Sunday, February 6, 2011

Trains and Tears

I am taking you back into my memory vault once again.
I do hope that you are not tired of these memories.
Memories mean so much to me now,it's all I have left.
Let me go back to 1973,April 5.
This was the day Jake and I welcomed our precious son into the world.
One of the first things Jake said,after looking at his newborn son was,"Now I can get that model railroad."
He had been dreaming of owning a model railroad since long before I knew him.
As I recall it was not many months after Steve's birth that the first trains made their way into our home.
Little did I know where this would lead to.
We started out with an HO-scale set,but soon realized that it took up too much space,so Jake sold that and started on a N-scale set.

This picture was taken in 2006.Our Granddaughter had her first look at Grandpa's trains.
As you can see,the table is far from finished.
Notice how that little hand is being carefully controlled by her Daddy

The following pictures were taken by Steve,yesterday.
We are trying to preserve some of the memories with photographs.
Here you can see Jake's prized locomotive,The Big Boy coming out of the tunnel.

Another shot of the Big Boy,as it crosses the bridge.
I have heard about a Big Boy,since before we were married and when Jake was finally able to purchase this one,fully equipped with digital control and sound,it was a happy day.
I might add that this locomotive will stay in my possession,as a special memory of the model railroad that was.

A colored photo showing the two SD 90s which were also quite special.These Canadian Pacific engines look great pulling a long line of cars.

All the scenery was lovingly made by Jake.It took hours,or even days of planning and then hours and hours of slow work to put it all together.
The table never got completely finished,because,and this is where the tears come in,Jake was called home to glory before he could finish this work.
It makes me sad to see this project in it's unfinished state.

I cannot do a post such as this without,once again,showing the face of the designer and owner of this model railroad.

Unfortunately I must now find a buyer for this table and all those engines and cars.
I do hope that it will go to someone who will cherish it.
I know that with the pictures Steve took,I will have these memories forever
And now,because I can't see for the tears I must close this post.


  1. Jake was extremely talented. I just cannot believe the setting of the train set - it is so beautiful with the rock cliffs, fall colors and buildings. Just amazing!

    How wonderful Steve took such beautiful photos for you to treasure forever. Sending an extra prayer for you as you go through the difficult task of selling this precious hobby of Jake's.

  2. Ruth your memories have tears in my eyes and i did not even know Jake. these are wonderful memories and photos. a great work created by him. it is magical. and the photos your son took look like it is a real train on real tracks. thanks for sharing and we will never ever get tired of your memoires.

  3. Hi Ruth,
    That train and all of the setting and buildings is amazing! I like that the setting is in the Fall, my favorite time of year. I know you hate to part with it, but just think of the joy and happy hours it will bring to someone who wants to work on the set. You are entitled to your tears and you should let them's part of the mourning process. Blessings!

  4. I agree - that is amazing. All the work that went into that creation! I'm glad you have the photos for your memory book.

  5. Ruth, I have never ever seen such an artistic and realistic model train table such as the one your Jake built! Mouth-dropping fabulous! Our own son has started a smaller table such as this for his two boys who absolutely love trains! I'm going to show him your son's photos of this special project.

    Your memories are such a treasure and I feel honored that you are sharing them with us. Just want to encourage you by saying that though none of us ever completes all our work on earth, there is One who did. Jesus said 'It is finished' and you know HIM personally! May the Lord's love and comfort be yours each time the tears flow!

  6. Hi Ruth I have found your lovely site and have read this beautiful story. Jake obviously was very talented and brought much joy with this beautiful set.
    "Adelaide and Beyond"

  7. The talent and time (and love) put into this table is obvious from your pictures. I'm glad you're going to keep the Big Boy engine. I'm confident that the Lord will send someone who will love and cherish it to buy this table.

  8. Hi Ruth, Makes me cry just to see Jake's face and smile. He had such a wonderful life. What a creative man... Not only could he take great photos, but he also could make that beautiful train set and accessories. WOW!!!!

    I grew up with trains all around me. My Dad worked for the railroad. My two brothers both had train sets (big ones --Lionel I think). Then when my sons came along, my ex husband (who also loved trains) started building a little city (like Jake did). I think he (the ex) still has his train set and village --and still works on it, like Jake had done.

    One thing is for certain though, Ruth. And that is that the train set/city/village would never have been finished. He would have always been thinking of more ways to enhance it and add to it. I don't think those kind of hobbies are EVER finished!!!!!!

    Glad you are keeping the Big Boy... I'm sure you can find someone who will love and cherish it just as Jake did.

    God Bless You, my Friend.

  9. What a very gifted man and how precious are your memories that you share ... those tears are love.

  10. The scenery/backdrop for his trains that Jake created is amazing. Very, very nice. So sad to have to part with it on the one hand. My friends husband had a huge collection of toy cars and peddle cars that she slowly got rid of after he died.

    Ah yes, the remembering tears ... such little things crop up that bring them to the eye, funny little things.

    I think of all the years I waited for D before we got married. The labouring wait for him to make up his mind. BUT, once he did, and all that pain was birthed into fruition, that past pain/wait was as nothing. I thought of it often over the few years we were married. I could hardly remember some of the trauma I went through. So I think of that now, that it will be the same with our present pain ... in light of eternity it will only be momentary ... and once we meet up again with our sweeties ... hardly a remembrance for the joy that will be ours.

  11. Ruth
    There should be hobby shop for model trains and they can tell you if there are any model train swap meets in the area or train shows. Here you can maybe find some buyers and or help. There are several in the area around here. Three this month and two next month, and more upcoming. Generally used models go for about 30-40 cents on the dollar, except unique models.

    The actor Gary Coleman donated his to a club for the tax write off.
    The best

  12. Amen to what Cicero said and all the other kind comments. Please keep posting memories and pictures. They are beauty to us and healing to you. thank you for sharing your life and love.

  13. I'm sure whoever buys it will cherish it. After all, things like that are a love and they would have a love of it when they acquire it. It's sad to part with it but you will have beautiful pictures that your son took - with love - to treasure forever. Jake was very special and you two were so fortunate to have such a special love. Hugs to you, Ruth.

  14. Hi Ruth, what lovely memories of Jake and his model trains. Your son Steve has taken beautiful photos. Wouldn't your sons like to keep any of these trains for your grandchildren. My family was big on the model trains. We have many packed away ourselves.

  15. These pictures look like real trains and I would have thought they were if you hadn't said. All the scenery and other things look absolutely real, you could fool anyone with these pictures. He certainly had a talent for this, and I think would have been pleased that you are showing it and we can all enjoy what he did. I am so sorry for your tears of sorrow about this, and selling the trains. But I think that Jake is now on the ultimate train ride, a joyous and beautiful one, and that train whistle is sounding like choirs of beautiful angels. His scenery is far, far prettier than anything here he could have possibly made.

  16. I love real trains and miniature trains like these. Really nice.


  17. What an interesting hobby. Some model train enthusiasts built a large set at the hospital. It features our local communities and they built replicas of several train stations and landmarks. It ran once a week and was a hit with the patients. So glad you got the photos.

  18. Wow, Jake was extremely talented and dedicated to his model railroad hobby. What a beautiful set-up he made with his own hands. I'm glad you have the photos and memories of it to remember Jake by.

    It's a shame that you can't save it for a grandchild or other relative. I suppose you don't have relatives that are interested in model trains.

    I hope you get a good price for it because it looks like Jake must have spent hundreds of hours working on it.

    May the Lord bless you and hold you gently in His hands.

    (((Hugs))) Pat

  19. Ruth,I'm so sorry you have to get rid of them. What a wonderful layout and it is obvious he put much work into this. I'm always amazed at how realistic these layouts look! I have posted photos of a real BigBoy....wonder if it is the same thing? We saw one at a train museum in St. Louis. I will have to show this post to Mike...he will love it.

  20. Oh Ruth, this really hits home. Gary began building an O gauge model layout when our Steve was very young and now he is 37. We have that huge layout in our basement. Gary has made almost all the buildings by hand too. God bless you in your quest. I can only imagine how difficult is for for you.

  21. Ruth dear, the beauty of the train set for it's creator was not in the finished state, but in the actual doing.

    It is sad to sell it but you will always have the memories of Jake working on it and planning it.

    I take it your son is not a model train buff and you really need to sell it?

    All things will work out to God's plan and ultimately will be for the best.

    Blessings . . . Arija

  22. Hugs Ruth...I too hope that someone who truly loves trains will be able to complete the lovely work that Jake started. It's very special that your son took the beautiful photos for you to cherish and bring back happy memories. Thanks for sharing...prayers!

  23. Ruth, what a great looking layout! There's an awful lot of work there. My grandson is 3! The first boy in our family! My train set is 2! I know exactly how Jake felt!
    Precious memories for sure!
    Bless you Ruth!

  24. Jake's train layout is so beautiful. You can tell he put a lot of love into it. It's one of those things that would never be a finished work. His joy was in the creation of the perfect little world. I set up a Christmas village each year so I understand a little bit of his thinking. Steve's photographs will keep the memories in your heart, and Jake's work will continue to bring joy to whoever finally ends up with it.

  25. Oh Ruth... my Sam and Jake would have been best buddies. Sam adores trains and would have loved to be able to see Jake's wonderful layout. I know you will find someone who will love them as much as he did. Sweet, sweet memories. Hugs to you my friend.

  26. what wonderful's great that you are capturing them with such lovely photos.
    you will treasure those.

    and isn't life filled with unfinished tasks....

    that really sounded loudly with me this morning~

    have a blessed day~

  27. Wow, he really created a masterpiece there. What a talent. I can feel the love and care that he put into that clear from here. Thanks for sharing.

  28. ok, you're not the only one struggling to type through the tears. Gorgeous, gorgeous pictures!! What detail in all the scenery. I'll be praying for you as God leads the right buyer to you. You are so blessed to have such beautiful pictures to hold onto, not to mention the wonderful memories treasured in your heart.

  29. Wow, that train is so amazing, and the detail. Beautiful! I'm sure it must be hard to see it go. Ruth, I am, Thinking of you as you go through another milestone in life. I know it can't be easy.

  30. Priceless memories. Thanks for sharing.

  31. *hugs*

    Ruth, these photos, and the memories, are all so beautiful.

    *many, many hugs*

    Ok, so I have tears in my eyes too and can't comment like I normally do. I am with you in my heart! And even BETTER... so is Jake!

  32. A Wonderful post Ruth! and the photos Steve took are treasures!
    Peace and Comfort to you my friend!

  33. It's a beautiful train set. My grandfather used to collect trains. He also made quilts and did carpentry. He was an interesting guy.

    I'm very sorry for your loss. I can't imagine losing my husband. We're celebrating our 13th Anniversary on Valentine's Day and I hope and pray that we will have a very long life together.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  34. ((hugs))
    thanks for sharing Jakes hobby with us. He did a fantastic can see the precise work that went into the setup..may it find a good home.
    Thanks again Ruth

  35. What memories Ruth! Jake put incredible detail into the train setting!! He was an amazing man!

    Thanks so much for sharing

  36. Just beautiful, Jake's work...memories are to be treasured for sure...thank you for visiting my blog and always leaving nice comments. May the Peace that surpasses understanding enter your heart and mind......

  37. That is amazing. He must have enjoyed that immensely.

  38. Wow, that is amazing. I can't believe he did all of that! Quite a talent he had! The photos are beautiful and I'm sure that anyone who buys everything will cherish it completely!

  39. Ruth - unwinding from some of the precious things that have so many powerful memories attached cannot be easy. I'm not sure that this project was ever intended to be finished - Jake would likely have gone on working on it. I've never seen such a realistic replication - it's a work of passion, and your son captured it well. I think someone will come along with a similar passion and will keep working on it too.

    May you find peace and comfort Ruth in the firm knowledge that one day you will be reunited.

  40. Dear Ruth, I know the love of trains. I grew up in a Canadian Pascific town and two of my brothers became engineers driving the locomotives. My third brother was a brakeman. riding the caboose. My old men brothers have now retired and the CPR, have left the town. A train whistle in the distance can bring tears to my eyes. I can understand the attraction that train sets must have to men and little boys. The scenery and trees of Jake's layout is beautiful, especially with the autumn colours he used.One more memory your post evoked. My youngest son was also born in 1973 also. This has been a is a lovely post to view and read.

  41. Hello Ruth, What a wonderful post! First of all, let me say I am very sorry about your loss of Jake. I will pray for peace and strength to be with you. As you will know, I love trains, and I am impressed with all that Jake put together in modelling. I rarely have seen anything that good. Actually, the only thing similar was last year when I visited the Washington State Museum of History in Tacoma, WA, where the local model railroaders have set up one of the most elaborate displays I've ever seen. I think Jake would have loved seeing it. I will post some pictures for you one of these days. One of the comments mentioned Railroad Shows and I would second that as a good place to take anything you want to sell. I've attended many RR shows in the Northwest. However, be sure to find someone you trust to give you a good appraisal of the values. Another possibility would be to list items for auction on eBay. Some good pictures and descriptions can make a lot of difference on how well items sell. Also, if you choose to do that, I recommend setting a reserve that must be met before the item sells to insure that you get a reasonable value. If I may be of any help on this, please leave me a comment on my blog and how to get in touch with you. One more thing: If you can look around (online?) and find a model railroad club somewhere near you there might be a knowledgeable person there who would be willing to help. This is the kind of thing that one really needs to see in person to get a full grasp of conditions, values, etc. Thanks again for this wonderful post and kind regards, John PS Thank you for visiting and commenting on my blog!

  42. My heart goes out to you Ruth. I admire that you are such an encourager when you, yourself, are grieving. I always enjoy when you stop by my blog and leave a sweet comment. May your day be blessed, my Friend.

    Sherry @ A Happy Valentine

  43. What a magnificent world he created! So lifelike and the passion shows thru! Perfection! Those photos Steve took were out of this world, so real! And Ruth, just know that you are loved by all. Your family, close friends, and even us bloggers who get to see your world as you see it, and for times like now, feel it! My heart goes out to you, Ruth! Take care!

  44. Hallo from Germany,

    That is great, I never had a model railroad, Jake is a lucky man.

    I visited "Miniatur Wonderland Hamburg" last december.

    Hope you'll enjoy it.


  45. Never apologize for memories or love. I think it is wonderful you have so many great ones to share. It helps to talk about Jake and your life together.

  46. Ruth, I'm glad you shared about Jakes love for trains. He certainly was talented to build such a wonderful and beautiful set. I hope you find a buyer that will cherish and complete it. I know it will be sad to let such a large piece of Jake go.

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