The real world is harsh

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by iis612, Feb 29, 2008.

  1. iis612

    iis612 Member

    My journey within model railroading began when I was a boy of 7. My older brother and I got a railroad set for Christmas. My Dad spent many hours in the basement drinking beer and building the set. He finished it in time, and it was really well built (as I recall). It didn't take but a week for my brother to destroy it. He would run the train too fast and send it flying off the table onto the hard concrete floor, much to his delight. Even at that age, I took a bigger interest in the construction and scenery. It was nothing more than a 2 loop continuous run through 2 tunnels that passed over top of one another. About a week after my brother breaking the loco, my Dad pitched the whole thing, even with me begging him not to.
    I have built a few more layouts since then, but because I moved around alot, I had to scrap them. I hit my early 20's and lost interest, it was party time. Every little bit of equipment I had was slowly lost.
    About 2 years ago, my second child started expressing interest in trains. She was quite taken with Thomas (as most kids are), but her interest became obsession. We lived in the western suburbs of Chicago, and had tracks that ran fairly close to the house. Every time she heard a train, she wanted to go to the tracks to see the "Enuns" (that is not a typo, she called them that. It was pronounced Enn-unns). I was into scale aviation, model planes, helicopters, gliders., etc. I decided that I would ditch them and start building a model railroad, so my daughter and I could spend more time together. Since then, many things have conspired to keep that layout from being built. We have had to move, because the construction preperation uncovered a huge amount of mold in the old house. The birth of my 3rd child changed my focus for a bit as well. He is just about to hit the 1 year old mark. He has not expressed any interest in trains, yet.
    With the new house came a much larger space for the layout. As soon as the moving was done, and the home projects slowed down, I, with alot of help, set about the task of planning the new layout. Then, I got hurt at work. With my injuries I am not able to draw for more than a few minutes at a time, as my hands go numb. I am not able to begin constructing any benchwork. I have a decent rolling stock selection built up, a large supply of track, a bunch of building kits, a decent airbrush, and air compressor.
    The work injury has kept me out of work since October of '07. I had no idea that the money I was getting from work comp was not enough. I don't have my hand in the finances as much as I should. I am now faced with having to sell off a bunch of things to help the cause. I have already sold my motorcycle.
    As the layout plan has evolved, I have sold various items to get some other piece. Now I am faced with selling off railroad items for the money.
    I will not be able to change my income picture for over a year, as I need to have surgery (which hasn't even been scheduled yet) on both wrists, then rehab. There is a strong possibility that I might not ever be able to return to my job, as it requires me to drop all 210#'s of me onto a draw bar around 40 times a day.
    My faith is strong that all of this will be resolved in time. I might have to let go of a large part of model railroading for a while, but I can still read. I still have a pad of paper and a pencil. I can still plan. I can still dream. I can return.
    Am I intending to whine? No. I will simply call this a wordy catharsis, that has taken a long time to type. Lesson learned: Don't forget that this all encompassing hobby has an under-discussed factor... Money. Everyone wants a dream layout, and they can be had by everyone. Just be sure that you are spending money that is there for the spending.

  2. scubadude

    scubadude Member

    Matt, your situation reminds me a lot of one that I went thru almost 20 years ago. I had 3 major surgeries over the course of 18 months. I too was out of work for about 2 years including recovery time. Went back to my job, only to find out I was being let go anyway...Family, friends and the United Way helped tremendously, however I did still have to sell my Harley and my house to survive. I did manage to keep all my rr stuff, even tho it had been in boxes for years. I also had to sell my prized baseball card collection (all 6000 of them), which was almost as painful as the Harley!
    I guess my point is baseball cards, Harleys, and rr stuff is just that...stuff. You can eventually replace stuff, but your health is something that is not as easily "replaced". Your kids and family are much more valuable than all that. In spite of what I was thinking at the time, I did recover and was able eventually replace the "stuff"....
    When the time is right, you will be able to start that layout, and I promise you will appreciate it even more, and I expect to see pictures when it's done! :thumb:
    Hang in there, bra :wave:
  3. roch

    roch Member

    Jeeze, I thought I had it rough. All I did was mangle my hand a couple months ago. It did screw my winter railroading up.

    Hang in there and with time, which passes way too quick even though it seems like it is dragging when bad things take over, all will be better.


  4. Art Decko

    Art Decko Member

    Matt, sorry to hear about all the difficulties. Could a pc sim ("Trainz" or "MS Train Simulator") help hold you over until you can get back into model railroading? Take care!
  5. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    Matt,I have walked in your shoes several times including 3 years on Workers Comprehension for a back injury, back operation(times 2) and rehab.All through these trouble times I held on to my models since they played a very important part in me keeping my sanity as did club membership.The last was when I was medically retired from my major heart attack and playing the waiting game on my company retirement to be process and of course they dragged their heels.I had to file a grievance through the Union to get the company's attention on the matter..
    Now there are ways to enjoy the hobby to include running trains since you already have the track.How? Build a "plywood central" switching layout or a 4'x4' loop layout..
    I built a plywood central switching layout years ago and used small pain brown boxes for industries.I drew the "details" on these "buildings"...This layout help me through 8 months of unemployment after being laid off from CSX because my brakeman's job was eliminated with the elimination of cabooses.

    The main thing is to maintain high spirits by all means possible.
  6. Renovo PPR

    Renovo PPR Just a Farmer

    Life is hard and everyone must take what it hands us. Some of us do well some of us don't but as long as there is a desire there is an opportunity. I wish you well. just keep the desire burning no matter how bad things are now.

    However money is not an issue when it come to trains or at least it shouldn't be. If you have a true love and desire for trains then even a simple loop on the floor is a beginning. It is great to dream big however sometimes current conditions may mean starting small.

    My dream took 30 years so anything is possible.
  7. iis612

    iis612 Member

    Thank you everyone for your encouragement. It is nice to know that this hobby is not as predatory as most other hobbies I have been into over the eyars.
    I may have painted an inaccurate portrait. I am not out of MRR. I am not selling off everything.
    I have 15' of flex track (more for storage) and a bunch of rolling stock, a few building kits to work on, and a Consolidation that I am rebuilding (after a rather unfortunate accident).
    The construction of the S,F&E has halted temporarily. When I am better able to fund it, and in better health I will build it.
    The bright side is that I have time to go over the plan, re-do the plan, re-plan the new plan, and on & on. By the time I can begin construction the plan should be bullet proof.

  8. CJTK1701

    CJTK1701 Banned

    Mike, I don't know you, but I really do feel your pain. Without going into a dissertation.... In 89 I fell two floors and landed feet first on asphalt. Within weeks, my wife left me, my family ignored me, I had no job, no income, no food and was sitting in a wheelchair, unable to walk at all. I was starving and had no food. Even though I was a Veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces is was ineligible for any type of assistance.
    It was the hottest Summer in St. Louis in decades and I was stuck in a brick house that turned into an oven.
    I've endured seven separate surgeries and had pure hell with my legs for years.

    Trust in God, have faith and pray.

    Fast forward to now. I have several different plots of real estate, more cars and trucks than I can keep up with, the best woman a man could ask for and other than my legs, pretty good health.

    Things take time and some times life is hard, but you have to Keep on Trekkin and keep the faith.

    You find out who your true friends are when the chips are down.

    I'll pray for you.
  9. roch

    roch Member

    Great news! Glad all is not lost.

    Just hang in there and all will work out for the best.
    Whenever my life really throughs me a curve ball and I think life could not get worse it always gets better.
    I know I complain about minor setbacks with this hobby, but that aint nothing compared to the crap I have pulled through in life. I will not bore anyone with the details. I do know what I am talking about is all I can say. :wave:
  10. Pitchwife

    Pitchwife Dreamer

    Hi Matt. I have been a paraplegic for the last 38 years and have gone through some rough times, so I can appreciate how you feel. Life can be (strike that, it IS) hard at times, but I have found that those are the times that make us stronger. The main thing is to never give up. Keep faith in yourself and faith in a higher power and you will be surprised at what you can endure and what you can overcome.

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