Vacationing with seniors and building model train sets!
by Rachelle Siegrist
We headed over to Brevard, North Carolina early this past Wednesday morning along with friends Fred and Barb, for a short visit with Fred’s brother Don. During the trip over, Barb suggested we give Don a call from Henderson to let him know what time we would arrive. Laughing, we told her that would be kind of hard since we weren’t driving though Hendersonville, and the three of us decided it was good she wasn’t our designated driver for the day! Then she suggested we pull over at the rest stop which was several miles past our exit, making us even more glad she wasn’t the one driving!
We met Don at Twin Dragons in Brevard, and after lunch he opened his cards and gifts. We busted out in laughter when he read aloud the birthday card from Barb, wishing him a happy “72nd Anniversary”! We laughed so much, that a lady from a nearby table came over and shared how much she had enjoyed watching us and how we reminded her of times past with her large, fun loving family, now all gone.
That afternoon upon checking into our hotel, we decided to walk to a nearby store to see if they had any eclipse glasses left, since they were sold-out at home. Noticing a sign saying “get a free pair of eclipse glasses with the purchase of two Pepsi“, Wes and I got our two 20 oz. bottles, and Fred got almost a dozen, in order to get the number of glasses needed for friends. Wes busted out in laughter, finally sharing with Fred and me that they all had to be carried all the way back up the mountain to the hotel! Of course Wes volunteered to carry most of the load up the hill, and now his arms are a couple of inches longer! Fred and Barb have been married for 60 years, but he still had debated for 15 minutes which she liked best, deciding to go with Diet Pepsi, and later that evening, Barb stated she didn’t like Diet Pepsi at all . . . but hey Fred’s the man of the hour with the much needed eclipse glasses for their friends!
While heading to the restaurant that evening, Fred hysterically laughing, recounted how earlier Barb couldn’t believe it and panicked when she saw a man pick up a “wooden” apple, nicely displayed in a bowl on a bar at the hotel, and take a bite out of it! Of course, she soon realized it was real and not wooden, but her misjudgment sure made for more great laughs! We enjoyed a delicious dinner with Don at the Square Root in downtown Brevard, where our friendly and funny waitress kept us well entertained throughout the evening with jokes and more! The fact that several members of group couldn’t hear the rest of us, added interest to the conversation. Needless to say, there was much laughter which continued the entire way back to the hotel. Seeing several bus loads of college athletes filing into our hotel, we told Barb she’d better get up early to eat breakfast at 6 AM in order to insure there was still food, and Fred said he was gonna be down there at 5:30, before the young mob overtook the breakfast area! However, Barb was so busy chomping down on the fresh free cookies, she couldn’t think about rising early for breakfast or anything else at that point!
The next morning Barb even beat me to the breakfast room, wanting to make sure she had plenty to eat! Afterwards, we enjoyed strolling through downtown Brevard where it’s always a treat browsing through the numerous speciality stores. For lunch, we met up with Sammie, a dear friend whom we hadn’t seen since she sold her place here in Townsend two years ago. It just so happened that she was vacationing in Brevard and had emailed to see if by any chance we too were going to be there, and was delighted upon finding out we were! We all met at Big Mike’s Pizza, a favorite of ours in Brevard, and as always with Sammie, there was sidesplitting laughter, so much so, that my sides and cheeks were hurting! Saying our goodbyes, we headed back home across the Smokies to Townsend.
~ Our Model Railroad update ~
We’re making more progress on the model railroad, and it’s looking pretty amazing! In this next step, you can see that we have all of the plaster pretty much in place after applying several layers. We placed the buildings in long enough to see which areas needed to be built up a bit more, and where rocks should be added. At this point it looked cold and like way too much snow for me!
Then Wes mixed up a watered down tan mixture using watercolors, poured the mixture into a spray bottle and carefully sprayed the color on, being sure not to oversaturate areas, and letting them dry well in between coats. Ah . . . it’s looking warmer already!
While letting it dry really well, numerous hours were spent during the evenings sculpting trees out of wire, starting with strands and twisting, shaping and cutting them, until they resembled a wee small tree. Wes coated each one with caulk, filling in the cracks, but remaining pliable when dry, allowing us to reshape them if necessary. I must admit I was tempted to save one for a lovely little miniature sculpture!
“Leaves” were added to the ends of the tree limbs, by painting them with glue water, then carefully dipping them into a mixture made from fine sawdust, colored with assorted green watercolors. Several coats were needed to achieve the desired appearance, and once finished looked awesome and quite real!
A miniature tree production line!
More updates next week . . . so watch for it!
~ Fresh off the Easels ~
While continuing to paint on a couple of commissions that are surprise gifts, I also finished a miniature painting of a gorgeous mule this past week. I photographed this beauty during one of our visits to Cades Cove here in the Smokies.
Wes finished his painting of a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher this past week. We photographed this stunning bird while visiting Texas last May. Both of these paintings will be submissions for an upcoming show.
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Until next time . . .