While we were tooling around Science City the other weekend, I saw a group of people gathering around one of the second floor windows that faced the rail tracks. Curious, I went up to one of them and asked "What's everyone waiting for?" They told me that an old steam engine that had recently been restored would be pulling into Union Station sometime in the next ten to twenty minutes. We hightailed it out to the pedestrian bridge that crosses over the railroad tracks so I could get a good spot to set up with my camera.
And then we waited.
People walking across the bridge to visit Union Station would stop and ask what we were all looking for. Once they were told of what could be coming around the bend, they would stop and our little crowd started to grow. We all took up a perch and waited.
Then, way off in the distance, you could hear it, that slow hollow "woo-woo" sound of an old train whistle. You could just barely see a puff of smoke way off in the distance.
And we waited.
You could feel the excitement spread through the crowd as the sound of that whistle grew closer and closer. That small maybe puff of smoke turned into a trail of smoke that you could follow and finally that steam engine huffed and puffed it's way into the station. I stood on that bridge snapping pictures (I have yet to upload and edit those) and I was a little surprised by the tears that welled up in my eyes blurring the view finder of my camera. I had started thinking about Dad.
Dad loved all things mechanical and old, particularly cars and steam engines. In fact, I am sure that if Dad was still with us (both physically and mentally) he would have known way in advance about that steam engine visiting Union Station. He would have called me to tell me about it and we would have made plans for him to visit that weekend to see it. We would have had camp chairs out by the tracks, so we could sit and wait. And if I think about it hard enough, I can see his face. I can see the glint of excitement in his eyes and I can see his joyful expression as that train rounded the bend and came into view. It is such a clear vision in my head. I'm even positive he would have found a small train pin to put on his cap and he would have brought his old train whistle. And I would have taken a picture of him standing next to the steam engine.
That train was worth the wait.