Sunday, December 05, 2010


HO, HO, HO!DSC_0774

Yesterday was Santa Train Day here in the town of Onley. Once again, the Onley Train Station hosted the stop. It was an exciting moment for many… a rough estimate was 62 kids. There may have been more, the kids did not hold still for a body count, and more may have come after the unofficial count. One thing I know for sure, I made 3 gallons of hot chocolate and went thru a container of whipped cream! This is double the number of kids from last year, probably because last year we had a torrential rain falling and some pretty high winds. This year it was a bit windy, but the sun was shining. The temps were in the low 40s, wind chill in the mid 30s, but at least it was not raining INSIDE the building this year!!!!!!

Once again we set up the tents in the building (Thanks, Pat!) After all, the weather around here is very changeable and more unpredictable than in most other places, and even though the weather graphics on TV showed a mixture of sun and a few clouds for the entire week-end, few folks believed we would get what I found outside this morning when I got up – SNOW!DSC_0781 So, given we have a popcorn machine still standing in the corner, I thought it best we put the tents up, just in case. As I type this, it is dripping a bit of rain interspersed with the occasional snowflake, though the road still looks dry, sort of, almost. But, 5 minutes from now the sun might be shining! We just never know!

Also, the tent in the freight room is a good way to maintain crowd control so Santa doesn’t get mobbed. And this year I bought a string of LED colored lights to put around the Santa tent to make it a bit more festive. I was amazed that LED lights don’t give off any heat! Perfect for putting on a plastic tent!

We had a good crew helping to keep things working… cleaning up, making popcorn (thanks Shore Bank), passing out cookies (thanks PNC Bank), crowd control, putting up the plastic door that helped keep a tiny bit of heat in. Our only real glitch was with the circuit breaker – not enough juice to have a heater on, popcorn popper, and a 30 cup pot of water heating all at once. So, Susan and I took turns heating water for hot chocolate and popping corn. DSC_0768

A word of thanks to George for helping me put the plastic up at the door and running up and down the steps for me. It was a less than perfect day for my back and knee. I so hate being semi-helpless.

The families were lined up all the way down the tracks… DSC_0769

Waiting for that moment when the train came in sight. DSC_0792

Santa and Mrs. Claus and their entourage of helpers being escorted into the station… DSC_0773

The line went all the way from the Santa tent, thru the freight office, down the steps, and on out into the yard. DSC_0777DSC_0771

The kids politely took their turn carefully spelling out their wish lists.DSC_0776

I am not sure if the puppy took a turn or not, but the grandkids did.DSC_0778

I did mention to Santa that we’d asked for a new roof last year, and I pointed to our sad and sorry ceiling… “But it didn’t happen,” I said. Had he known me better I am sure he would have made some comment about being naughty or nice – you know, the kind of comment one makes with a lifted eyebrow and THAT LOOK that speaks volumes, but he was diplomatic and told me not to give up hope… sigh. DSC_0500

There were so many kids at the stops this year that the train was over an hour behind schedule when it finally pulled out of the station headed for Parksley. 

Thanks to all the kind folks who donated their time, money and energy to this project. It took a lot of all of that. But the look on those kid’s faces……….. priceless.

Hopefully we will have a new roof on for the Santa Train next year, and a few other new parts on the building. If you would like to contribute to our very worthy cause, we gratefully accept donations. Our mailing address is Onley Train Station, POB 144, Onley, VA, 23418. And I thank ya mightily! SO does Santa Claus! Honest!


Loretta said...

What a wonderful thing to do for the children! It sounds like a lot of work but I know you were blessed just by being there.

We don't have snow here but it's cold enough for it. Yesterday the wind blew strong enought to blow the hair off your head. I went to a Free Cycle meeting and we had to chase things across the

Stay warm...

Sissy said...

Such a good post on an enjoyable occasion. I think I could have taken a turn telling Santa my wishes. Childhood does have its perks, which in turn perks us elders. Hot cocoa, yummy. Thanks for sharing the day. And I could sure delight hugging that little white doll dog.

Very nice that your weather was accomodating to a degree for everyone. A blocked backdoor this morning was my shocking surprise. Snow is pouring down here still. I think Charly has reached his limit of love for it as his trip out just now was FAST. How much is predicted? Flurries. Hmm, I believe the weatherman blinked just a tiny bit too long, missing what he told us wasn't coming.

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

A really nice job on the photos and the post, Possum. The first photo was really great - shows the kids, adults and Santa having a great time. Glad the weather cooperated too!

Ginnie said...

What fun! I can just imagine the expressions of the kids as the train rolled in with Santa.