Little Red Wheelbarrow – Fifty Plus Going On Fifteen

We travel through life retaining items of comfort and/or discomfort and these items may be physical, non-physical, and/or emotional possessions.

I have traveled the nation with a little red wheelbarrow that normally provides comfort to me and is both a physical and emotional possession. The little red wheelbarrow is not your standard wheelbarrow so may be considered more a cart and its picture is on this post.

When I was a child, my mother purchased the little red wheelbarrow as a kit and since my dad was not mechanically inclined, my mom and I put it together. At that time, it was shiny red with white lettering, a white handle, and wheels that were quite as they rolled.

Much like me, my little red wheelbarrow has aged. The paint is faded, the wheels squeak a bit, and it has started to rust. Although I could buy a new little red wheelbarrow I won’t because I can fix it, oil it, and I am attached to it even with its imperfections.

People talk about being physically and emotionally attached to fancy cars, locations, etc., but my little red wheelbarrow is my Achilles tendon. Why is this?

As a child, our first project with the little red wheelbarrow was to move the full load of sand my mom had delivered instead of the half load of sand we needed so we had sand everywhere. That’s okay, sand was a great cure for traction on ice so we maintained the extra sand in a pile and filled the wheelbarrow until we used it all.

With my mom and sister, we moved hundreds of rocks to the rock garden we built after driving around the North Dakota countryside picking up rocks bigger than your hand but smaller than a shoe box. We had a 1962 Ford Galaxy and its back end was dragging when we would go over speed bumps and dips.

The little red wheelbarrow was used for many chores and resulted in many memories as I grew up and although I did not know it then, we were linked for life.

In 1980, I left for the Navy and for a number of years I would only get to spend time with my little red wheelbarrow when I was home on leave and mom or dad needed a project completed. Incredibly, the handle still fit like it did when we were both young and although we had aged, we were still a great team.

In the late 1980s, I found a bride and once we moved into our first house in Georgia. We were in need of a wheelbarrow so we picked one up from the local Walmart. The wheelbarrow had one wheel and two handles but was not the same as my little red wheelbarrow in North Dakota.

During my next trip to North Dakota, I noticed my little red wheelbarrow hanging up in the shed and that there was a new, shiny wheelbarrow in the garage. I went in the house and popped the question regarding my little red wheelbarrow and we have not been separated since.

My little red wheelbarrow and I have been through many new adventures since the late 1980s and it my goal to do whatever is required to keep her happy and with me for the rest of my days. In that little red wheelbarrow, I will always have kind memories of my parents as a child, of my children as an adult and hopefully of my grandchildren in the future.

Fifty Plus Going On Fifteen is an adventure and I am sure many of you have a little red wheelbarrow that may be physical, non-physical or emotional. Hold onto that wheelbarrow tight because sooner or later things we love go away but not the memories.

Have a great day,

Jay Patterson

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