Shannon Stacey

Big eyes and model trains

So, you know how I didn’t get my Christmas tree taken down until February 13th? Well, this morning I realized I haven’t charged the battery in my camera for a while (because I haven’t been using it) and I should check on that. Guess what I found… Christmas pictures! I’m right on top of things, huh?

This one cracked me up:

It’s some kind of model Amtrak diesel engine…thing.

My husband’s always been a model railroader, and it’s been fun to watch how it’s changed for him over the years. In the beginning, he was very strict about his layout. He only does brass (though he’ll allow a few high-quality plastic boxcars). Only B&M. Mostly steam. Our local area and confined to the 1950s (I think.) He was very particular.

Then he had sons. Sons with whom he doesn’t have a lot in common. For instance, my husband spent his childhood happily tearing down and rebuilding dirt bike engines. The Tall Kid says, “You know, you can pay people to do that for you”. But when the boys showed an interest in trains, my husband jumped in with both feet, looking for those many hours of bonding over HO-scale track.

Now…there’s chaos. There’s a model building one would never have seen in New England, but it’s there because the Tall Kid fell in love with it. There are diesel engines. There are crazy turns in the track because the Short Kid had to have a funny-looking bridge. There are Lego Stormtroopers lying in wait to ambush the train. My husband’s carefully cultivated B&M Railroad has become the mish-mash S&S Railroad (Stacey & Sons) and he loves it.

So, back to the Short Kid’s thrilled—if slightly creepy—expression in this picture. It’s an Amtrak engine and probably the very last thing my husband would have allowed on his layout. But the Short Kid fell in love with it and, after at least a year of begging, my husband bought it for him as a Christmas gift.

Just one of the many reasons I adore him.

3 comments to “Big eyes and model trains”

  1. WendyK
      · March 24th, 2011 at 11:16 pm · Link

    Ohh My son would love that. He adores trains. All trains. Started with Thomas but has moved on. Before he was 1yr old he’d watch this VHS tape on the history of trains that is about 6hrs long and he hated for us to turn this thing off. He adores trains and someday wants to work with or on trains.

    So he’d love that. We don’t have room for a track just yet but are hoping to fix him a building soon.

    Glad your DH and sons have found something to relate over. Have you all visited any of the museums?


  2. Natalie J. Damschroder
      · March 25th, 2011 at 8:26 pm · Link

    I have you beat on the pictures thing. Went to take some at the Zombie Prom birthday bash last weekend, and the memory card was full. Not only did we still have Christmas on there, we still had my husband’s trip to Vegas…in October.

  3. Shannon
      · March 26th, 2011 at 10:42 am · Link

    We did Thomas, too. Wooden Thomas. Metal Thomas. Plastic Thomas. Take-Along Thomas. I still have a boxful of Thomas VHS tapes and we don’t even have a VCR anymore.

    We’ve done a few museums here and there. There’s one down in Pennsylvania my husband wants to take the boys to, but we haven’t managed it yet.

    Natalie, my stepmom asked me to help her move her pictures from her “new” digital camera to her computer once and there were hundreds of pictures. She just kept taking them and taking them. It was crazy!

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