I Love My CanCooker JR – Fifty Plus Going On Fifteen

I love a day when you need to ask what is going on here and 2017 has been a year when I have been able to say that quite often. The one thing for certain is that I Love My CanCooker.
As you may have read in earlier blogs, in early 2016 I left my career of sixteen (16) years when I truly loved the company. I left the company twelve (12) months after it was sold and of course the new owners knew best how to run the company so this used up manager moved on without a long term strategy.

I floated around in the industry I had been affiliated with for the last twenty (20) years but at the end of 2016 I was offered an opportunity with a company in a different industry. Why not try something new right. In December 2016, I started my new job and actually received a gift card for the holidays for Bass Pro. Well, you can never go wrong with a gift card from Bass Pro right.

After multiple trips to the main Bass Pro in town and the clearance center since Bass Pro is based out of the local area. I found a few things that I liked but could not make a decision. Finally, I went to the lower level and seen the CanCooker JR and it was love at first site.

Grabbing the CanCooker JR, I made my way to the checkout line. Once there, I whipped out my gift card and cha-ching, I was the owner of a brand new CanCooker JR. I rushed to my truck and went home stopping by the market so get some yummy ingredients to cook in my CanCooker JR.

I arrived at home with my ingredients and prepared as described in my abbreviated CanCooker JR cooking guide. Traveled to put the ingredients in the CanCooker JR and the grates on the box were not included. My heart did a double beat and I did a quick Google to determine what is going on here. My answer was instantly posted on Google that the grates were not included.

With the CanCooker JR and ingredients in hand, I had to think fast how to cook supper without the grates. I looked in the pantry and in the cupboards and I seen some aluminum pie tins that just might work. Using the scissors, and good old fashion sweat, I fabricated temporary grates and ordered the correct ones on Amazon.

Back in service, I cooked up a CanCooker JR smorgasbord and immediately fell in love. I have had pots, pans, grills, broilers, etc., and never have I found a self-contained cooker that I could use at home or when camping. Never have I found a cooking device that locked in the taste and moisture like my CanCooker JR.

I purchased a small CanCooker Cook Book On Amazon to supplement my abbreviated recipes that were included and since December 2016 I have used existing recipes, modified recipes, and developed new recipes and every meal has been scrupulous. If you want to learn more about what you can cook with the CanCooker JR, let me know.

The CanCooker and I became best friends in December 2016 and my time with the company that was responsible for our meeting was short-lived. I always smile and chuckle a bit when I use my CanCooker JR because through this relationship, my CanCooker JR was the best thing that happened to me other that having some great employees work for me.

What cooking device do you have a special relationship with?

Great to be fifty plus going on fifteen (50 plus going on 15).

Wishing you heath, safety, and success.

Jay Patterson


10 Symptoms Of Shingles – Fifty Plus Going On Fifteen

I have been dragging all week thinking I have not been this run down since I had mononucleosis back in 1980. I was falling asleep early, I was getting up late and no matter how much coffee I drank, I was not hitting first gear let alone second or third gear.

Being in my early fifties and I normally exist on no more than six (6) hours of sleep per night I had to ask what was up. By the way, the picture above is not of me but is one of the models we use for these types of articles.

Friday rolled around and I was thankful the end of the week happened which is again not like me and my bride told me I have shingles. I of course told her I was not old enough to have shingles. Of course at than point, my bride told me the symptoms of shingles so here they are.

  1. Pain – During the past week, my body has hurt everywhere. Joints, muscles, you name it, it has hurt and over the counter drugs have done nothing to dull the pain. Once the rash finally hit and as I move towards blisters, my torso hurts as well.
  2. Fevers – I was lucky, I only had a low grade fever so I did not have to deal with this.
  3. Itchiness – I had numbness initially around the area the rash occurred on my torso but now it itches and hurts as it goes from rash to blister.
  4. Fatigue – I have been the walking dead all week and a bit on the grumpy side. I could not get enough sleep and I did not want to get out of bed. Coffee did little to wake me up.
  5. Sensitive Skin – It was numb before the rash but now it is sensitive as ever and hurts to no end.
  6. No Rash Only Pain – I have rash spots but I also have areas than hurt in between rash spots than meet this requirement.
  7. Light Sensitivity With Migraines – All week long, I had issues working with the shade up. I had to close the shade and turn down the lighting.
  8. Headaches – Aspirin, Tylenol, Motrin, etc… would not touch the headache.
  9. Blisters – Just started enjoying the lovely blisters. Not sure if the pain was worse before I had blisters or after.
  10. Rash – After the numbness, the rash came but I also have areas where there is no rash.

She also showed me a picture and guess what, my bride is correct for the millionth time since we were married thirty years (30) ago. They look like this and they hurt – OUCH.

I would like to confirm that I have been right a few times in thirty years of marriage but I am normally wrong. When it comes to medical issues, I am always wrong.

So, we went through the list of symptoms and I scored a perfect 10 which is great since I am well beyond my athletic prime. I agreed with my bride that I am old enough for shingles so we will deal with it and asked her how long it lasts.

Well, now for the great news. Shingles will normally be active for a few weeks and after effects can last for months. This was definitely the news I needed to hear. Not only was I old enough to get shingles but we were going steady for an extended period.

So on Friday night it was clear to my bride and myself that I wasn’t going to be my normal cheery self since I am terrible at being sick. Yes, on a scale of 1 to 10, I am probably an 8 in drama when I am sick and I am certain others will give me a perfect 10.

It is now Saturday, I feel a bit better since I am putting some over the counter medicine on the rash/blister area on my torso and although tired, I am trying to control my whine so my drama score is maybe a 5.

Its great being Fifty Plus Going On Fifteen (50 Plus Going On 15) but I still think I am to young for shingles.

Wishing you a safe, healthy and successful day.

Jay Patterson

Too Big To Care – Fifty Plus Going On Fifteen

I am a believer and a naysayer in certain business concepts and one of the business concepts I have always had a hard time wrapping my head around is “Too Big To Fail“. What is the rough definition of this concept?

  • Specific corporations so large and so interconnected that their failure would be disastrous to the greater economic system, must be supported by government when they face potential failure.

The concept was officially coined in the 1980s and was in reference to big banks and financial institutions. One notable early government bailout was for the Continental Illinois National Bank and Trust Company in the early 1980s.

There have been numerous occasions during the last fifty (50) years when this has in fact occurred having expanded beyond the financial realm with GM about ten (10) years ago.

You can agree or disagree with the concept of “Too Big To Fail” and whether government intervention should occur but I am concerned about a new issue that is occurring that may result in more “Too Big To Fail” situations that taxpayers will need to clean up.

The new issue that appears to be occurring more and more is a corporate attitude of “Too Big To Care“. A few examples of this attitude are shown below but this is an extremely short list.

  • Lack of empathy when customer service issues occur.
  • Willingness to disregard customer concerns regarding direction of company.
  • Assumption that historical record of company will carry them through all business challenges.
  • Belief that company is above normal rules of business or law.

We have observed this happen with many businesses over the years when the writing was on the wall but “Too Big To Care” happened. Again a short list of those that failed or those that are failing.

  • Sears and K Mart.
  • Toys R Us.
  • Circuit City.
  • Quiznos.

Recently we have experienced a twist to the “Too Big To Care” issue that includes corporations taking political positions and alienating customers instead of being above the issue. I must ask if there is an ulterior motive, are the corporations political hostages, or are the corporations just willing to take the chance of alienating customers.

I scratch my head in regard to this problem and question how any company can turn away customers without regard to impact to its employee base, shareholder, etc.

Most recently, there are reports of law enforcement agencies canceling orders for vehicles from a major manufacturer that has taken a political stand that will result in nearly $750,000 in lost revenue for the local dealership and the vehicle manufacturer. Where there is one occurrence, there will be more in the long run.

Think about the lives impacted because we cannot keep sports, business, family and politics compartmentalized. It is a sad situation and owners and senior staff of the corporations will not feel the pain much like the multimillionaires that have a beef do not feel the pain.

I have a real concern that this mixture of “Too Big To Fail” and “Too Big To Care” will cause significant damage to innocent people watching on the sidelines and we need to take a time out and draw lines in the sand on what is and isn’t acceptable behavior as a corporation.

I am not saying that corporations should not be involved in causes or projects but I am saying that corporations should remain neutral to its customer base.

What are your thoughts and please share them?

Fifty Plus Going On Fifteen (50 Plus Going On Fifteen)

Jay Patterson

Mutual Of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom – Fifty Plus Going On Fifteen

In North Dakota, you have two (2) seasons every year named Winter and Not Winter. During Not Winter, you experience the traditional seasons of Spring, Summer, and Fall in a six (6) month period and you experience Winter during the other six (6) month period.

There was no internet, no smartphones, no video games, and for leisure you had maybe 4 TV channels to watch, read a book, or go outside.

During the sub-zero Winter months, you hibernated inside and one of my fondest memories as a child was curling up in a blanket in front of the TV watching Mutual Of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom before the Wonderful World Of Disney came on.

A concept ahead of its time and duplicated time and time again. Mutual Of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom was a program dedicated to ecology and the environment that ran from 1963 to 1971. Marlin Perkins and Jim Fowler hosted the show and could be considered the godfathers of environment programming.

In later years, it was reported that some scenes were staged for the program and in our political correct (PC) environment, Mutual Of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom may not have survived. I gained an appreciation for our wonderful planet and its wildlife as a child because of this program and to this day prefer to take pictures of wildlife.

Being a realist when it comes to ecology and the environment and I believe in the right to hunt and our responsibility to be conservationists. Being not certain if Mutual Of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom taught me this but I would like to think so.

It is incredible that there are TV channels dedicated to ecology and the environment and this wouldn’t have happened if Mutual Of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom had not blazed the path. I enjoy programming on these channels as long as the message is balanced or there is no ulterior motive.

I wish I could go back to those frigid winter days when my only concern was coming inside before Mutual Of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom came on and feeling a sense of amazement after watching that once again Marlin made Jim risk his life to get that video shot.

1963 to 1971 was a simpler period in many ways but it was also one of our more turbulent periods so I am happy I could watch a program that had an overall goal of exposing its audience to great wonders of the world.

Mutual Of Omaha Insurance owns the rights to this program and has not released it since 1971. It sure would be great to revisit this program and childhood memories.

Its great being 50 Plus Going On 15 (Fifty Plus Going On Fifteen).

What program impacted your life when young?

Jay Patterson

Sports Heroes October 2017 – Fifty Plus Going On Fifteen

I am happy to say that the NHL Hockey season started this week so I can post a positive Sports Heroes October 2017.

What a refreshing sight, the national anthem being sung with players and audience singing along, hockey players standing on thin blades understanding that the product they provide to customers is hockey and beautiful show of patriotism on both sides of the border with a special acknowledgment for Las Vegas.

I have walked away from my favorite sport of NFL football and purchased NHL Center Ice and tonight is our third night of hockey watching games from the east to the west coast. The cool thing is, there are 80 plus hockey games per team so what a deal compared to spending more for only 16 NFL games per team.

I have my lovely bride to thank for my newfound love of hockey. We were both raised in North Dakota with me a novice hockey fan and Renee a hardcore hockey fan since her brother played hockey.

Over the years, my bride and daughter have continued watching hockey with a passion watching the Sioux City Musketeers for when we lived in Iowa and watching the Missouri State Ice Bears since moving to Missouri. I have taken them to a few professional hockey games over the years with our favorite team being the Nashville Predators even before they were in the Stanley Cup in 2017.

I am still doing NFL Fantasy Football since I obligated myself to a league prior to the season starting and I still do NFL weekly game picks since it has been a family tradition since the 1970s but I have not watched a game in 2017 and probably won’t.

NFL football fans have experienced a sad situation that started in 2016 and has continued in 2017. NFL fans forgave the NFL for multiple labor strikes, building domed stadiums in the great white north, making it almost impossible to tackle a quarterback, and for the national anthem issue in 2016.

Unluckily, it is doubtful that this NFL fan will forgive them for the national anthem issue dragging into 2017. I hold terrible grudges and have made every effort to not shop Sears since they stopped producing a catalog and that is only the tip of my grudge list.

I’m good with this change and believe I will figure out a way to take my bride of thirty years to an NHL hockey game of her choice and we are going to make certain we show our appreciation for players and teams on both sides of the border. We have many NHL teams within 12 hours so who will it be?

  • Nashville, St. Louis, Chicago, Columbus, Minnesota, Dallas, Denver, or Detroit.

It does not matter to me since no matter the game, I believe it will be quite enjoyable and we will receive what we pay for.

We are currently watching the Florida Panthers play the Tampa Bay Lightning and the score is within one point halfway through the game. A close, exciting game.

Changes in slashing rules for the 2017 season should make the game a little faster and a little less physical so we will see if this makes the game more exciting. I miss the days of no helmets but agree that helmets were a good change to the game.

What are your thoughts regarding the NFL anthem situation and have you changed your sports habits?

Have a great day and its great being fifty plus going on fifteen.

Jay Patterson

Napkin Sketches And Notes – Fifty Plus Going On Fifteen

Life is interesting when you are fifty plus going on fifteen and recently I was asked a question that I would like to share.

The question:

What did you do In the dark ages (back then) to take unplanned notes before smartphones, notepads, and touchscreen laptops?

I do not believe this individual was ready for my answers but I will share in this article and many of you will understand exactly what I am talking about.

“Back Then”, I always tried to carry a pen and pad of paper in case I had to record unplanned notes, received a call on my non-smart cell phone, or was paged and had to call someone. Yes, I said paged. You did not always have a pad of paper so you had to improvise with anything available to write on but I would always carry a pen.

If you did not have a pad of paper you had a number of options including:

  • Writing on your hand, but for hygienic reasons, your notes would be washed off.
  • Writing on the tablecloth, wall, table, etc., but some considered this vandalism.
  • Writing on money in your wallet, but you would sometimes spend the money.
  • Writing on napkins, this was my primary choice for sketches of notes if I did not have a pad of paper.
  • Whiting on matchbooks, my backup choice if no napkins but matchbooks are not always available.

I found myself in many situations grabbing a pile of napkins and documenting meeting notes, processes, procedures, flowcharts, etc., on the fly, in the car, and while on pay phones.

  • For those that are not clear about a pay phone, we can discuss later but I will tell you the phone cord was never long enough.

The napkins were protected like the Dead Sea Scrolls until your could either re-write your notes on a pad of paper or enter them into your desktop or laptop that was too bulky to drag to lunch or a meeting.

Napkins worked and the extra napkins in your pockets could come in handy for other reasons as well. On the flip side, there were a couple workable options listed below but the napkin was my primary choice.

  • Matchbooks were a good alternative to napkins in an emergency but you could only write on the inside and if somebody asked for a match, you would lose your notes.
  • There was a significant innovation called “Sticky Notes” and they were easier to carry in your pocket but I always had issues with them falling on the floor and walking off on the bottom of someones shoe again losing your notes.

Napkins were also a great way to relax or beat boredom prior to a meeting, lunches, when alone, etc. You could doodle, rip them up, try to make airplanes, clean your silverware, and perform many other critical and non-critical functions.

The napkin worked in 1920, 1970, and a napkin will work in 2020 and beyond. So, for those that did not know what Napkin Sketches and Notes were, you do now. For those that used something else, let me know what that is.

Have a great day.

Jay Patterson

Sports Heroes September 2017 – Fifty Plus Going On Fifteen

With the beginning of fall, a convergence of professional sports seasons occurs unlike any other time of the year.

  • Major League Baseball (MLB) is winding down and the Cleveland Indians are one of the hottest teams playing ball prior to the playoffs.
  • National Hockey League (NHL) is ramping up with two more weeks of preseason play and Las Vegas has a team.
  • The National Basketball Association (NBA) completes preseason play this week and the big question is Cleveland or Golden State.
  • National Football League (NFL) is entering week three (3) of the 2017 season and the NFL cannot figure out why viewership is taking for the second straight year.

I am an avid National Football League (NFL) fan who has followed the Minnesota Vikings and Oakland/Los Angeles/Las Vegas Raiders since the late 1060s. My Vikings have broken more hearts than Zsa Zsa Gabor and my Raiders have won Superbowls and have been the laughingstock of the NFL.

When I talk about being an avid football fan, my level of interest includes:

  • Counting days until the draft, preseason, regular season, playoffs, and Superbowl.
  • Purchasing and reading magazines and subscriptions to websites to be better educated.
  • Purchasing televised subscription services for all NFL games and I love the Red Zone.
  • Studying stats so I can participate in football picks each week.
  • Studying player and team stats so I can participate in my fantasy football team.

Well, it is week 3 of the NFL season and I have walked away from the NFL with exception of doing football picks and fantasy football since I have obligated my involvement with friends. I don’t like it but I do not like the new political NFL.

Please do not get me wrong since I believe that everyone should be able to support their political leanings but professional players are at work when they play and is it right to take your politics or religion to work?

So there is a void in my fall sports needs and to fill this void I am filling my time with non-political sports like college football and hockey.

I do have other options and I am warming up to MLB baseball again but the 1994 baseball strike still catches in my craw. NHL hockey is an option but a couple weeks out so perhaps we dive deep into hockey. I love NASCAR but all the rule changes have resulted in less interest and Junior is having a poor final year but I hope he is having fun.

Perhaps, the NFL will figure out that people do not really care about politics when watching football and will take a handle on this issue but perhaps not. Until the NFL does treat political protests like a personal foul, I will refrain from fully participating in my favorite sport.

Have a great day and it is great to be Fifty Plus Going On Fifteen.

Jay Patterson

Louis L’Amour – Fifty Plus Going On Fifteen

There are many famous people that were born, raised or lived in the great state of North Dakota and better yet my hometown of Jamestown North Dakota.

Louis L’Amour is one of these famous people whose accomplishments include writing hundreds of short stories, novels, television scripts, and screenplays. Many of his stories were translated and distributed worldwide and at one time there were more than $200 million copies worldwide. Louis L’Amour lived from 1908 to 1988.

I have always dreamed that one day I would write a book like Louis L’Amour did and better yet a series of books. Louis L’Amour wrote western books and I would write alternate history. Unluckily, only one of us have authored books at this time so I better get in gear.

My goals have included measuring my life experience compared to Louis L’Amour. I cannot compare growing up in the late 20th century to his growing up in the early 20th century there are comparisons.

Louis L’Amour experiences were many. Some of them include being an elephant handler at a circus, working as a fruit picker, gold prospector, longshoreman, lumberjack, and miner. He also skinned cattle in Texas, lived with bandits in Tibet, served on an East African schooner, and was a tank officer during WWII. Finally, Louis L’Amour was a professional boxer who won 51 out of 59 matches. My life experiences are varied also so there is hope here.
Louis L’Amour lived in North Dakota, Oklahoma, California, Colorado, France, and Germany. In this area, I can compete with Louis L’Amour although our experiences are in different eras.

In the early 1950s, Louis L’Amour transitioned into writing stories under his own name and this is when the magic occurred. Not only did he have a solid following of his books but many of his books were made into movies. The Duke, John Wayne purchased the movie rights to many of his books and one of my favorites was “How The West Was Won”. Incredibly, over 45 of his books were made into movies of films. Well, I have struck out here, my picture has been in the paper and I have had an article written about me though.

Louis L’Amour wrote with a style of his own until his death in 1988. The true measurement of a man is the size of the shadow they cast and Louis L’Amour cast a shadow that will never be filled again.

I was a fast attack submariner during and after the cold war and on fast attack submarines space was extremely limited. One thing you could guaranty was that there would be a large selection of Louis L’Amour books on the sub to be read, traded, shared and re-read.

Being underway for months on end could be and was lonely. Entertainment was limited so a good book would take you from under the sea to the great plains, mountains, and deserts of the old west. A much simpler but deadlier time when death was a daily occurrence.

Louis L’Amour books cross-generational interests. My grandpa Max would always have a Louis L’Amour book near him and on my grandfathers passing, he gave these books to me. It felt very special to receive this from grandpa when he had 50 plus grandchildren and he did not have many possessions as he approached the age of 80.

There is still time for me to become a writer although I doubt I will ever be a writer that touched lives like Louis L’Amour. Great American heroes come in different sizes, colors, sexes, and beliefs but Louis L’Amour will always live in my grandfather Max’s and my heart as one of the greatest.

I have other favorites like King, Michener, and others but Louis was one in a billion. Who is your favorite writer?

Its Great To Be Fifty Plus Going On Fifteen.

Jay Patterson




Cadillac Service At Yugo Prices – Fifty Plus Going On Fifteen

At one time, a Cadillac automobile was considered a class ride and for those that remember the Yugo, this automobile was a little red wagon with a motor and Fred Flinstone brakes.

I have been involved in the service delivery industry for much of my life and logic would imply that service levels would improve with technology advances and you would experience a decrease in service costs.

Major technology companies have bet the farm on the philosophy of cheaper, faster, better but is this a strategy that actually delivers as promised? Let’s see.

Today, I needed to set up a rental truck for a project in South Carolina. Using the model of cheaper, faster, better we will map out the results.

  • I was able to pull up websites quite easily using Google Search. I wanted to compare costs between two different providers.
    • On both sites, I was able to pull basic costs but neither website would allow me to select all desired options so I had to set up a chat and wait for a rep to chat with me.
    • Once the chat started, neither reps could answer the questions I had so each directed me to contact a rep using the 1-800 number.
  • I called the 1-800 number for company #1 and they were unable to pull the information off the website that I had completed so we manually completed the quote over the phone.
    • Overall, they were very helpful and we achieved our goal.
    • Total invested time, company #1, 30 minutes plus.
  • I called the 1-800 number for company #2 and they were unable to assist since the system was down so I was directed to call back. This occurred after extensive waits for a person to answer.
    • We did not achieve our goal.
    • Total invested time, company #2, 30 minutes plus.
  • Results of cheaper, faster, better:
    • Cheaper – YES – Websites and initial chat personnel that cannot answer all questions and/or permit all quotes are cheaper since on average they will field most calls and quotes without issue.
    • Faster – NO – Perhaps on average this is a yes but for me, this was a no and my questions were very basic.
    • Better – NO – Company #1 actually charged me less on the phone than the quote online and I had to wait for the quote to be sent to me to review. Company #2 did not get a chance to quote because the system was down.
  • Perhaps I am missing the big picture of cheaper, faster, better but in this example, I spent more time, they made less money but I am certain the investment in customer service was limited.

The strategy of cheaper, faster, better service is considered Cadillac Service At Yugo Prices. Although this looks good on paper, this strategy results in satisfactory service delivery for the majority of customers but for customers that do not fit into a normal bucket, get ready for a ride in a Yugo.

Unluckily, providing Cadillac Service At Yugo Prices has been labeled cheaper, faster, better and this model has infiltrated most areas of customer service. If we were talking cars, you could buy at least two Yugos for every Cadillac so you had a backup.

We are talking about customer service so we just get frustrated and ask “whatever happened to a person on the other end of the phone” as we wait on hold in need of assistance.

Just some observations about the cheaper, faster, better strategy as it relates to customer service.

Wishing you a great day.

Jay Patterson

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