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Albey25

It's been a strange week

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Face it friends, whether you're a model railroader or not, this has been a strange year. Maybe for me it has been a little stranger because for much of the year I've been recovering from heart surgery. Every time I think I am completely recovered, I feel a twinge, or a tug somewhere in my chest and the fleeting thought that "this is the end of it all!" only to have the tugging subside and again realize that it's just something in the recovery process. I was out like a porch light, so I sometimes overlook the fact that they opened me up like a steamed clam and slipped a few spare parts in there. Is it any wonder that I feel an occasional tug? Anyway, they tell me I am completely normal (making them suspect at best) and I have nothing to worry about. Because of all that, I am considered "at risk" of the whole Covid-19 thing. So far, I have been cautious and successful in avoiding infection, but I recently found out that a member of my church, indeed a good friend, a lady who I will respectfully describe as "senior" has tested positive! I haven't had physical contact with her since December, when I had the operation. By the time I was cleared to go back to church, church had been suspended. It still is.

Since the lockdown, the hospital shut down their cardio-rehab facility. (Some might call it a gym.) They advised me to walk as much as possible. You may have seen some posts here of things I have seen while walking. This time, we decided to walk around Wareham center. Wareham is a neighboring town where Pam and I spend most summer evenings watching our baseball team, the Wareham Gatemen. The Cape Cod League suspended the season before it ever got started, another victim of Covid-19. Our walk took us along the passenger platform in back of main street. This is what passes for a train station these days.



That yellowish building with the brown trim is the fire station. Here is the back of it, straight on.



It was while I was taking this picture that I received the text informing me of my church lady friend with her positive test. Needless to say, Pam and I were deeply saddened. Notice the sign? The firefighters keep it there, and on the days when the team is at home, they stand it up on the sidewalk in front of the firehouse. This is just another example of the people in the town supporting our team, but seeing it like this, just made us sadder.

Covid-19 has changed all of our lives, some more than others, but there has been at least one small silver lining to this all. I, and many others, have found renewed passion for model railroading. As I pointed out in previous blog posts, my layout had to be eliminated so I have changed over to a modular set up. I am working on the immediate waterfront area of Beaufield, including the lighthouse at the point, and so called Terminal Square, where the "B"-Line begins. Elsewhere in theses pages, I have talked about the City Park, across the cobblestone street from the terminal building. I had trouble finding any tutorials on N-scale flowers, so I invented my own method. I experimented with quite a few configurations and formulas (for lack of a better term) and the truth is, I don't love any of them. Basically, what I did was create blobs of sawdust using white glue. I made little tufts, about half the size of a dime, and painted them with fingernail polish. They were really just spots of color and didn't look like flowers much at all. Then I tried making strips of flowers, flower beds if you will. They were somewhat better. I got the bright idea to line the whole semi-circular walkway with flowers, and so created a big horseshoe shaped, multi-colored bed. That was a little better but I wanted walkways through the flowers to access the rest of the park, so I cut them into sections. I still didn't like it, so I took a walk through a public garden area and realized that the flowers were in flower beds, mostly made of reddish brown mulch. I came home and scraped away some turf and mixed what looked like a good color and painted the flower beds. Here is what it looks like with the flowers just setting in place:



I still don't love it, but it's growing on me. (Botany reference) I went back into YouTube and voila! there were several flower tutorials! Every one of them embarrassed me! Here in nscale.net, I had posted in the forum about my flower project, and our own, el Gato Gordo offered up some of his photos of the flowers in window boxes on his European layout. OMG this guy is GOOD! Even if you don't care about flowers, check it out! YouTube has a tutorial about German flower boxes and how to make then. They also have hedge-row type flower beds and I'm thinking of trying to adapt my horseshoe shaped flower bed using some of those methods. All in all, it's getting there.
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