CP Executive train in Albany

CP Executive train in Albany

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Merry Christmas

Christmas holds a few special traditions for me. I always watch the Charlie Brown special (get the DVD... as the television version has parts edited for commercials). I like to eat holiday foods, including this year's new addition of a homemade fruitcake. And most of all, I get to set up a train around the tree. I usually do it around the beginning of December and tie it in with the Great Train Extravaganza train show. It gets me in the holiday mood. This year was extra special, as there was no train show. The below picture was taken by my lovely wife, who used her smart phone to add the snowflakes.

Our retriever Clover seemed to like the train, though she has has taken to licking the track. As discussed previously, the track was reclaimed from my grandfather's basement and it is likely 60+ years old. My wife's theory is that the iron in the track that tastes good to the dog. Maybe...

I usually pick different train sets each year to run, with the Hogwarts Express coming out nearly every other year. This year, I went with a Guilford theme with a Williams B&M "Bluebird" Geep, several D&H and B&M cars, a stock car decorated with bows I had made for a work Christmas party, and a B&M caboose. Many of these pieces were purchased from my friend Peter at previous GTE shows, though the D&H red covered hopper is a new addition that I bought recently because I felt the train needed some more festive color. In light of the news that CSX is acquiring Pan Am Railways (the successor in name to Guilford, itself the successor in name to the D&H/B&M, and Maine Central), perhaps next year I will feature a CSX consist. NOT A CHANCE! Maybe Conrail though...

The curves are 0-27 and the train sometimes struggles to get around them. The red covered hopper sure doesn't like them, and as it is the train already covers 50% of the loop. Lightweight cars are at the rear to avoid string-lining the train. My wife said the track was too large for the space, but I pointed out that the increased real estate meant more room for presents. I think that excuse worked. She also commented that the train was too big for the ceramic houses, but went silent when I pointed out the figures on the right who couldn't possibly fit into the doorways of the buildings.

And now for the really important stuff...

Matthew 1, 18-25

(18) Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. (19) And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. (20) But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. (21) She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” (22) All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:

(23) “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us). (24) When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, (25) but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.


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