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The Zero Mile Post

For the last several years in May, Sue and I have stayed for 5-6 days in a timeshare near Williamsburg, Virginia. This time of year, the azalea and rhododendron bushes are in full bloom, the temperatures are mild, the golf courses are lush, and this year, the added bit of nature was the nearly constant chatter of millions of cicadas.

On these trips, we play golf every other day and go sightseeing on the days in between. Over the years we have explored the history of Williamsburg, Jamestown, and Yorktown and of some of the nearby Revolutionary War and Civil War battle fields. One stop this year was Old Point Comfort in Hampton, Virginia, on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean at the mouth of the James River. As additional background for the class she teaches on the history of racism, Sue wanted to stand at the spot where the first chained Africans landed in the United States in 1619.

As we drove away from the waterfront where slavery entered the US, we saw another historical marker that caught my attention. The picture above was taken at that sight. We were looking at the Zero Mile Post for the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad. There are no train tracks at this sight any longer and the Chesapeake and Ohio has been incorporated with other railroads into what is now the CSX railway system. But, when I saw the sign, my lingering thought was that at the time the railway was constructed, this was the starting point for something to come.

A classic cliché is “Today is the start of the rest of your life.” I believe it can be more than just a cliché.  Each day when we wake up, we have the opportunity to start afresh with what we do with our lives. I know I have usually started most days thinking of the things I need to do that are “on my list,” but with very recent sudden deaths in our family, first of Sue’s step-daughter, Cheryl, and more recently, of her younger sister, Nancy, I keep being reminded that life should not be taken for granted. Today IS the start of the rest of my life.

I hope today becomes a “Zero Mile Post,” a time to start afresh for you.

Bob Linderman


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