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When Don, my sweetie of 59 years, passed away last winter he left an unfinished HO/ON30 Model Railroad layout in the basement. I didn’t quite know what to do with it. I could find no one who had a use for it. I didn’t want to send it to the landfill; it had too much sentimental value. The benchwork had been built by a friend. It was sturdy, with good wood, and bolted together, so it was easy to take apart. I finally called Habitat for Humanity because they re-sell items and also re-purpose items. Brian, a Habitat volunteer with some imagination, came to look it over. “I think someone is going to want that,” he said. He took photos from every angle to show to his boss.

A week later he called and said, “I’m coming over to take it apart!” And over he came. The next day he came again with a helper, and they carried off in the big U-Haul truck. I was relieved on one hand, very sad on the other. It was the end of an era for our family.

A couple of weeks later I was telling my friends about it. That’s when the blessing kicked in: my friend Mary, who volunteers at Habitat Restore, perked up and said: “I know what happened to it.”
She was there when a Dad with his 10 year old son came in to look it over: 4 large sections stacked with foam in between, plus Don’s box of new track. Just what they wanted. They bought it! The boy was so excited. As they hauled it out in pieces to carry home, Mary said the boy ran back and forth with big sighs of happiness, and outbursts of : “Oh, I love you Dad!…I love you Dad…I love you Dad!”

Don’s train went to a good home, and we are feeling blessed and comforted. Only the Good Lord could have managed it.

 

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