Friday, November 12, 2010

We went hunting trains............

When GK was little, like before she was 2, she and I hung out together every day. We did all the sights applicable to a toddler around the city, including a tour of every city park...yeah I'm like that, adventure 101. We also visited every piece (94 at the time) of public pieces of art, financed by a 1% tax here in Burque. Joined a homeschool group of toddlers, where I really was the old crone, and enjoyed her babyhood to the max.

The very first Lowe's (big box) store was building it's store near where GK's Mom worked. Because she was still nursing, I would go get Shelley a Rt. 44 Cherry Limeade at the Sonic next to the new Lowe's and then take it to her when I took GK for her afternoon snuggle. GK nursed until she was 4....maybe that explains alot about her attachments to people, no pun intended. Anyway, she loved watching the big equipment, front end loaders. trenchers. dump trucks and so was an informed 2 year old girl with a need for more metal.

Every time we drove anywhere, she wanted to see the yellow, green and orange of the big equipment. We went to the fire station after a chase of a firetruck one day. She was in love. I think the fireman were too. She wanted to see everything and did most of the time. But then came her true love.....trains. We were stopped at a gated crossing one day on our trip to the west side for play group when the longest freight train went by, followed very closely by a linked double engine power team. We were the first car at the gate and you could of course feel the rumble of the engines as they passed. Well that was it for us. Nothing would do but that we had to find a place where she could "see more". I am if nothing else a facilitator of trivial knowledge in all I know.

Went to the train yard, such as it was, here in Burque but not much to see. Asked some rail workers where would be the best and safest place would be for a very precocious and inquiring toddler could get her fix of big metal. I was directed to the main switching yard for trains in New Mexico at Belen. That's 50 miles south of Burque, but off we went.
pictures by GK
That was 8 years ago. Yesterday we took Ry to see the trains. He has every Thomas on the face of the planet and we hoped he would enjoy his day off from school with a visit to one of GK's fav places. We hadn't been in about 3 years.

So we got the Harvey House Museum, went up to the chain link open area where they have railroad ties set up to sit on to watch the trains. Ry is doing what Ry does jabbering a million miles and hour and looking for special rocks and sticks. Papa (alias SM) and he go off to see what they can see and GK and I sat on the railroad ties waiting for the action. Two old men were sitting not far from us. Train buffs to be sure. I could tell they were getting interested in what GK was saying about the trains and what the names of the cars and haulers are and how the switchman had just called for a coupling and we made a bet which tray cars would be separated and filled with the huge boxes. Dave, one of the old men leaned over to GK and asked her where she had learned so much about trains and how they work. She smiled very politely and told him her "love story" and how I had brought her to the source and all the books on trains she has read and videos she has watched. He and Al were blown away at her demeanor (so I was told on the sly) and knowledge and appreciation for the trains.

And then in typical GK style she said "excuse me (to the men), I feel a big one coming" and raced to the fence and yelled at me to join her "feel the train, Oma". It was a moment in time suspended in joy. The smile on her face as she shouted over the roar, "I can still feel it in my chest, I almost forgot how wonderful it feels".

And Ry found a really cool stick that we took with us to the restaurant. Trains and Ry, not so much. GK and trains.....forever in my heart.


  1. "And Ry found a really cool stick"... I nearly spit coffee all over my laptop at that! Haha, oh Ry and I would have gotten along fabulously at the train yard as kids. Who needs metal when there are sticks to be found?

    Nowadays, I enjoy them both. :)

  2. Sounds like fun!! Wish I could take a trip down to our train station, but unless I want someone to throw a Mad Dog bottle at me, or have someone actually wee-wee on my feet, ain't going to happen!! LOL I shouldn't be so hard...been a while since I went down there and I've heard they've rebuilt trains station, same bums!! LOL

    Hey, joined your Willowing group...sounds like mucho fun. SM has been talking about taking a trip up your to the Ysleta Casino...some really good specials up there. We'll see since it's getting to that time of the year where I just have to nest in the studio.

    Have a great weekend and Sticks Rock!!! LOL


  3. My grandfather was a railroad man. I still have his key from when he worked the railroad - it has B&O engraved on it. I have great affinity for all things trains. And sticks.

    Can I have your grandbabies. y'know...just 'cause. heehee

  4. Neither of my grandmothers were living when I was a young girl, Linda. You are the grandmother of my dreams. If they had one, I'm sure you would win the oscar for most attentive and loving grandmother!

    Trains! I did like playing with my brother's electric train when he was a young boy ~ not because it was a train but because it was electric and it moved. I never liked them until we moved here to VA in 2006. I started taking photographs of them and little by little my interest peaked. I always thought they were big, ugly and noisy. Now I find them very interesting and majestic. Strange how time changes your outlook on things. I drive to the train yard to take photos and I think it's a beautiful place.
    Another great post, Linda.
    Have a good weekend!
    ♥ audrey

  5. What a great train story. I'm a lover of trains and love the choo choo choo. Wow, you and GK are really making some forever memories. She definitely will always remember her times with you. Way to go Grandma!! Tee Hee. Have a great weekend and thx for stopping by my blog. Sorry I haven't been around, I'll catch up soon. Take care.

  6. What a wonderful story. Your grandchildren are so very lucky to be growing up with you. I remember my grandmother was kind but very stern, hard to get a smile out of. How very different you are.

  7. Oh what fun! GK would have loved the trains where I lived in Canada - they were over 130 wagons long, went right through the middle of town, day and night, and hooted their horns in the wee small hours as they came past the grain elevators. Sometimes we got to be late for school because the school was on one side of the tracks and I lived on the other side, and there were only 3 crossings in the whole town. 130 wagon long trains take a nice long time to travel through towns ;o)

    In the UK trains have a whole different purpose, mainly carrying people. I got the train to school as a kid, and because our line hadn't been electrified we had really old rolling stock, circa the 1950s and 1960s that would run with the diesel engines. These were the ones like you see in the really old films, with a door at every set of seats that you had to lean out the window to open, and guards' vans - so out of place in the early 90s! Now I get to take modern electric trains to work, with electric doors, they just aren't quite the same amount of fun!

    There are quite a few old steam train lines maintained in the UK too, and our local one (when I was little) does a Santa Express every Christmas. So much fun, 2 stops down the line, hot chestnuts, hot chocolate and queueing up to see the man himself, with a Severn Valley Railway mug as a souvenir.

    I now live near the 'Harry Potter' line, and my friend and I are determined to get on the steam train up there one day, we just have to remember to book about 6 months in advance for a weekend trip!

    Maybe one day you need to do a HUGE adventure and come to Europe to meet our trains, they're oh so different to the North American ones, and the would be a great learnign experience :oD


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