtrak passen-
posed to be.
worth reminding
ger rail service.
the North-
“Amtrak has some in-
east Corridor is the only
frastructure that is so old part that makes money,”
it was built and put into said Sen. Chris Murphy,
service when Jesse James D-Conn., in a phone in-
and Butch Cassidy were terview. “But that doesn’t
still alive and robbing mean I want to get rid of
trains,” said Sen. Charles the rest of the system. If
we only kept the portions
Schumer, D-N.Y.
of government that made
“In Connecticut we money, there wouldn’t be
have a bridge that was any point to the state of
built when Grover Cleve- Connecticut running a De-
land was president,” said partment of Children and
Sen. Richard Blumenthal, Families anymore.”
What’s your off-the-cuff
Now you have to admit, verdict, people?
A) Save the railroad!
this is pretty compelling.
B) Prioritize! Every
Especially if you merge
them and envision Butch train for itself!
C) They can do anything
Cassidy and Grover Cleve-
land robbing commuters on they want if they’ll just get
together and fix the pothole
the Acela Express.
The Northeast corridor on my corner.
Wow, I believe I see a
from Boston to Washing-
ton is the centerpiece of the majority for the pothole.
nation’s commuter rail sys- Remind me to tell you about
tem. It carries more people how members of Congress
than the airlines, makes a just passed the 33rd super-
profit and takes an ungodly short-term highway bill
number of cars off extreme- because they haven’t been
ly crowded highways. How- able to come up with any
ever, it needs $21 billion of normal road repair funding
work on its bridges, tunnels, since 2008.
Transportation unites
tracks and equipment.
We’ve all been thinking the country, but the crowd-
about it since the terrible ed parts and the empty
derailment in Philadelphia parts have different needs.
this month. In a moment of Cities require mass transit,
stupendously bad timing, which is something that
House Republicans chose tends to irritate many ru-
the day after the accident ral conservatives. (It’s that
to cut more than $1 bil- vision of a whole bunch
of strangers
lion from the
stuck togeth-
$2.45 billion
er, stripped of
even the illu-
sion of con-
tion had re-
trol.) Remote
for managerial
S p e a k e r mishmash,
John Boehner
said any at-
tempt to link
under the the price
the two things
was “stupid.”
thumb of
out of propor-
As only he
tion to those
of us who
Let’s take
a middle road, people, and don’t live on, say, an Alas-
assume that while the Phil- kan island.
Amtrak’s operating bud-
adelphia crash might not
have been related to any get is about the same as
funding cut, it’s a good re- the Essential Air Service
minder that running packed program, which subsidizes
trains through 19th century commercial air service to
tunnels and bridges is ask- remote communities. Most
of the flights are at least
ing for trouble.
Amtrak is a manage- two-thirds empty. CBS
rial mishmash, trapped News, in a report this year,
under the thumb of Con- found one flight between
gress and also responsible Kansas City, Missouri, and
for long-distance service Great Bend, Kansas, that
across the country, touch- generally carried only a
ing cities from Chicago single passenger.
Everybody knows that
to New Orleans to Grand
Rapids to Salt Lake City on the government can waste
a series of routes that are money. (If you have any
never going to make mon- doubts, I will refer you to a
ey. Conservative groups recent report by Pro Publi-
that call for the privatiza- ca about a glorious new $25
tion of Amtrak are basi- million,
cally envisioning a system foot headquarters the mil-
where the Northeast Corri- itary constructed for U.S.
dor is left to fend for itself troops in Afghanistan even
while the money-losing though said troops were
going home.) But making
routes fade into history.
“Ideally, we would like money-losing links be-
to see all transportation tween different parts of the
spending and taxing de- theoretically United States
volve to the states,” said doesn’t seem to be in that
Michael Sargent of The category.
Fix Amtrak. Connect the
Heritage Foundation.
None of the Northeastern country.
New York Times News
Submitted photo
Being a parent can be one of the hardest things a person does. Luckily writer Lacey Hoyer, center, thinks daugh-
ters Iris, left, and Avery are worth it. Most of the time.
Parenting’s amazing
highs, infuriating lows
W riter’s
N otebook
eing a parent is hard.
Just a few weeks ago I was
standing in one of the cramped show-
er cubicles at the Astoria Aquatic
Center, trying to lather shampoo into
my oldest daughter’s hair.
We’d been having a good time
swimming, and so I was caught off
guard when, suddenly furious, she
turned and tried to push me out of
the stall.
“Get your wicked hands off of
me!” she screeched at the top of
her little lungs. Dripping wet, with
bubbles of shampoo still in my own
hair, I burst into nervous laughter as
I glanced at all the other women in
the locker room who were busy pre-
tending not to have heard or seen us.
My cheeks burned as I stormed back
into the shower and forcefully com-
menced rinsing us off.
“Don’t you ever speak to me like
that again,” I growled through gritted
teeth. Avery’s enraged look melted
away and she began to wail.
“I just wanted to wash my hair
myself,” she sobbed.
“Well, too bad,” I snapped, know-
ing there was probably a better way
to handle the situation, but being
too angry and embarrassed to know
shower stall to get dressed, I stayed
behind for a minute, turned my face
to the spray and I just screamed.
Quietly. Because.
started our family, I had no
idea how hard parenting was going
to be. In a very vague and intangible
way, I knew that getting through the
newborn period would be grueling,
and it was, but somehow I had con-
vinced myself the years between tod-
dler and teenager were going to be
nothing but fun. A golden period full
of play, exploration and the innocent
sweetness of childhood. The honest
truth, however, is the day-to-day of
parenting children of any age often
feels like riding a high-amplitude
sine wave. Without a seatbelt. A sin-
gle afternoon can be full of not only
amazing highs and instances of pure
transcendence, but also incompara-
ble moments of tedium, frustration,
panic and heartbreak.
Our daughters are almost-5 and
almost-3. They are blond, blue-eyed,
skinny little things, with my hus-
band’s sense of humor, my stubborn-
ness and their great-grandmother’s
talkative streak. Avery is so glamor-
ous that she would have made Grace
Kelly feel frumpy in comparison;
while Iris is happiest when playing
in the dirt and not wearing pants. We
spend most sunny afternoons outside
working in the garden and feeding
our chickens, or walking and biking
to the park down the street. We read
endless amounts of books and do
copious amounts of arts and crafts.
We go to the library and to the beach.
We make things out of Legos. We
chase each other around the house. I
have experienced occasions of such
perfect happiness with them that
I thought my heart might literally
Parenting is
hard. Harder and
better than I ever
thought possible.
We also have epic battles of wills
and breakdowns of communication.
We argue and we yell. There are hurt
feelings and there are tears. There are
some days when I am convinced I
will not make it to 7 p.m. Days when
their whining makes my whole body
contort in misery. Days when they
don’t listen to a single word I say.
mortal enemies, and days when they
give me attitude like they are already
well into their teen years. Days and
days and days.
Worst of all though, are the days
when they scream that I am the worst
mama ever, that I ruin everything
and that they don’t want to be my
children anymore. And I can tell they
mean it, even if only momentarily,
by the tears of anger and frustration
running rivulets down their splotchy
red cheeks.
Those are the days when I just
manage to put them to bed before
retreating to my own corner, feel-
ing overwhelmed, emotionally ex-
hausted and absolutely certain I’m
messing them up for good. I wonder
how I could do better, how I could
get rid of the doubt, guilt and inde-
cision that wracks me whenever I
have a moment that is, to put it sim-
of the things I do are wrong but I
hope I do it right enough of the time
to make up for it.
hen we got home from the
pool that day, it was over.
We’d had our bad moment and then
we moved on. Avery talked excited-
ly about the fun we’d had, the rings
she’d retrieved from the bottom and
how maybe next time we’d go down
the slide. I hadn’t let go of the guilt
as easily as she had discarded her
anger though, so when I tucked her
into bed that night I made sure to let
her know how sorry I was that I had
“You know I love you always,
even when I’m mad, right?” I asked
“Yeah,” she said, squirming and
rolling her eyes in that way that al-
most-5-year-olds do. Forgiving me
and accepting me, imperfections
and all, with a squeeze of her arms
around my neck.
Parenting is hard. Harder and
simultaneously better than I ever
thought possible. We do the best we
can. We love them with all we’ve
got. We apologize when we screw
up. We take the doubt and the guilt
and we try to turn it into something
positive, next time. And, ultimately,
we hope it’s good enough.
Lacey Hoyer manages to squeeze in
time working at Clatsop Community Col-
lege and The Daily Astorian in between
parenting her two spunky children. A
graduate of the University of Oregon, she
lives in Hammond.
STEPHEN A. FORRESTER, Editor & Publisher • LAURA SELLERS, Managing Editor
BETTY SMITH, Advertising Manager
• CARL EARL, Systems Manager
JOHN D. BRUIJN, Production Manager
• DEBRA BLOOM, Business Manager
HEATHER RAMSDELL, Circulation Manager
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