Here we are closing out another year and prepping for the new one. We walk our dogs around the Stones River National Battlefield a few miles from our middle Tennessee home. I knew nothing of this bloody Civil War battle until we moved here in 2017. On our walks we frequently see markers like the one in the image above. These fixed points of reference can be found in various points around the National Battlefield.

These markers have stuck in my mind lately, as I reflect upon personal markers across the years. We all have an inventory of life moments locked away in the grey matter. Some of those are markers for change or reassessment. My August heart attack episode was my latest marker. It pushed me to become more active and aware of my diet.

It is time for a new personal marker as we pack up for a move to a new city. Our Tennessee time has been memorable and we will miss the many friends we met over the last five years. But our kids and grand-kids are several states away, and we miss them dearly. It all comes down to family for many of us.

As you read this, we have moved into a short term rental in metro Philadelphia. We are diligently searching to purchase a sweet basement hobby space that includes adequate living facilities above. I’ll keep you updated on that progress.

In the meantime, the blog will be quiet during our transition north. I’m looking forward to new hobby adventures much, much closer to our kids and grand-kids. It will be a joy to hear the young’uns call me Choo-Choo more frequently.

I wish you all a wonderful holiday season.

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27 thoughts on “Markers”

  1. Eric,

    Good luck in the new location, hope to see you at an RPM event down the road. Merry Christmas!

    Lou Nigro

  2. Eric, I feel your pain. I’ve had my share of starts and stops on my layouts from different moves I’ve made. It’s agonizing and exciting at the same time. Presently, I’m trying to put together portions of my last layout with a coal mine section inherited from my cousin. The space perimeters of my old layout room differ completely from my present space so it’s a challenge. Remodeling projects around my house have taken up a lot of model railroad time, but I’m now making some progress. Here in Richmond , Ky the winer season is good down time from gardening and yard work. My BR&P Ry is coming slowly to life.
    If you are interested, I have some pictures and info on BR&P box cars. You probably already have plenty of material, but I’ll list the information I have and go from there. I noticed that Accurail has come out with a BR&P box car. Haven’t purchased one yet, out of stock.
    Have you been able to find any BR&P decals?
    Have a pleasant move and look forward to your new model railroading adventure.
    Peter Switalski

  3. Best wishes for a Merry Christmas with the grandkids. That trumps resin modeling. And best wishes for a successful transition year.

  4. Eric, what a wonderful post. I appreciate all you share to enhance my enjoyment of the hobby and now this very thought provoking piece. Best wishes for your move, the draw of being close to family is a strong one. I guess that is the main reason we stay in Minnesota

  5. Eric,
    I’ll look forward to the resumption of your blog, its always been a must-read for me.
    I lived in the Philly area (Drexel Hill) during my early teen years, as common for northern climates, every house has a basement, and most also have an accessible attic.
    Oh yeah… it snows there too! (As you are currently experiencing!)
    Wishing you and your family a wonderful Christmas and a prosperous New Year… in a new house with a huge finished basement!

  6. Eric,

    Thanks for sharing. Welcome to Pennsylvania!!!
    Best wishes for Christmas and your transition up this way!


    1. Thanks, Brian! It’s more of a return to Pennsylvania. I grew up in western PA and moved away in 1985. – Eric H.

      1. We’ll welcome back! I as well grew up in SouthWestern PA land of the coke ovens …. Now reside in the center part of the state….

  7. Good luck with your move! I don´t have kids but one thing I have learned from my friends: Grandkids rule! Where the grandkids are, the grandparents aren’t far behind! Good luck and enjoy!

  8. Best wishes for your new venue. We followed children and grandchildren from the Shenandoah Valley, to Louisiana, and recently to Texas, with changing sizes and shapes of train rooms. Especially without basements! Clubs provide room to stretch out a train, though.

    1. Thank you, Jeff! When I lived in El Paso, I used the 14×20 dining room for the hobby space. It worked out well since the large kitchen area was more desirable for meals. – Eric H.

  9. Thanks Eric for you blog and for sharing personal insights. Having disposed of the collection of a close friend, it does cause me to consider what I invest in time and treasure in our hobby. It has been a melancholy task. People make this hobby alive and living, and I mark my journey by the people I have met. May your journey continue to excite and expand your understanding of modeling and of your life. There are GREAT modelers in your area. Blessings, Andy Chandler

    1. Thanks for your comment, Andy! As I packed up the hobby stuff, I was surprised to find too many items that not longer fit my plans. I’ll be spending time selling off the excess at upcoming area train shows. I am looking forward to connecting with the Philly area modelers, too! – Eric H.

  10. Good luck with your move and search for a model railroad space with a living quarter attached. I noticed all your boxes in the photo and assume they are rr valuables. Moving is difficult, even after a year nearly all my rr goodies are still in boxes. It took a while to get going on a new layout, but now I finally feel like I’m moving forward.
    Hope all goes well. If I recall correctly from many years ago, Philly has a great aquarium.
    Merry Christmas and enjoy those grandkids (the reason we moved.)

    1. Thank you, Gary! I followed your recent relocation and look forward to your layout progress. I’m pretty certain I’ll be thinning out quite a few models this year that no longer fit my plans. – Eric H.

  11. I have enjoyed your post very much over the years and best wishes on the move. Our kids and 1 grandson live a long way from us too and we are no longer able to travel so have to depend on them to visit us. You can guess how that’s working. Anyway, I look forward to seeing your posts in the future.
    BTW: We also visited Stone’s River many years ago when traveling down to SE Alabama to visit my parents.

    1. Thanks, Jim. I have a few unfinished posts I had forgotten. I need to wrap those up and get them onto the blog! – Eric H.

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