My father loved trains. My earliest memories include watching him build HO models on our kitchen table. An elaborate railroad set occupied one-quarter of the basement. The locomotives pulled cars through a multilayered countryside, adorned with bridges, tunnels, crossings, and landscaping.
Following my father’s death, I packed up the train set before selling the home. I discovered a large market does not exist for used model trains. My wife suspended a few red cabooses on wire as Christian ornaments. The rest of the collection currently resides in the garage.
Collectors value vintage locomotives, but the cars and scenery possess more nostalgic than intrinsic worth. They’re too meaningful to discard and too valueless to keep. I contacted a few model train hobbyists, but no one expressed an interest.
Last year I hired a contractor to prepare my father’s home for sale, including dismantling the train tableau. I described the countless hours my father invested in the miniature landscape. The workman observed philosophically, “Well, he got his fun out of it, didn’t he?
The homespun wisdom inspired a smile and some perspective. My dad DID get his fun out of his hobby before detraining at that great Depot in the Sky. Yeah, I know, but that last line made me smile!
Sorting through the accumulations of a lifetime, I recognized that all of our possessions will one day disappear. The world sells worthless stock in a going-out-of-business enterprise. Jesus encouraged his followers to store up treasures in heaven rather than on earth. We’re all training for eternity.
Oh, and contact me if you’re in the market for some HO model trains!