Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Tuesday, March 15, 2016


SPOTS entered their first float this year in the O'Nancock St Patty's Day Parade last Sunday. it was quite an event for the rural Eastern Shore! There were 92 entries in the parade and we were #82. We sat in place for over an hour waiting for our turn to move. But, that gave me time to make a few last minutes changes and additions and gave the guys time to get the train up and running. It also meant that a good portion of the parade passed us by, so we had ringside seats for viewing about half of it.
We were a bit nervous, this being our First Event of this nature, and it was threatening to rain. Then it got a little windy (not a good thing for a float)...

We used a G (think Garden) scale train, battery operated, on a boat trailer. What you see is a lot of mulch on the trailer bed, the 'grass' is actually moss dug up from my back yard. One of our members built the house on the front of the layout, and another large building painted to be a Blarney Stone Pub. A friend of his built the covered bridge on the track next to Tom (in the red shirt).

 At the other end was what I call my Bird Town... they are all bird houses or bird feeders but they fit perfectly with the G scale train!

Of course the people, dogs, ponies and such were all added to bring things to life. The trees in the woods separating the better side of town from the other side are actual baby trees, junipers, cedars, and I forget what the other ones are. They are still in their pots and are now back home sitting under a camellia next to the car port. The deciduous trees minus their leaves are off a camellia or azalea out here in the yard. Imagine turning your landscaping scraps into trees on a layout!

It was a long hard day, but it finally paid off... WE WON BEST FLOAT!!!!!!

Now I need to figure out what to do with all the bald spots in my yard.


SPOTS was once again invited to participate in the Heritage Celebration at our local Community College.
We packed up our trusty portable displays and set them up in the Conference room. We had a lot of visitors and as usual, the kids were overjoyed to see the little worlds and trains, and to have a chance to blow the whistle on the larger of the 2 trains (O scale). Then there were the adults who reminisced about the trains they had as kids, how much fun they were, often followed by, gee, I wonder if those trains are still up in the attic? DSC_0520_01DSC_0512_01DSC_0521_01
The N scale fascinates them probably because it is so tiny and there is so much to discover. I love to see their expressions when they “discover” the horses or the kids playing.DSC_0519_01 DSC_0516_01DSC_0518_01 DSC_0523_01 DSC_0526_01DSC_0527_01
  Often we ask them if they can find things on the different layouts, the dog stealing the hotdog off the grill or the cat on the top step of the old shack. One mother had her child count the bikes on the layout. It is also fun to watch the parenting styles – one mother had her child find and count the stop signs! See that little sign next to the track where the caboose is just crossing the road with the little girl in pink watching carefully as the train goes by? Actually, she was checking out the “farmer’s market” – produce being sold from the back of a pick-up right next to the tracks.DSC_1017 DSC_1018DSC_1010And, yes,DSC_0413_01 that is an outhouse! A couple people said there were not enough cars in the parking lot at the Exmore Diner. “You can never find a parking spot!” So I will remember to bring more cars and pick-up trucks to the next show! And here is what makes it all worthwhile - their little faces of discovery and delight.