The Holiday Train

March 28, 2012

My oldest daughter just turned 19 and her group of her friends are coming over this weekend to celebrate, a big group of teens, all in the same art program that she’s in at college and new to me when she started two years ago. Since then, they’ve graced our home many times – arriving for the day to play video games, watch animated films (they are art students, remember!) eat and laugh at incredible and infectious levels.They are polite and not afraid to make conversation with me – making me feel like a respected person and not an intrusive annoyance.

Last November, they were over for the usual games/films/dinner – I was preparing a mass of burgers in the kitchen when my husband burst in the front door from work, breathless and excited, calling out to everyone “The Holiday Train is here! The Holiday Train is here!”

The railroad tracks run behind our house and so does the Holiday Train, a long train that travels across the country, each boxcar decorated with Christmas lights and trees. It’s quite a sight, like a shining  jewel in the dark winter night. In the past, we’ve never seemed to know when it was scheduled to come by, and yet each year our family has been fortunate enough to accidentally see the last half of it puff past our kitchen window. On this particular evening, it was “parked” at the nearby junction and he had seen it getting off the bus on his way home from work and, like a kid – ran all the way home to let us know.

I excitedly explained to all the kids what was coming and all fifteen of us ran outside to stand in the cold to await the train. We had to wait for a while – but then….the whistle blew…the train was coming! What a crowd we were – standing on our back stoop! Shivering gave way to screaming and cheering as each illuminated boxcar passed by…. shouts of “there’s a snowman!” or “look at the Christmas trees on top!” sprinkled between the ooohs and ahhhhs.

Finally, the caboose passed by – signalling the end, and the whole group broke out into applause. A funny thought occurred to me…I realised that – although aged between 11 and 52,  we were all suddenly…. magically…..5 years old, together.

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2 Responses to “The Holiday Train”

  1. Josée Says:

    Isn’t it ” wonderful ” to have that feeling of wonder! It is sad to see people being so cynical (especially teenagers) when we should all be able to stop and appreciate moments of beauty.

    • sassytalk Says:

      So true, Josee…and it truly was magical that moment – we were a group – and we were “one” – just for a moment. Beautiful!


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