The Train Table

Christmas was special in our house. We didn’t get a lot during the year, especially toys. (This would blow other kids minds. Your family has the dime store, you must get all the toys you want! No, not the case at all.)

Christmas was the one time a year we got toys and it always seemed like there were so many of them that the house would burst.

One year for month’s prior to Xmas Dad was building a table. I was 11 at the time and he had me working with him. We went out most night to his cold shop and built this giant table. He told me it was for my Mom. This was going to be her new sewing table.

I never once questioned why my Mom, who was pretty short, needed a table that was six feet wide and around twelve feet long and over four feet in height. Mom wanted to sew, Dad wanted her to have a table. Good enough right? Besides every kid knows that parents are crazy. They do things that don’t make sense to you at all.

Xmas came and I started opening my presents. Train cars! Lots of them, man this is cool! We’re done opening presents and one of the rules was that each kid had the same number of presents. I was one short but I didn’t care. Mom and Dad look at me and say something about Jim aren’t you short one?

I remember shrugging because I didn’t really care. It was their rule, not mine. I had some cool toys! They’re both grinning then Dad goes and with Mom’s help brings in that massive table we’d been building. Except now it has green grass paper on it and railroad tracks attached. They were both so excited and laughing that I’d been helping build my own Xmas present and never figured it out.

I still have that table too. it’s huge and beautiful. Absolutely excessive in the most beautiful way that shows in wood and work how much my Mom and Dad loved me.

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