A little train trip….

My father was born in the late 1920s of Scottish ancestry.  The youngest of three boys, he was a child of the depression and learned how to save a nickel and ‘make do’ at any early age.   He left school as a teenager, watched his two older brothers go to WW2 (where one was killed in action), and learned a trade as an electrical engineer.


My sisters and I can’t complain about our material childhood – between my father and my mother, who worked as a teacher, we lived well.  We always had a nice family holiday in the summers.  We traveled this country coast to coast several times.   We made lots of  memories together.

Being a household of ‘girls’, we exercised quite a lot of creative energy.  I always believed it was from my mother that the ‘making’ gene was embedded….especially since she was always encouraging us to cut, paste, draw, sew, knit or whatever.  She has a great stylish eye, and believed in investing in fashion.  She supported all our creative pursuits and allowed us to pursue our personal dreams – something she herself had to fight for.

My father worked hard, came home, read the paper, ate dinner, and drove us to our sporting events.  (When I think about it now, their participation and sacrifice for us in this regard was quite unusual in those days).  In spite of the fact that his mother was a working artist, and his father a writer, I NEVER EVER associated any kind of creativity with my father.


Both of my parents, who still live in the house and community where I grew up,  retired comfortably.  With his direct familial duties done, the newly  found hours in the day allowed my father to unleash his inner creative self.  He has always been a curious guy, probing relentlessly ‘how things work’.



trains 8


trains 3


trains 7


trains 1

trains 5

This project required: study, planning, collecting, drawing, making, constructing, and overall dedication.  It provided him with a new community of like-minded model train aficionados and he never misses those weekly meetings.  It inspired him to continue to travel – to visit historic train installations throughout Canada and the U.S.  He continues to read and study everything about the historic railway.   It keeps his mind active and focused.

Best of all, look at how much he impresses his youngest grandaughter:


This post is dedicated to my father.  Now in his eighties, he amazingly continues to create everyday.



Filed under Culture, Favourites

5 responses to “A little train trip….

  1. Wow! I am going to show this to my husband, he will go nuts. Wait. No. Then he will want to build one in our basement. Tell your dad his train set is awesome.

  2. Debbo

    Hi – I finally read this…great blog and nice pics. Dad should be proud.
    Talk to you soon.

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