I’m not sure exactly how long the railroad has been a fixture in Marshall, but I know we can hear the train several times a week from our house. The whistle of the locomotive is unmistakable. Some days we can hear it louder than others. Sometimes I can even hear it around 5 a.m.
I actually think living in a town with a railroad track is pretty FUN! I enjoy seeing the railroad crossing signs when we drive around town, and the sight of the old, dusty railroad ties sometimes feeds my (overactive) imagination.
Where is the next train coming from?
What is this train carrying?
How long have these train cars been operating?
Why does the train stop sometimes by that new grain elevator north of town?
My husband and my son love, love, LOVE trains! We watch steam train videos and love seeing pictures of old trains from the 20th century. What a great idea those train inventors had, and what a fun machine the train is!
I guess that’s why we also love selling model trains in our hobby shop. The vibrant colors of all the different train cars combine to create something really beautiful. With some scenery props and some glue, you can put together a realistic nature layout in a matter of hours, depending upon how much detail you want it to have. My favorite layouts are those with lots of trees and rocks, and I especially love fall layouts that feature lots of different autumn colors.
The trees in Marshall are BEAUTIFUL in the fall! If you drive from Marshall to Columbia, or even to Jefferson City as the leaves are changing, I think you can see some of the most beautiful fall scenery in the state. Limestone cliffs, riverbeds, and the oranges, yellows, and reds that paint the tree leaves make the whole landscape come to life as if it were on fire with color.
There is a spot on Highway 240 northeast of Marshall where if you catch it at the right moment, you can sometimes see the Kansas City Southern as it’s coming into town below the bridge. It’s not just the train that catches my eye, but the leaves on the trees as I look down. How LONG have those trees been watching that train come into town? The answer is – a lot longer than I have. That’s fun to ponder.
I can’t help but get excited about trains in the fall. Maybe it’s just me, but since yesterday was the official first day of fall, I am thinking about trains more and more.
What do you love about fall?
Samson R/C Hobby Shop has been around now for 10 YEARS (though not at its current location). Today, it is a place where Derick gets to share his love for hobbies with everyone who walks in the door. We have been blessed with wonderful help (thanks Robbie and George!) as well as many wonderful customers whom we view as family.
But how did the hobby shop begin?
Once upon a time when Derick was much younger, he and his grandpa Raphael Samson (pronounced Ray-feel) LOVED to fly radio control airplanes.
They would spend many hours building them together, and many of their airplanes are now on DISPLAY hanging from the ceiling in Samson R/C Hobby Shop. It was Grandpa Raphael who taught Derick the love of r/c flying. Derick has fond memories of many late nights spent with Grandpa building and decorating their airplanes.
In 2008, Derick opened the first version of Samson R/C Hobby Shop, then called Samson Radio Control Aviation, at his other business Samson Design on North English in Marshall.
It was small and confined to just one room, but as anyone who knows Derick can attest to, he made EVERY inch count!
Derick and I got married in 2015. That summer we talked about what to do with the hobby shop, and we threw around the idea of trying to move it to the Marshall square. Within just a few days, we had rented a space and started filling it with inventory. The hobby shop we know and love today was born.
I got to spend a little time with Grandpa Raphael, but not enough. That fall, he suffered some health problems and in October 2015, he passed away in a hospital room surrounded by his precious family. Before he passed, he had been able to visit the hobby shop on the square one time. He had such a SMILE on his face that day when he walked through the door! I remember how excited he was to see it, and Derick was so excited to show it all to him. After all, if it hadn’t been for Grandpa, who knows if the hobby shop would exist today.
But sometimes it’s AMAZING the way things work. The same October that Grandpa passed away was the time we found out we were expecting our first little bundle of joy. The baby would be a boy that we named Raphael (“Rafe”) after the man who taught and loved Derick so much. Though Grandpa Raphael never got to meet his namesake, we know the two would get along so well if he were here today. But even though he isn’t here today, a BIG part of him is.
We invite you to come see it at Samson R/C Hobby Shop.
I feel fairly confident in saying that probably everyone who has ever lived in the country has a story about a dirt road. Personally, I love dirt roads. I love the cloud of dust that rises up when a truck drives across one (although once I lived right by a gravel road and I didn’t like said dust ALL OVER my porch decorations).
This dirt road is one of many just outside of the Marshall city limits. When I look at a dirt road, I can almost see a place the way it may have been 150 years ago before asphalt, before big machines, and before cars. Just horses and wagons making ruts in the grass. Something about the idea of that simpler time appeals to me.
Who told us that we have to be so BUSY these days? So many people I know are always running around, busy, moving through life at such a fast pace. I can include myself in that description more times than I would like to count.
Yet, nearly every time I see a dirt road, I automatically slow down as if to take in the simple beauty of nature and the slower pace of life.
There is something about the harvesting corn and wildflowers waving in the breeze that makes me think maybe this is what life is about instead of DEADLINES, APPOINTMENTS, and SELFIES (not that there’s anything wrong with selfies. See Blog Post #1).
Many of the early poets and writers regularly communed with nature, and through those times of closeness with the earth around them drew INSPIRATIONS for amazing works. I plan to take time today to appreciate the landscape and let it take me back to what is simple, beautiful, real, and breathtaking.
Will you join me?
…for the postcards to arrive. I ordered my first set last week and I am trying patiently to wait for them to get here. Waiting is so hard!! By nature I am pretty impatient. My husband shares that trait with me to a certain extent. We waited FOREVER to finally meet each other and then once we did, four months later we were engaged, and four months after that we got married. Eight months! Worth waiting for.
I think there is a certain beauty in the waiting. I remember waiting to graduate from high school, thinking then that I would finally be an adult.
I remember waiting for my son to be born, with all the preparations we made for his nursery and his arrival.
I remember waiting for May for school to be out (can you tell I used to be a teacher? I use a LOT of school analogies. Sorry.) so summer could be here and I could be free.
Waiting for the leaves on the trees to change, for the mail to arrive, for my hair to grow out…
So many things we WAIT FOR. I often (but not enough) try to think about the lessons I’m learning while I’m waiting. Right now as I wait for my first run of postcards to get here, I am SO EXCITED that I will finally get to share them with you!!! I spent lots of time taking the right photographs, designing the postcards, playing with the visual side of design. But I still have to wait. I am staying busy with other things so I don’t drive myself crazy waiting for something that it’s just not time for yet.
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1
Will you take time today and be patient with me as we wait? What are YOU waiting for?
Thanks for stopping by! I'm a student turned teacher turned writer turned part-time tutor, postcard hobbyist, and landscape photograph enthusiast. I have zero formal training in photography, but I love the art of visual documentation. I lived the first 30 years of my life in Oklahoma until I made a major life change (long story and I'd love to tell it sometime!), met my husband, moved to Marshall, and became a bonafide Missourian. My husband Derick owns our hobby shop, and we have a 2-year old son Rafe who loves just about everything these days (except spinach). If you ever see me around town with a camera pointed at a sunset, please say hi. I'd love to be friends. :)