Thursday, December 26, 2013

For the Love of a Train…

Happy Holidays!

So it’s Christmas as I write this, I don’t really celebrate the holiday for a variety of reasons. One day I may again but that is certainly not now. I went to a friend’s house today (as I have for the last four years) and spent the early afternoon hours watching the kids open presents, eating snacks, sharing stories and catching up. I then traveled to storage to pick up my Castaspella costume for an upcoming party (more on that when it happens). Muwahahahaha!

This year I have been in very good spirits. This is a big change. I still have an awful time just saying Merry Christmas. I can’t say it, but I generally say Happy Holidays and that’s my response. However, you can’t exactly respond Happy Holidays to a four year old when they wish you a Merry Christmas. So I fight myself and respond accordingly. I was perfectly fine and in a great mood until I went home and made the unfortunate decision to call someone in my family who I miss dearly only to be greeted with a voicemail that I hung up on. If this wasn’t common it would not bother me, but unfortunately it’s the normal thing these days as family just keeps slipping away and I wind up feeling more and more isolated. After making myself a light dinner and chatting with a good friend, I decided to stop pursuing a connection because in the end it’s just too painful. Several hours later I did receive a response text message to my phone call, but it doesn’t change anything.

In my sadness, I opened up my final trade and started reading Witchblade Rebirth volume 1 and I finished it as well. Seely is definitely a change from Marz and I can’t say I love it. I really do enjoy Marz’s writing and I think taking on an iconic character like Witchblade is a challenge for anyone. I like the change from NYC to Chicago. I am not thrilled about the career change. I do like the occult and duplicated artifact powers.

After finishing Witchblade I took a nap and missed Doctor Who which I had a feeling was going to happen so I didn’t wake up too upset about.

So the train right? I titled this about a train right?

When I woke up from my nap, feeling a little out of sorts I remembered a conversation I had both on Christmas Eve and earlier in the week. On Christmas Eve before leaving for the day I was telling a coworker how I chose to not put my tree up this year. Last year, I felt like it made me sad, but this year I have been focusing on relaxing and I felt it best to not set it up. Last year I said I want to get a train to put under the tree because growing up we always had a train under the tree. I continued telling my coworker how we had an antique train and instead of a tree skirt we used a white sheet (snow). On the sheet we put these paper buildings my stepfather had assembled (much like paper dolls) and other town like things all under the tree inside the train tracks. I was telling her how I miss having a train and she looked at me and told me you have to do that again, because you lit up talking about that train town.

So in my wonkiness this evening I started researching. The actual train I had as a child. It was actually my mothers and I remember some what not liking it because I couldn’t play with it. I could set it up and when I was really young I could turn it on and sometimes put a small toy in one of the cars, but even with all its details there wasn’t much play factor on them. I remember the track having some rough spots where the connectors would be stuck or missing so we had aluminum foil in its place (yay science!).

Originally, I thought we had had a Lionel Prewar train set with a 027 track. As it turns out I was wrong. I was very dead set looking at Lionel sets and getting a bit deflated when I was not seeing anything that looked remotely like our train set. I looked at the VERY FEW childhood photos I have and I do have one with the train set! It’s prior to our little tree town but almost the entire train is in full view.

4 year old Ally!

Check that out! I had forgotten the engine was red. That narrows things down a lot. I started researching Lionel Postwar 027 track trains and came up with nothing. I then decided my Prewar assumptions must be correct, but there is NO ONLINE RESOURCE for Prewar Lionel identification and of course I can’t see the car number in the pictures. Through random image searched for Prewar Lionel Train Sets I came up with the set I had but with a black engine!

Well guess what? I was wrong again! Ha! Turns out the train we had was a Marx Mar train set with car numbers 552 through 555! It’s a Canadian brand. Go figure. I am half French Canadian anyway. Betcha didn’t know that! In fact, that’s pretty much all I know about my ancestry. While the Marx Mar brand is not nearly as elite as the Lionel brand, it is what I had as a child and it will cost A LOT LESS to replace! In my searching I found the Lionel pink girl train from the 1950s going for a whopping $4k! Most vintage Lionel sets were running $300 to $600, but the Marx Mar’s sets are around $200 at the most expensive.

It’s nothing I plan on purchasing right now. In fact, it would be for next near. So I have a whole year to keep my eye out for the set with the red engine, because the ones I am seeing all have a black engine. I would definitely settle for black if it came down to it and replace with the red, but I have time to look. I am just really happy that I was able to figure out the actual train! I can’t wait to tell my coworker but it’s past midnight now so I think I will wait until I see her.

And my spirits have been lifted again by a little train.

Happy Holidays!