O.K. going to brag, just a little tiny bit....I got a new wheel barrow yesterday!!Some may not think this is a big deal, but in my world, having a wheel barrow is HUGE!! It also brings back memories of my Mother. Hola...weird you say, how does a wheel barrow remind one of their Mother? Well, my Mom had the oldest wheel barrow in town! It was made of wood, and had a wheel that was metal!She used that thing all summer long, working away at a yard that was nothing but bare patches, and yuck. That damn thing weighed a ton, but it did the trick. We used to use it to keep ourselves occupied, and would push our friends all about in it.
She did get another wheel barrow, in later years, and I can remember using that prized possession when I worked on a summer job, clearing and making trails in the local park. I would bring my friend and neighbour home for lunch on the wheelbarrow. Glen was what we called a "Thalidomide" baby./ We had quite a few friends and classmates with this birth defect, because Thalidomide was given to mothers in the 50's to help with morning sickness, and the terrible consequences of this resulted in thousands of Canadian children born without limbs, or partial limbs. Glen was one, and his legs ended near his knees, he had 1/2 an arm on one side, and his other arm was not fully developed. He would wear a full pair of jeans (or when he dressed up, his cords) and simply pin them up, so if he put on his prosthetic legs, the pants would work both ways.
Thinking back, this opens my eyes to how isolated our world really was, back in my home town. We had never seen anyone with the issues Glen had, before, yet..after a very short period, Glen became a part of all our lives. He was simply someone who didn't have legs, and yes, I am going to say it, handicapped! He had a 3 wheel bike that he used his one arm to peddle! Cripes, writing this, I realize how difficult his life may have seemed, but, those of us who hung out with him, must have been looking through rose coloured glasses, because, every thing we did, somehow between the bunch of us, we came up with a solution to allow Glen to be a part of everything.
Every party, every school dance, every school trip, Glen was with us. Oh, I remember some dances, his safety pins in his pants would come undone, and he would be so into dancing, that others would start tripping on his pant legs that would be sliding about on the darkened floor. But, instead of getting annoyed, we would always laugh along with him, because, we knew he loved his music, and he loved his friends.
Oh my goodness, when I sat down to write about my wheel barrow, I had no clue Glen would show up. now, I write with tears, because that is someone else lost to this world, and the world is missing a very special person. The one and only reason I was going to mention this person of my childhood, is, because Glen also worked with us on the project. Because he lived a block away from me, each lunch hour, Glen would hop up into my Mother's borrowed wheel barrow, and I would drop him off at his house, and pick him up after lunch for work!
So, wheel barrows have become an important part of my life! I guess, even more important than I imagined, because, besides my beloved Mother, they will always remind me of someone else incredibly amazing.
One person with a wheel barrow can accomplish as much work as two without. I have worn out 2 of the things in the time I have been with my Honey!!Hey, that says a great deal, right? The last one, he got me for Mother's day, years ago. He spent a fair bit of cash because it was a "contractor" barrow, and was built to last. My bad! I left it filled too many times with water, and yuck, and the body rusted, and wore rust holes into the thing. He wanted to replace it a few summers ago, but, wheel barrows are like old jeans, you get the feel of them, and you enjoy the comfort of knowing when it is too full, by the weight in the wooden handles. He riveted a piece of metal over the holes, to allow me to continue with my good old barrow, but, this spring, it was apparent I would have to let it go. Maybe we could just buy a new wheel? The one on it had so many holes it had to be filled up steady. Upon close inspection, the wheel had rotted, no filling that, so I scoped out wheel prices, $45 for a frigging wheel!!
I did some calculating, with my cheap skate mind, we could dish out for that wheel, but...more holes were rusting, and it wobbled a bit too much when pushing, so, I broke down, and told my Honey, I was ready for new wheels. I looked it the fancy new 3 wheel barrows, nope, not my cup of tea. I guess they are suppose to be easier to maneuver, but, I suspect dumping them, might be a bit too much work. We returned home from our little trip with a nice metal (no damn plastic for me) contractors barrow that set us back $200 smackeroos!! But, even to a penny pincher like me, this was an excellent investment. That barrow will allow me to enjoy the spring to it's full extent. It will be my extra pair of hands, hauling leaves, and bits, moving stuff about, that is too heavy for my old arms to carry. My grandchildren can sit in it, when they visit, and enjoy a spin about the yard.
Each time I do a job that requires me to pull out my wheels, I will be reminded of folks who I can no longer see, but, who, will come to mind, and be with me when I pick up the handles of my third wheel barrow!