Model Railroad Scenery, Coffee, Earl Klugh, and a Sunlight Therapy Lamp

I have to admit, even though I don’t want to, this winter darkness has not had as much of a detrimental effect on my mental state as in other years. At least it doesn’t seem so. But winter isn’t over. There is another hype-filled round of snowpocalyptic prognostications beginning to fill the air, even as I write this.

Maybe writing more has helped with my brain gloom, even though I decided to back off on the “I’ve got to write a post every day!” craziness.

I don’t follow a schedule for working on my model railroad. I go down to the train room when I feel like it. When I work on my HO scale Maple Valley Short Line Railroad, I usually spend an hour or two. As I mentioned before, I continue to struggle with trying to do too much rather than concentrating on small sections.

I am still working on grasses and trees. I recently added several pines to the Newtown Mountain region, which is on the east end of the layout. I scratch-built several small cabins and they look fantastic among the trees.

I think the therapy part of model railroading is in creating scenes that are inviting. I picture myself sitting in front of the cabin, loving the sound of the breeze singing in the pines. That’s great model railroading, and helpful therapy. One of the best compliments I ever got was someone telling me they want to live in Maple Valley.

Having a sunlight therapy lamp helps me. It can be dark, dreary, cold and nasty outside, but I turn on my sunlight lamp and I’m in Florida! Sort of. A steaming cup of coffee is always within reach while I add tiny pieces of scenery to the layout.

Another important part of model railroading for me is music. I love listening to my Earl Klugh station on Pandora. Who is Earl Klugh, you ask? He is just one of the very best guitarists in the world. His music is a mixture of smooth jazz, easy listening, memories, classics, emotions, creations, thoughts, and the best cup of coffee ever. That’s Earl Klugh.

The little cabin in this scene is the identical twin of one I scratch-built with my uncle in 1969. He is an artist and a master model railroader if there ever was one. We sat at the kitchen table together as he designed, cut, drew the wood lines and shingles, and glued the cabin together. I just duplicated everything he did, step by step. I no longer have the one I made, but he gave me his a few years ago. It’s a treasure on my layout.

The more details I add to scenes, the better my painted backdrops look. I avoided working on this end of the layout because I really didn’t know what to do with it. I finally decided to dig in, and these scenes are the result. I will soon add some animals and people.

My next scratch-built project is going to be Maple Valley Church. The good Reverend Shermer is getting tired of preaching the weekly homily at the Ya’ll Sit Cafe. He anticipates a few complaints when his church no longer smells of coffee and pancakes.

Work on the Maple Valley Short Line Railroad continues.

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