Walking by the bay window at the Northwest Railway Museum, I spied some activity inside at the desk. Clarence, our telegrapher of many years, has taken up a new hobby. As I look closely, peering through the antique glass, it seems Clarence is putting the finishing touches on a Christmas model railroad display.
The tracks are covered with snow and Isaac’s Hardware awaits holiday shoppers at the end of the line. Wildlife is free to roam. I spy a moose, beaver and some wild mustangs. Clarence has taken a break from sending messages and is painting the roof of a new building.
The scent of pinecones and hot chocolate hang in the air with the smoke from the locomotive. A woman steps out her front door to wave at the passing train as it slows to pick up waiting skiers headed for the slopes. The fireman shovels more coal into the firebox as the engineer picks up steam for the trip into the mountains. Santa better be careful not to slide out the open door of the coach, as he waves merrily to the townspeople.
What a cheery display. It put a spring in my step and hope in my heart. The season of joy is upon us and all is ready. Northwest Railway Museum volunteers have been busy decorating for several days now, and the freight room, baggage car, kitchen car and waiting room of the Snoqualmie Depot have been transformed in anticipation of Santa’s arrival. Oh yes, and Clarence has been busy too.