Sunday, January 4, 2015

New Year's 2015 Re-Cap #3: Field Trip to the Trains

When my Dad was young, he had trains. Don't ask me what kind...I don't know. But he had them. I think maybe he started collecting them when he was growing up.

He kept those trains through all of our many moves across the United States. Even across two oceans. He always dreamed of having a room for his trains one day. He would talk about having an extra bedroom or maybe "a room over the garage," that he could use for all of his stuff: his flags, all of his military stuff...and his trains.

My Dad loves flags, military stuff...and trains. :)

He never got to have that train room.

After my Dad retired from the USAF, he and my Mom moved to Tulsa. They built a little "sun room" on the side of their house. The sun room was completely glassed in and enclosed. My Mom had a glass-top table, lots of wicker furniture and several plants and flowers out there. It was pretty girlie.

But at Christmastime one year, my Dad took down his large train table from the attic and set it all up in the sun room. I had started giving them one piece of Snow Village every year, and he had such a great time arranging all of the pieces into some sort of "village" and then winding the train through it all. He did this for many years. My kids loved to go out there and would ask my Dad 5 or 50 times to "start the train."

After my Mom died, he never got out the Snow Village again...and just recently gave it all back to me. 

My sister, Leanne, has talked about this place at one of the malls that sets up a big train display every year...and every year, she talks about wishing she could take Dad. We knew my Dad and Clara were planning on leaving a day earlier than the rest of us, so Leanne talked with Clara and told her what she wanted to do. She asked Clara if our Dad would be up for it, and Clara said she thought he would.

So, on Tuesday, after waiting (and waiting) on everyone to GET UP, GET SHOWERED, GET DRESSED, GET BACK from their runs, etc...we FINALLY piled into two vehicles and headed to Northpark Mall in Dallas. I think there were 11 of us that went. Aaron was having to do some work from the house, so Joshua volunteered to stay with him. 

Leanne pulled up to the door at Nordstrom's (more on that in another post!), and we all got out with my Dad...while Leanne and Jim went to park. I don't think my Dad knew quite what was going on. Holly grabbed one of his arms and steadied him as he walked, and we headed in to the mall. 

It seemed like we walked FOREVER, because we were having to walk so slow.

And good thing the mall wasn't crowded, what with it being the week between Christmas and New Years, and what with the Cotton Bowl being played there and all. 

Goodness gracious at all the people!

But we finally made it to the train store and got my dad inside. I don't think he knew what we were doing or what to expect, but once we finally got inside and he could see what it was...he seemed to relax a little. We all watched as he went from station to station, and looked at all the trains and how they were displayed. We watched as he talked quietly to Clara and pointed out the various types of trains. I hope it brought back some nice memories for him.

After we were done there, he and Clara and Leanne headed to a Christmas store in Arlington, and the rest of us spent some time at the mall. Leanne said that she got Dad a shopping cart to push around/lean on for support. At one point, she noticed him put his head down and stop. She asked him if he was okay and he said that he was a little dizzy. Leanne found him a seat in a back room. There was a TV in there and she turned on one of the football games for him to watch...and he THINKS he MIGHT have taken a little nap.

I am so thankful we had the opportunity to take my dad to see the trains. Leanne had a great idea!

After any extremely over-stimulating day, Jim's grandmother, Mammaw Irene, used to say, "I'll think about it later." She would go to her home and spend several days just thinking about every single detail of the day.

I hope that's what my Dad does.

"Great are the works of the LORD; they are pondered by all who delight in them." Psalm 111:2

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