October has arrived. Moving day has arrived too. We have begun the process of downsizing the house and our possesions. I am not going to understate this. It is very tough right now. I have lived at this address for 23 years. I can’t really imagine what it will be like to not live in Centralia. I have enjoyed my time here and the house in particular. It is time to start a new chapter in a new town. We are moving to Johnston City IL.

I spent a lot of time in my youth in Johnston City. It is a mere 4 miles south of my hometown of West Frankfort IL. It is still very quiet and peaceful. It sits on the C&EI main line; and the grand brick railroad depot still stands along side the C&EI. My grandfather, Aunt & Uncle; and mother all grew up in Johnston City; along with my older brother Garland. All are gone now. I still have the memories of them, and while leaving Centralia will be tough, I will also look forward to biking out to their resting places and pay respects when I want to.

Why am I having such a tough time? Lots of reasons. Money; downsizing the collection of both household and hobby stuff; and taking on a new challenge and new living space to keep up. The new place is a 3rd of the living space we had occupied; but we felt that 3600 square feet was too much for just two people. I really don’t know how I feel personally about the whole thing as I sit here typing this today. It seems like a whirlwind of activity since last May. Retirement. Home Remodeling. Son and daugher-in-law wedding. Dumpster company wrecked the front porch. Purchased new house in JC. Moving. Here we are moving now. Doesn’t seem possible that time flew by that fast.

Regrets? Sure. I wish I had been more assertive in several areas of my modeling time. I saw today a couple of threads on the Atlas forum…talking about the lack of new products from a certain manfacturer; while others were complaining about a newly released product from another; and yet even comparisions were made in a third thread to another manufacturer that operates on the “release-available now” business plan. I can assure those reading this blog…we all have more than we need in the hobby. Slow down and enjoy these things as they arrive. Don’t let them sit in boxes for years only to pack up and move them to another shelf or storage place. Be grateful for the space you have…and stop complaining about the space you don’t have. Search deep down and find out what you really want to accomplish with the hobby.

There will always be new things in the hobby to purchase. I can tell you this; I’ll be downsizing my collection in the near future. I am going to more of a vignette style of modeling…with one or two signature scenes or LDE modules with a specific theme in mind. Enjoy the other things in life; which will allow you to enjoy your hobby even more.

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Thomas Austin

I am a Southern Illinois Native. I am a fan of nostalgia, and the history of Southern Illinois. Model Railroading has been a large part of my life; and it helps serve that interest. Through this interest I have learned much about the region; the people; and the industries that gave us all hope of building a life beyond our formal education. Small Towns in the Midwest built this nation...and this site aims to share that fact with the world.