Beth cooked up a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner for an assortment of relatives who gathered at our house on Friday afternoon (there were conflicts on Thursday). As the festivities wound down, my uncle informed me that he had a gift he wanted to present to our family, and to not let anyone leave before he had the chance to.
My uncle is a generous and thoughtful guy, so I was curious, to say the least. In a few minutes, we corralled everyone into the living room and gave him the floor. He explained that when he was growing up, his family had a train set that came out of storage for only a few weeks out of the year, around Christmas time. The track was set up around the tree, and each year, a new car was added to the set. This was a special and memorable tradition for him, and he wanted to give each of his nieces and nephews the opportunity to embark upon the same tradition with their own families.
And how, you may wonder, would someone bestow that opportunity to their nieces and nephews? By presenting them with a "Lionel Pennsylvania Flyer Freight Train Set with Diorama," of course!
Honestly, my knowledge of trains is half-Amtrak, half-Thomas, but I have known for quite some time that there existed types of high-quality train sets in shops and basements previously undiscovered by me. Friday, the contents of those shops and/or basements came into my house in a large gift bag, compliments of my uncle Paul.
Beth and I were pretty floored, and the girls were (pardon the cliche) filled with wonder. Future setup locations are TBD, but this year we weren't prepared to loop the train around the Christmas tree. Instead, we looped it around our Christmas branch, which we set up on the dining room table.
The setup was pretty simple (especially since Beth did it), and the girls have enjoyed it. The light on the engine is functional, and actual smoke puffs out of the... uh, I don't think it's called a "chimney" on a train, is it? Anyway, whatever it is, smoke comes out of it. The engine is heavy and solid. I am sure that we will embark on the tradition that my uncle suggested when he gave us the train.
We are thankful.
I had some technical difficulties getting this post up yesterday--sorry about that. Parts 4 & 5 of Thanksgiving themes are penciled in for Monday and Tuesday, for those of you with planners. See you then.