On Saturday morning when he called to say he was on his way home, I asked the dreaded question.
"Are you working this weekend?"
I had to ask him if he was joking. He informed me he in fact was NOT joking. You could hear the smile on his face through the phone. If that makes any sense to anyone.
We had made SOME plans for the weekend, regardless of his work schedule. However now that he wouldn't have to go back into work until Monday night, everything could be done in a relaxed frame of mind instead of rushing to get him home in time to rest before work.
Saturday was spent purging the attic of junk. It was something that needed to be done for a couple years now. Our town hosted a fall clean up day, and offered dumpsters for trash free of charge. We had two truck bed loads for the dumpsters and another load to Goodwill. It was such a relief to cross that off the list and made enjoying Sunday so much easier.
On Sunday we took a nice afternoon drive over the boarder into Indiana. Our destination? The Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society. They were hosting an Open House this weekend to showcase their Nickel Plate Road steam locomotive no. 765.
Earlier this year the locomotive made two appearances in our town. Once headed west, and another when it came back east. Both times we missed it's quick passing through town, and all four of us were equally disappointed.
When I read in the local paper that the locomotive would be on display AND RUNNING this weekend, I knew we had to be there. 374 and I have always loved trains ever since we were little. I spent the early part of my childhood in this town, and watched trains run through daily. I can even remember trains coming through still pulling a caboose behind it. 374 spent part of his childhood with a man who loved model trains. 374's father was married to P. P is the mother of 374's only sibling. As children whenever they would go to visit P's father, they always spent a lot of time in his train room. I believe these are some of 374's fondest memories.
Like most toddler boys, Bubby was in love with Thomas the Train. His love has evolved as he's gotten older, and he has a fondness for steam engines. He has a dvd featuring beautiful footage of steam locomotives puffing along the tracks during winter months. He also loves the PBS documentary on steam locomotives and spends all afternoon watching it when it's played.
And Sassy? Well if her big brother thinks it's cool, then she's always on board too!
The kids spotted the big beauty before we even made it to the park.
The afternoon was spent climbing up, in and through various cabooses, track cars and a locomotive. We even took a ride in a caboose pulled by a diesel.
However we were all sucked in by the main attraction.
I knew it would be big. I knew it would be beautiful. I was not prepared for just how big and beautiful it was. I'm not trying to sound sappy or corny. I was moved by this machine. I was moved by the workers milling around and running the different exhibits. These men and women put in 15,000 volunteer hours over a five year span to restore this piece of history to the condition you see it in today.
During our peak into the cab, the workers opened bu the doors to show the kids the fire. This was one of my favorite parts of the day - it was HOT!
We were all very reluctant to leave. We took one last long walk around 765 and took in the sounds and sights and smells. We were excited to learn that Santa will be at the Historical Society in December, so we plan on making another trip back to visit him AND 765 again.
December cannot come soon enough!
You can find the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society on Facebook HERE
You can find the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society on Twitter HERE
You can find the Nickel Plate 765 on Twitter HERE