Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmas Trains and Blog Anniversaries

I missed an anniversary. December 10th marked my fifth year of blogging for me. In the past five years, I’ve written over 700 posts. My first post wasn’t much, just a description of the tree and the train and how I enjoy the winter season. This was my first post, written back before I had a digital camera…

The Christmas tree is up and I'm back in the railroad business. Around the tree goes my own trains complete with cabooses. For the next month, I'll president of this railroad and will encourage all forms of featherbedding! It's nice to sit by a fire in the hearth, looking at the lights on the tree and the train below, or to just sit and read, enjoying a glass of fine whiskey.

A glass of whiskey is more infrequent (and savored even more) becuase I don't need the calories. I should add that in addition to encouraging featherbedding on my railroad (does anyone know what that is?) I also leave at a the door to a box car open as a way to show hospitality to hobos. A few years ago, I repainted the board upon which the railroad is mounted and put sand in the paint to make it give it the diamond flakes you see in the snow on a cold winter night. Unfortunately, with the flash, the twinkling snow gets washed out and, after a bit of sap and lots of needles, the snow looks dirty… By the way, sap is one of the great enemies of trains that run under a Christmas tree. A drop can wreck havoc with your wheels and with the electricity getting to the engine. Another enemy of the train, one that causes major derailments, are presents, most of which has to be stacked beside the tree instead of under it. Another enemy is the dog...

The other evening I was shopping and found a new CD by Sting, “If On a Winter’s Night.” Reading the cover I learned the winter is Sting's favorite season and I felt a kinship with him and purchased the CD. It will be added to my collection of Windham Hill and George Winston CDs. I hope to do a few posts between now and Christmas. Then, early next week, I’m heading south, to the Old North State, to check up on family.


  1. Happy bloggiversary. I think 5 years of continuous service should automatically get you into the Bloggers Hall Of Something.

  2. You started five weeks before I did, Sage (on your birthday!). Congratulations on making it for 5 years, and for entertaining us all the way!!

  3. Sage: I want to congratulate you on your 5th blog anniversary! We must have started around the same season!! Your writing is always enjoyable and I wish you a Merry Christmas,my friend!

  4. Happy 5th anniversary, Sage! This post smells like Christmas, gifts and winter!

    We don't have these problems with Xms trees and trains -most people have plastic Xmas trees here, we're very short of real trees in the forests-.

    WOW I'd love to have a look at your Windham Hill and George Winston's collection!

    Have a Happy Christmas!

  5. Sage
    Congratulations on your 5th! Since fifth year anniversaries are about wood and silver, I guess the real Christmas tree is appropriate for your train track. I like your open car for hobo's tradition; my little grandma lived less than 100 yards from the main railroad line through town, and she was always feeding hobo's. Later, after she and grandpa had died we found a large rock that was always in the yard marked on the underside ... guess they had her number.
    thanks gain

  6. Good luck listening to that whole CD without falling asleep. Let me know if you are able to.

    So...5 years...when did I come into the picture, I wonder. It must've been shortly after?

  7. I miss the train around the tree. We had an HO set modeled after "The General," which Dad broke out every year to go around the tree. I tried to find it at my Mom's house a few years back for my kids, but it seems to have disappeared.


    BTW, I'm with you on the frequency of more potent spirits, though mine of choice is the vodka & tonic. At almost fifty years old, one realizes college life is long, long in the past.


  8. Karen, thanks!

    Bone, I'm sure I'm in line for something, it may be just a kick in the pants :)

    Kenju, wow, you started on my birthday? (which would be five weeks later!)

    Michael, thanks, I know we've been reading each other blogs for over 3 years!

    Euthychus, I've always had this dream of being a hobo--maybe it came from reading too much Jack London and Jack Keuroac

    Murf, I listened to it all the way through the first time, it's beautiful (but I could probably sleep to it, too)

    Randall, I've never got creative with the train and only bring it out at Christmas. With the General, you should have two trains and a race (along with burning trestles). Ever see the silent movie? I have friends that have massive layouts--one using Tonopah, NV (in its hayday) as his map for his train set--I just don't have that kind of time or interest.

  9. Leni, (how could I have jumped over you) we have people who grow real trees here, just for CHristmas... Out west, I always had a pinion pine and they were real sappy. Yes, I'm sure we have lots of similar musical taste from reading your blog.

    Murf, (2nd reply as I missed your question). First of all, I'm pretty sure we don't have much musical taste... We started reading each other blogs in the fall of 2005, I think. I think it was through The Appalachianists (or A.I. as he was known then). Then along came Sarah Palin's Florida sister (who made cute little Sarah look like a member of the ACLU) and Ed and the rest is history.

  10. I just saw Sting and that album on CBS Sunday Morning and it sounded great. It's kind of fun to see Sting now 57 compared to his days on the Police. There is hope for us all!

    Sarah Palin's Florida sister... those were the good old days. Unfortunately she gave up blogging or at least the blog she had. Last time I checked it hadn't been updated since early in the last presidential campaign and even then, nothing was really said except posting of trashy videos and pictures.

  11. No musical taste?! Hello? Dan Fogelberg, perhaps? :-)

  12. I like Wyndham hill and George Winston but am not a fan of Sting. I never had a model train but always kind of wanted one.

  13. Great going Sage! It is remarkable how the march of time transcends everything, and looking back how much you've accomplished.

  14. Ed, it's a nice album!

    Murf, Dan Fogelburg, sounds familiar!

    Charles, as Ed said, this isn't the Police (although I liked some of their music)

    Walking Guy, the open door is a symbolic thing, but if I owned a real railroad, I'd be tempted to always have one car with an open door--but I'm sure my insurance folks would be raising cain.

    Beau, thanks! 5 years is a chunk of time, isn't it.

  15. Happy late blogiversary! I really enjoy winter, but am thankful that it doesn't last very long here. one good snow a year is all I need!

  16. I have two cats who attack anything that moves. A train would not survive long.

    Happy blog anniversary!

  17. Happy Fifth!
    Loved the genology.
    I would think about that kinship to Sting though when I saw him on the Rock & Roll 25th anniversary he looked more humbled than he used to look
    In a sense he's one of the original vlogger's. Didn't need to see his wife giving birth or his glorification of himself. Obviously have strong feelings about Sting

  18. My aunt and uncle put a train around their tree, too :)

    Happy bloggiversary! And... feliz navidad. :)