You have to try to take what life throws at you with grace and equanimity.
The twists and turns of your life can be so unexpected, and that's a good thing to learn.
The most surprising thing, honestly, is that so few Americans know about the orphan trains. I was also surprised at the resilience and fortitude of the riders I met, their pragmatism and grace. I don't know whether this is a Midwestern trait or simply a human one.
For a few years, skeins of yarn piled up in baskets around the house. There weren't enough humans in my mother's orbit to wear all the scarves and sweaters and hats she knitted. And then, as suddenly as she started, she lost interest, leaving needles still entwined in half-finished fragments.
Many people, for many reasons, feel rootless - but orphans and abandoned or abused children have particular cause.