Sunday, November 28, 2010

Day Twenty-One: Another Moment, In Great Detail

One of the best parts about Christmastime at my grandparents' house was always the decorating. Every year they threw a huge tree-trimming party and invited lots of friends and family to enjoy hanging ornaments on the tree while drinking cider and listening to Christmas carols. As much as I enjoyed those parties (and got away with eating too many sugar cookies), it was the set up that I enjoyed even more. My Pop-Pop collected old electric trains and we would spend all morning going into the crawl space under the basement stairs and pulling out the boxes of metal track and each individually wrapped train car. The combination of smells from the sweet pine sap of the tree and cold metal from the tracks is still a vivid memory for me. It was so satisfying to lay out the track and fit each piece together perfectly until it went all the way around the base of our tree. I can remember laying on the cold hardwood floor and being covered with prickly needles that had already fallen.

We had to make sure the wheels of each car were lined up with the grooves in the track so they would glide along smoothly and the cars all hooked together in order, starting with the engine and ending with my favorite, the caboose. The most exciting part of all was, of course, getting to slowly turn the dial for the first time and waiting in anticipation to see whether or not the train would lurch forward-it usually did. I would set it as fast as it could go, until the little toy people would topple over and fall off. I still try to tinker with the train set every few years when I'm home for Christmas and I still get just as much enjoyment out of watching it circle the track under our Christmas tree. It brings back so many great memories, which is one of the best things about this time of year.

1 comment:

Stephanie said...

Awww, what a sweet memory!