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Sunday, December 23, 2012

Polar Express

In October, Ron bought a train to put around our Christmas tree. We brought it home from Temecula in two  carryon suitcases which the airlines didn't seem to mind. It has  been sitting in the attic until yesterday afternoon. That's when Ron discovered that the transformer wouldn't work.

Hmmm. Just where can you find a model train transformer on a late Saturday afternoon two days before Christmas? Google to the rescue. There was a shop about 45 minutes away, they were still open,and had just what was needed!

Those of you who know Ron already know about the stories of Ron's misadventures due to lack of directionitus. Some of you even have said things to him like, "Ron, tell us again about the time you had the mother-of-the-bride in your car and you and she missed the whole wedding reception of her only daughter when you couldn't find the restaurant" or "Ron, remember when you drove the wrong direction for 3 hours turning the wrong way after stopping for gas" and, "Ron, tell us about how you would circle water towers when you were flying in order to read the name of the town when you were lost."

As usual, as we left the driveway, Ron asked which direction to turn. "Pretend we're heading toward the airport", I always say. "Oh", he says, "do you mean head for the bypass?" "Yes", I sigh, "the man said take Baumhardt Road UNTIL IT ENDS at Rt 20.  Then look for FOUR SILOS and FOUR RED BARNS. I have a dairy farm", he added.

We pondered that as we drove. We have never ever been on Baumhardt Road until it ended. I guess we just thought it went on forever. We only travel 1 mile of it before we get on the turnpike and head for the airport. An adventure AND a train store! and a Dairy Farm!

I knit in the car and was happy for the free knit time, so, I kind of forgot to keep my eye on Ron's driving.  So, when we came to an intersection and Ron exclaimed, "there are the silos and 4 red barns", I was a bit sheepish that I didn't notice it first. "Aren't you glad I was paying attention" he said.

So, we turned onto the road, and into the farm drive and past the cute white house with the picket fence and into the backyard beside a huge red barn. We counted 3 other red outbuildings and concluded we had arrived at our destination. By the way, in our haste, we didn't take the gps with us, Ron's most trusted and loved electronic device, and we really didn't think we would need it.

Noticing that there was no sign indicating a train store, we headed toward one of the outbuildings where a radio was blaring  music. "Ron", I said, "we can't just barge into a barn uninvited" (just where I got that piece of etiquette, I don't know) but, we gently pushed open the door and startled a women who was mucking several stalls. (Aren't you impressed I used the phrase, "mucking the stalls"?) We said we were here to visit the train store. She looked at us and said, you must be LOST.

Yikes, we explained about the 4 silos and the 4 red barns and muttered something about Baumhart dead ending on Rt 20. Oh, this is Rt 511........?  oops. Well,  to deflect extreme embarrassment, I said, "so, what do you have here, I see 4 kittens,  and....are these....donkeys?" (I was ready to be embarrassed by misidentifying the four-legged creatures before me)  "yes" she, replied, "I have 4 of them, and this is my 14 year old horse over here," she replied.  I took another risk and said, "didn't I see something in the yard with horns like a reindeer?"  "He's a white tail deer that I've had since he was 8 days old and he is now 14 years old" she replied.  "He is very gentle except during rutting season and then you have to leave him alone."  Ron seemed to get the jist of that right away.

It was now dusk and we headed back onto Baumhardt Road until it ended, just like the man said. Ahead of us was a sign tacked onto a telephone pole, TRAINS, and we could clearly see 4 HUGE silos and 4 HUGE red barns, and a large  building with railroad crossing signs and giant parking lot. It turns out the dairy farmer had closed his farm and opened the biggest train store ever. ToysRUs isn't as big as this former farmer's train store! We learned alot about modern model trains. One customer pointed out the $600 engine he was purchasing as his Christmas present (he was 79) and he talked about the first train set he got in 1941, which he still had.  We left with a new transformer ($100) and wistfully discussed having a small farm with at least one small red outbuilding for a deer, a few donkey,s a horse, and, of course, sheep!