With the Flip of a Switch

June 2022 – All about the airplanes!

A few weeks ago Will McFarland was all about the planes.   Planes – planes – planes. Our little boy was ALL about airplanes all of the time. Will played with planes.   He read about airplanes. Will watched innumerable plane videos. He kept one eye on the sky at all times – because one simply never knows when something cool might be zooming by right over our heads! He TALKED about planes without ceasing (or so it seemed to his mom some days).

Our Will believes in taking the DEEP dive into anything that interests him. William McFarland becomes positively encyclopedic about his interests (passions/obsessions). If Will is interested in something – then he KNOWS ALL about it!

When Jason – Jack – Caitlyn and I left Will with the rest of our family in Tennessee to continue vacationing without us – Will had an airplane in his hand and his eyes on the sky above. Will was firmly and deeply committed to airplanes. Less than a week later – when Will returned home – he had a new (old/renewed) passion. William had a TRAIN in his hand and his eyes on the rails! Planes? What planes? Trains! Trains! Trains!   Will loves trains now/again.

The switch flipped in Will’s brain on a trip to Bryson City – North Carolina during his extended vacation. Bryson City has a wonderful train museum which Will absolutely – positively loves. Bryson City was also the site of the filming the train wreck from “The Fugitive” with Harrison Ford. Will has never watched “The Fugitive” – but he has seen those wrecked train cars and finds them intriguing. So intriguing that these train cars inspired a whole renewed deep dive into trains!

Will’s airplanes are now gathering dust and need to be returned to their storage bins (to await the next time they need to be called upon at a moment’s notice). Trains – glorious – TRAINS – we are back into trains at our house. There are trains and train tracks galore around our house these days.

Watching the trains at the train museum.

Trains . . . glorious trains . . . noisy – rumbling trains . . .

Jason and I decided Will needed to be escorted to LaGrange – Kentucky as soon as possible. We hoped LaGrange would be a big hit with William (again) and it was. It really – really was.

We headed for LaGrange on Saturday morning with our fingers crossed that it would be a good day for train spotting.

In preparation for our adventure – I had carefully checked the LaGrange town website for the hours of the weekly Farmers’ Market. I had researched the hours the train museum was open to welcome guests. Of course – I knew when Friends and Fiber – the AMAZING yarn store was open!   BUT – somehow while conducting all of my research – I missed that Saturday was LaGrange’s summer festival – including a parade!

We drove into town to the sound to sirens and honking horns. Most of LaGrange seemed to have gathered for the parade and festivities.

Our first stop was the train museum where we received a very warm welcome from the volunteers who staff the museum. They delighted us with all they had to share about history of the railroad in Kentucky. We learned a lot. We even learned that the LaGrange train depot is haunted by the ghost of a former train engineer named George!?!?! (We didn’t personally meet George – but that was fine with me. It was MORE than enough to be regaled with tales of George’s otherworldly visits!)

Listening and learning!

The basement of the LaGrange Train Museum was bustling with activity on Saturday. There we met the nicest – friendliest – most gracious – group of gentlemen who all share a passion for model railroading. We had a blast chatting with these kind men who answered our questions and taught us so much about their beloved hobby. William was mesmerized and honestly – I was rather intrigued myself.   The detail of the scenes and the trains was fascinating.   Watching the trains was incredibly relaxing too!

We watched and talked and chatted and learned and delighted!

Then we set off to explore the 2 full-sized trains that are part of the museum. These lovingly restored trains are parked just steps from the depot. It was fun to be able to climb aboard and imagine our family preparing for a life on the rails.

Eventually – we decided to explore the rest of LaGrange. There were all sorts of tents and vendors set up around the town square. The Farmers’ Market didn’t have much in the way of farm produce – but William didn’t care.   He got a yummy – cherry snow cone.   Snow cones beat a carrot or zucchini any day (according to the youngest McFarland).

Will and Jason found a nice bench in the shade while I headed into the yarn store to explore and spend time delighting in my favorite things.   (Their interest in yarn stores pales in comparison to mine . . .)   And while I petted the yarn – a massively huge – noisy CSX train rumbled right down Main Street much to Will’s great delight!!! There were 4 engines. Two in the front and two engines right smack in the middle of the train.

(When I heard the sound of the train rumbling into town – I MAY have offered our Lord a quick prayer of thanks and gratitude for blessing Will with an actual train sighting . . . He really – Really – REALLY wanted to see a train.)

After the train sighting – we headed back to the train museum to watch and delight in the model trains. We stayed until the museum closed!

We had such a wonderful day filled with trains – Trains – TRAINS and little boy smiles – Smiles – SMILES!

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