Gaining Wisdom From the Derailed Diner

An excerpt of Mike’s card and wonderful artwork.

Mike and I celebrated our seventh anniversary on January 9.  Our gift to each other was our first week of traveling, so we enjoyed a simple celebration.  We hunkered down for the chilly day in the motorhome while Mike worked and I puttered around.  When five o’clock rolled around, we explored somewhere close for an anniversary dinner.  We ended up at a place called the Derailed Diner.


It’s not a romantic place for sure, but it does have its charm.  The diner is located at a travel stop in Alabama at exit 53 off of Interstate 10.  The ambience is definitely memorable and quite clever.  The front of the diner is a depiction of a train derailment and the inside a mish-mash of miscellaneous and varied travel decor.  We were seated at a restaurant booth sporting bus seats.  The bar was done up as a school bus with TVs playing in the windows and unique bar stools consisting of a motorcycle seat, bus seat, and even a saddle.  There was memorabilia on the walls from old airline advertisements to vintage Navy recruitment posters.  The tables were glass-topped with different travel-themed newspaper articles, pictures, tickets, etc., underneath.  It is easily one of those places that keeps a weary traveler occupied while enjoying a meal for those quick road breaks.

The food was regular diner fare and the service fast and efficient.  We enjoyed quiet conversation, contemplating our next travel destinations, and pointed out things that interested us in the restaurant decor.  Afterwards, we visited the gift shop and browsed several unusual homemade arts and crafts.

On the menu was the story of the Derailed Diner and how it came about.  The last paragraph caught my eye (photo below).   I’ve always known life is filled with twists and turns and unexpected destinations.  Whether it’s living in a sticks and bricks or traveling from one place to another, we are all on the wild ride called life.  What’s important is that we live it–doing what makes us fulfilled and happy.  The Derailed Diner stated it more distinctly than I ever could:


When did life derail your plans and divert you to another direction?  For me, those derailments were blessings in disguise.  I hope the track you are on makes you happy.

Always with much love.  Thank you for traveling along.


  1. What a fun place! Happy anniversary! Only 7 years together and you are on this great adventure. I’m impressed. Twice life has derailed me, once when my husband was involved in an accident and a driver of another car was killed. He subsequently lost his job even though it was not his fault and was out of work for a year, only to land a better job that lasted for 18 years. The other time was when I was let go from a position I had held for 18 years. That led me to being able to start my home based transcription business. There may be something to be gained from a derailment.

    1. I think there are lessons to be learned from every experience and they are often redirections to better opportunities. I’m a med transcriptionist, too–well, a newly retired one. Would you be able take yours on the road? I’m taking a couple of months to just decompress, but will probably be looking for something I can do while traveling, so was just curious. Take care and thank you for reading!

      1. I do have one client who still uses the old fashioned microcassette tapes to dictate and I have to go to his office to pick up and deliver, but my main clients use their iPhones to dictate their reports and then send me their files via email and I transcribe and send the reports back via email as well, so yes, I would be able to do it while traveling. I believe it is a dying profession because a lot of the younger doctors are doing it themselves. Also, the whole HIPPA thing comes in to play. There are companies out there though so you may be able to find something when you are ready to start up again. I occasionally get emails about them.

  2. Mike’s card is the best. Congratulations. I try to be philosophical about derailments. I’ve had many in my life and if nothing else they have proven to me that I am resilient.

  3. Another “Godwink”…you two were meant to spend time in that unique place…to see that…”it’s your story too”…I love reading your posts…you are a gifted writer, Dawn…I could almost smell the french fries! ☺️

      1. I’m giggling because Im so challenged…can’t even post a reply without confusion…I’m not “anonymous”…I’m me…Sharon! ☺️ Hugs

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