Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Niftiest Gift

The Geezer hopes you’ve been successful this holiday season if you’ve chosen to participate in the annual quest for the elusive “perfect gift”—something desirable, unexpected, and lasting.  Thanks to some special people, I get to enjoy such a gift year after year.

Our "Holiday Express"
To my complete surprise, for my seventh Christmas my parents, who could ill-afford it,  gave me an American Flyer model train complete with a few building replicas and a faux tunnel.  The little train provided many hours of joy. 

As with most toys, the train set fell into disuse as I grew up and became interested in other pursuits.  It was packed away in the attic of the family home.  Before my mother died, she made sure I got the train. It stayed with us in storage for nearly 25 years.  We gave the train to son Lee, but he had no place to use or store it.

Three years ago, to get ready for our move to Michigan we shipped everything we could to Lee (he now had a large house), including the train set and other items we were storing for him.  We couldn’t get into our new house until after Christmas, so we stayed at Lee’s home and planned holiday celebrations with him and his fiancée Karen. 

The first thing that came to mind when I got up Christmas morning was that famous line, “What to my wondering eyes did appear.”  The little train was running on its old track around the base of Lee’s tree!  Lee had taken the train set to a local expert for rejuvenation, bought a new transformer, and set the track up for the first run in 64 years. Karen and beautiful wife Sandy did a great job of keeping the project a secret until the Christmas unveiling.

Now, seeing the “Holiday Express” chug around the track once again is my special gift every Christmas.  Here’s wishing you equal enjoyment this holiday season. And may you receive many special gifts throughout the New Year.


schmidleysscribblins, said...

Lovely story. David has an old train set he never sets up owing to no room. Our perfect gift was Green Bay Packer hats for my grandsons. Dianne

Big John said...

You lucky old bugger,Dick. I always wanted a train set.
BTW ... I bet that it would fetch a small fortune on ebay.
Happy Christmas ... John

Alan G said...

Wow! What a great surprise from your son and what luck to have held on to it for all these years. I still remember mine but am at a loss as to what ever happened to it. Your coal car looks just like mine did. Remember I had a little switch house and switchman and also a coal loader. I also remember just how heavy those locomotives were to lug around.

Hope you and your family have a Merry Christmas and all the best in the coming New Year!

Sightings said...

Ah, model trains. I had a Charlie-Brown-Christmas-tree kind of Lionel set that did a simple circle around the tree. My next-door neighbor had the biggest HO set I've ever seen; it snaked across the whole living room ... and taught me the meaning of the word "envy."

I like your set, esp. the flatcar with the candy.

joared said...

Merry Christmas and After Christmas! Enjoyed the train story. Reminded me of how much I delighted in playing with a neighbor boy because he had a train set on the floor that ran around the family dining room table.

Kay said...

What a beautiful Christmas gift that was and a beautiful memory. You are truly blessed with a sweet son!

We had a train too and I'm regretting not having brought it with us to Hawaii. Sigh...