Growing up, my brother and I constantly struggled to find common interests. My Christmas and birthday presents were typically the newest and most popular video games, while my brother’s presents included “toys” such as a Dremel tool and a Shop-Vac (I doubt I will ever see a 12 year old get so excited over the prospect of vacuuming up his own messes again.). My brother spent his weekends putting together complex R/C cars, and I spent mine fantasizing that I was saving the world or playing as a Defensive End for the Dallas Cowboys (Anyone that knows me might be tempted to argue that saving the world was a more realistic fantasy…).
My brother’s fascination with constructing his own toys escalated to an entirely new level when he and my grandfather began preparations to build a massive HO scale railway in our basement. Unfortunately when the project began, I was too young to be putting together model buildings or landscaping my parents basement (Plus, I was obviously a little busy saving the world), so I turned to the next best thing: a figure 8 wooden train set. My railway didn’t quite have all of bells and whistles of my brother’s immense setup, but it entertained me just as much as his.
I know my brother wouldn’t agree with this sentiment, but when I was younger I felt like my railway was equally as impressive as his. His railway had model buildings that he had spent hours constructing, mine had a building or two that came pre-built, straight from the manufacturer. Our rail systems both had incredible obstacles to overcome, although they were admittedly slightly different challenges. His trains had to navigate through tunnels, around mountains and across bridges, mine had to survive an occasional troll or dinosaur attack. Luckily my brother’s railway was never put through the same tests as mine, or I would not be here to tell such stories.
To this day, I’m not quite sure how my brother convinced our parents to let him use half of our basement for that railway, but I am still thankful that they did. Not only did we take over almost an entire floor of our house for 12 years, we got to have a lot of fun and even learned a little along the way.
This has been a Take Me Back Tuesday feature! To start your own tradition, check out our Trains and Train Sets.