Monday, May 30, 2011

Flour Train

When my brother and I were small we used to play in the basement.  Way back in the long ago, children played in basements. It wasn't a REC ROOM.  It wasn't a PLAY ROOM.  It was the basement. It was full of laundry stuff, and other basement-y things. I don't remember there being a lot of toys down in the basement, but we liked playing down there and could keep ourselves entertained for hours.

Additionally, in the long ago times, children were left to entertain themselves. A lot. We didn't have TV.  Okay, we did, but there were only 3 channels. And they were all in black and white.  Do you know what you get when you leave 2 smart, young children alone to entertain themselves?  Mischief. 

The year my brother was four and I was five, he got a model train set for Christmas.  At some point the trains were sent into the basement.  Now also in the basement were various household supplies.  Like canned goods, laundry stuff, baking ingredients.  Since it had recently been Christmas and it was still cold outside, our thoughts naturally turned to snow.  We thought it would be fun to have a Christmas scene for the trains.

We thought about the container of sugar.  No, snow doesn't look like sugar.  Hmmmm, what else could we use?  Flour!  Yeah, that will look like snow.  We only meant to dump out a little bit of flour onto the train tracks, but when you are four and five accidents happen.  We dumped the whole can (probably 25 lbs worth) onto the tracks.  It was a LOT of flour.  The pile was waist high.  

What to do? What to do? Clean it up? No, what fun would that be? I know, back the train up to the pile of flour. Set the train running at full speed so it will make it through the snow mountain. 

It was such a wonderful thing!  It was AWESOME! We made it snow in our basement! Joy! The train slammed into that pile at full speed. Flour flew up into the air. There was a cloud of airborne flour dust. 

Now, because the pile of flour was so large, the train did not make it through the pile.  The first time.  We dug in the pile and rescued the poor stranded train.  We gathered up all the flour we could collect and made that pile as large as we could.  We backed that train up and set it at full ramming speed. Again.  And again.  And again. 

We were starting to get bored with the whole thing because we were running out of flour and the train was going through the mountain every time. It was just about then that my mother decided she should check on us.