Lionel Polar Express, Dickens Village

The two young grandsons visited today. 9:30 Am they began by running their favorite attraction when they visit at our home, the Polar Express Lionel O gauge, around the living room floor track they helped set up during their last visit.  The goal today was the Dickens Village around and among wife’s lighted ‘little forest’ that comprises our yearly Christmas tree.

Four separate boxes that I dragged down from their storage shelf high in the garage, contained the numerous small houses, porcelain trees, figurines of ‘Scrooge and ‘Tiny Tim’, with village figures visiting the shops (one has tiny Geese hanging from it’s upper window ledge). A train station for a small Dickens train, little bridge, horse and carriage with Oxen and sleigh rounds out the village

Wife’s brother started her Village collection many years ago. He added one periodically. Wife found others (thrift stores and after Christmas sales) from time to time. On this day she gently removed each from their individual box, while the boys busily ‘clunked’ each of the little porcelain buildings down onto the glass coffee table… to her alarm.

Inserting the individual small lights into the holes kept them busy. Finally the arranging of the village was finished, after intervention adjustment by wife. My job was to rig a power strip and direct older boy to cautiously plug in the stacked connectors while arranging the street lights. Viola, we had lights. A timer, on after dark,  shuts the whole set, including the little forest, off by 9:30 PM, so easy maintenance from now until disassemble day after New Years.

Younger Grandson’s job is just to fondle each piece, endlessly remove and reset the train engine and each of the cars (including periodically ‘flipping’ the disappearing Hobo on the roof of the ‘Hobo Car’) on the tracks. Test and retest for circling the track to his satisfaction, then repeat the entire sequence …over and over again.

The boys kept busy imagining whatever young boys imagine, while laying low on the carpet and watching the lighted Polar Express circle the fairly large U loop under the piano, across frozen lake, under a a doll cabinet and around the room, over the elevated trestle and back to where the Christmas forest resides.

I placed the long flat mirror under a stretch of track, to simulate the frozen lake that sends the Polar Express in the Tom hanks movie, drifting and sliding in scary ‘crack the whip’ gyrations. A small pack of well detailed miniature ‘Ral Partha’ pewter Wolves, is lurking in the forest to chase the passing train (they are pewter, they can’t really ‘Chase’ anything).

The boys had gone with their family to Durango Colorado to ride ‘the Polar Express’, sip hot chocolate and enjoy the story…in their pajamas. To hear them tell it, they are now experts on the Polar Express, after two Christmases of their touring ‘the North Pole’ of Durango Colorado.

Their Dad picked them up after dusk today, to the dismay of the eldest. He was not quite finished ‘imagining’. The family went to dinner and a movie, so the distress was short lived.

Such is life, if one chooses, all across the United States of America, One Nation Under God.


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