Snapshots in Time

The S & G Railroad


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ATTITUDE DETERMINES YOUR ALTITUDE !

“Can Do” Attitude

OR

“What Can You Do For Me?”

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We have always been faced with choices and these choices we make all have consequences. In “The everybody gets a trophy” generation however well-intentioned it may be, the bar has  continually been lowered. When I hear that honor nights have been cancelled for those students that have studied hard to achieve academic excellence, trophies and medals are given to every participant in a sport, it is just an indication of how low this bar has been lowered. Questions are raised such as: Why practice so hard? Why study so long? The last thing we want to do is discourage our children from doing their best! We should want them to appreciate the benefits of hard work and determination to reach their goals and fulfill their dreams!

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The best quote and most memorable one hung in my classroom over the chalkboard. It read: “If you think you can you will……If you think you can’t you won’t”. Self-reliance and determination should not be left for our schools to teach. They should be “taught” at home at a very early age. Our children will face many challenges in life and all to often we hear them say “That’s not fair” and instead of tackling the problem they face they  “give up” or wait for someone to do it for them.

The whole concept of this post can be applied to many of the problems we face as a society. Perhaps if we embrace these concepts instead of waiting for someone to give or do things for us we would be much better off.

candoatthttp://www.sgintime.com


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A SENSE OF WONDER !

“They say genes tend to skip generations. Maybe that is why

grandparents find their grandchildren so likeable.”

 

 

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A sense of wonder is an integral part of a child’s spirit. Yet in our modern technological world, it is easily diminished. We should do everything possible to keep that spirit alive, not only in our children but within ourselves. When we encourage our children to develop a sense of responsibility we realize these two concepts are not that different. Discovering the wonders our world has to offer is often part of our “responsibility” to it.

To often the desire to have things “right now” take precedence over what could be the pride and satisfaction we feel when our patience and perseverance enable us to accomplish what we set out to do. The development of personal responsibility and knowing that the actions and decisions we make today do have consequences is an important concept at any age!

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A LINK TO THE PAST !

“Grandchildren are a grandparent’s link to the future, and Grandparents are a child’s link to the past.”

Unknown

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WORLD SERIES HISTORY

The voice we were listening to was coming out of that technological miracle called the transistor radio. The sports announcer for the New York Yankees, Mel Allen, was giving us the play-by-play of game five of the World Series. A group of us had gathered outside of school that sunny afternoon in October to listen as Don Larsen of the New York Yankees would make history by pitching the first perfect game in World Series history. The Yankees would go on to win the series over the Brooklyn Dodgers in the seventh game. Mickey Mantle hit 52 home runs that year and finished with a .358 batting average. We couldn’t have been happier, since in 1956, life was good and this just made it better.

I walked home from school that day with my best friend and there was an added “spring” in our steps. We had not forgotten about our plans to explore the woods in a remote area near our respective homes. We were excited and had absolutely no idea what we would find.What we didn’t know was just how exciting our discoveries would be, what mother nature had in store for us, or how our adventure would become something we would never forget!

The days and weeks ahead would provide us with memories and experiences we would someday tell our grandchildren about!

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WE “CAN” BUILD IT !

“In the long run, men hit only what they aim at.

Therefore they had better aim at something high.”

Henry David Thoreau

 

Our journey through time together has created many educational and memorable experiences. There is no doubt that our mountain does stand out as we look back and reflect upon our journey. Although we knew it would be one of the most challenging additions to our layout, we approached it with the same enthusiasm and creativity that had been characteristic of our layout thus far. Its peak, ridges,  plateaus, and rock coloration were extremely detailed and realistic. We were happy with our work and yes……WE DID BUILD THAT!

When he looks back to the experience we shared, I am confident that he will count the many obstacles we overcame among the many he will most certainly overcome in the future. I want to be there to catch him if he falls, advise him should he ask, and provide him with love and support always. This was but one more of the “snapshots in time” we hold so dear and will remain in our hearts forever.

 

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RAILROADS TO ROCKETS!

“Life is divided into three terms, that which was, which is, and which will be.

Let us learn from the past, to profit by the present, and from the present, to live

better in the future.”

                                                                                                                                                 ~William Wordsworth

                                                                                                                        

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Samy and I continued our discussion about the railroads, life in America at the turn of the century, and of course our latest expedition to visit the general merchandise store located in the center of the town we live in. This hardware store has been in operation since 1900 and still looks the same today as it did at the turn of the century! We were interrupted by the unmistakeable sound of a train whistle and the sound of the wheels against the track. The gates went down, the lights began to flash and the bells went off. We looked in the distance toward the bend in the tracks and sure enough we saw the bright light on the front of the engine. The train made a brief stop next to the station where we were standing and we were treated to an extreme close-up of this enormous engine! The experience of being able to see and hear this great workhorse “up close and personal” was a thrill for both of us.

“Wow, that was awesome,” Samy said, as we watched the train pull away until it disappeared into the distance and we could see it no longer.

“It was almost as though they knew we were waiting here,” I answered.

“One hundred years from now another grandfather and grandson might come here to watch the train,” Samy commented as he looked up at me.

“Maybe…..and I hope they have the same experience we have had together.”

I knew that regardless of the century, there was no one I would rather travel through time with than my grandson. There are some things in this world that are “timeless” and he possesses every one of them. Perhaps one day he will stand with his grandson and share the same privilege I have known. The future holds many challenges and it is incumbent upon all parents and grandparents to prepare our children for it. It is my sincere hope that we never forget the things in life that really matter!

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CLIMB EVERY MOUNTAIN !

Mountains are symbolic to “challenge” and there was nothing my grandson and I liked more than a good challenge. He had demonstrated his ability to see things in his “mind’s eye” and create them from there. Children show these creative and imaginative abilities when they are given opportunities to use them. We felt as though we were standing on the summit of a mountain we had just climbed.

Topographical features, landforms, mountain streams, vocabulary, scale, imagination, and creativity all come to mind when I think back to that day. The blessing that is my grandson is what I am thankful for every day. The titles we value the most are “Grandson” and “Grandpa.”


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LIKE A ROCK !

“LIKE A ROCK”

 

We had taken another one of our now famous “expeditions.” The highlight of my day was sitting on the rock wall near the woods with my grandson. We were having a conversation about what life was like one hundred and fifty years ago. We sat on a rock wall we found on our latest expedition for hours! This was another “Snapshot in Time” we shared that I am confident will never be forgotten. His appreciation for history, his values, and strength of character are as strong as the rock we sat on that day!

 

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OUR ROCK WALL


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MEMORIES THAT LAST…..THINGS THAT REALLY MATTER

TIME AND THINGS THAT REALLY MATTER

We knew the memories we were creating were what really mattered. They would last beyond our lifetime. These are the “Snapshots in Time” we hold so dear. This is the reason that one generation should stand on the shoulders of the one preceding it. It makes possible that which we previously thought was not! I could not help but remember that the hands that were now holding two by four lumber, were those that belonged to an infant, who not that long ago, clasped his tiny hand around my finger for the first time and changed my life forever!

 

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THE FUTURE IS NOT AS BRIGHT AS IT ONCE WAS?

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 THE FUTURE?

 

Many people look to the future and truly believe that the problems we currently face will only get worse. They feel powerless to change it and believe that there is little they can do and have an overwhelming sense of dread for what lies ahead. Read the quote below if you fall into this category.

“No pessimist ever discovered the secrets of the stars, or sailed to

 uncharted land, or opened a new doorway for the human spirit.”

Helen Keller

Do you look to the future with overwhelming pessimism and say “things will never be as good in this world as they once were?” If you answered yes, I can only say you haven’t seen the twinkle in my grandson’s eye, his infectious sense of wonder, extraordinary common sense, and phenomenal character! He is the future and the world is a much better place with him in it.


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WHO SAID THIS WOULD BE SIMPLE?

 

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Our journey together would have been simple if we were looking for something to circle the Christmas Tree each year. We had made the decision to build a layout that included a village, train station, mountains, trees, scenery, waterfalls, and a train yard! Were we confused at this point on our journey? Let’s just say the questions far outnumbered the answers and we were determined to find them. Our collective excitement and enthusiasm for our project kept us “on track.”

We knew exactly what we wanted to include on our layout and we found inspiration for building these things in some of the most unlikely places. The “expeditions” we took together were a constant source of inspiration for us. These expeditions were “priceless” on so many levels. They not only helped us build a magnificent layout but were a constant reminder of the things in life that really matter!

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