It finally happened. We bought one. My husband, Jim, had been doing research for months. He loves to research before investing in a purchase. I will watch him hunched over his computer with multiple tabs open comparing different brands, types, and durability on any product we are concerning to buy. Jim was looking for which one had the best handling and best wheels to go over different terrains. He made up his mind he wanted one with a single wheel, because he could better work his core while doing yard work. I disagreed. I have always had a love/hate relationship with wheelbarrows. But, he does most of the yard work, so he could have this one.
I have fond memories of being a young child of about five, being given rides in a two wheeled wheelbarrow. My step-grandfather would push my cousin Amy and I around his 14 acre mini farm. I remember thinking how amazing the ride was as he moved us past his flower garden, to the strawberries, and along the cornstalks that were just getting to be about my height. I thought that wheelbarrow was the Ferrari of wheelbarrows. It’s two wheels made it sturdy, and it felt huge to me to hold myself and my cousin, plus the items Poppy needed to tend to his gardens. It made me feel special that Poppy would take us around his property in style. I thought he was so strong to push us along the way he did. It wasn’t until I was in high school that I noticed he was only about five feet four inches tall, but when he pushed us in that souped up wheelbarrow he was a giant.
My father had the typical wheelbarrow with one wheel in the front and two handles that stuck out the back. It was shaped more like a triangle. Not like Poppy’s slick rectangular wheelbarrow. When I was very young I would often ask my dad for rides in it. My dad always declined reminding me it was not steady, it could possibly tip and I could fall out. This wheelbarrow was also dirty and rusty. I don’t know what my father did to it through the years. It could of learned a few things from Poppy’s pristine wheelbarrow.
As the years went on, I was expected to help my father in the yard. I am an only child, so he had slim pickings when it came to help. When I was 13 years old we lived in the Ohio Valley. It was a rural community, and we owned about four acres of land. That’s when my disdain for the one wheeled wheelbarrow peaked. I was expected to help transport numerous items around the four acres for my father. The old wheelbarrow was like a Ford Pinto, you never knew when it was going to fail you. I remember shoveling and filling it with a huge pile of dirt, as I was carefully crossed the yard I ran over a small stone. The wheelbarrow immediately tipped, spilling it’s contents onto the ground. I was only about 20 feet from where I was to make my delivery. I stood there and tears of frustration and hate towards this wheelbarrow streamed down my face. I then kicked that wheelbarrow as hard as I could. At 13, I believed this was the best way to handle the situation. I kicked the tire, and it went flat. I never knew a wheelbarrow’s tire needed air to function. My 13 year old self thought it best to sit next to it and cry until my father would help me out. It worked, and I managed to get off wheelbarrow duty after that.
I did not go to the hardware store to go buy the wheelbarrow this weekend. I figured I did not need to relive anymore bad one wheel wheelbarrow memories. Jim went with our two children and his sister, who was visiting from out of town. Caiden and Willow were so excited about making this purchase, it was as if it was Christmas morning. They danced around the house as they got ready to go. Caiden telling me the lists of things he was going to help his dad with. Willow came running to me holding out her Giants jersey and a pair of leggings, and asked if the outfit was a good one to buy a wheelbarrow in. I told her it was perfect. It was game day, and this was months in the making. So, I guess I could understand.
They we were gone for a few hours. As I did laundry and made beds I wondered what was taking them so long. I remembered Jim is very frugal, and I could see him going to few hardware stores to save a few dollars. When I heard the garage door open. I walked outside to our driveway, and there it was. A two wheeled wheelbarrow. It wasn’t as classy as Poppy’s, but its green paint sparkles in the sunlight. My children were jumping all around it in delight. I looked at Jim, and he said, “I heard you. I do think this one is going be better.” I then looked at my children laughing and running around it. Happy memories are already being made.