How You Livin’?

It’s an expression that I’ve heard my whole life in casual company. Typically, it comes off as a find creating rather than a probing inquiry and the responses can come back quite colorful depending on the occasion.

Over the past two weeks I have had occasion to ask myself the question on a serious tip,

“How you livin’, Sis?”

Two weeks ago I hopped onto an Amtrak train with a goal of closing the circle on traveling to all 50 states. I left Little Rock with seven states remaining on my list. As of September 22, the first day of fall, I have met that goal.

My 50th state was Montana and my goal was reached when I hopped off the train at Harve, MT and took this picture during our fresh air break.

I had a lot of feelings but the strongest one was the satisfaction I felt in having accomplished a goal I set for myself, a promise I made myself that was delayed due to the “panorama” we have all been living with for nearly two years.

What I didn’t know was that on my second to last leg of this great adventure I would get word that the last train I had just gotten off had derailed just after Harve, MT and there were many injuries and three fatalities. The question came back to me…

How you livin’, Sis?

By the time many of you read this I’ll be on the Texas Eagle nearing my home station of Little Rock and enjoying a much anticipated reunion with my best friend and hubby, Mr. T. 😉. I’ll also continue to ponder the big question, but for now I ask that you all send some prayers and positive energy in the direction of all the families that have been affected by this derailment and all of the people who are traveling by rails that we all may continue to travel in safety to arrive at our destinations unharmed.

Marta is an award winning filmmaker, writer and producer committed to sharing the rich and complex stories of America’s Heartland region.  Marta wears several hats as Chief Creative-in-Charge of MartaGwyn Productions, LLC as well as the Co-Founder and Senior Grant Writer of Youngblood and Associates, LLC and Chief Operations Officer of Marta Collier Educational Systems and Services, LLC.

Marta is also the founder and editor-in-chief of TheWRITEaddiction.  An online community of writers that publish creative and inspirational works daily at

Marta is an alumna of The Ohio State University and Tougaloo College with degrees in Sociology and English-Journalism and resides in Little Rock, Arkansas, with her husband and unconventional college sweetheart of 10 years, Terrance Youngblood.

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