Thursday, October 20, 2011
As I noted in a recent facebook post, and am now expanding upon here, it is so difficult to find a decent wheelbarrow repair shop these days. Or, for that matter, any such service at all. That's what I get for owning an esoteric, practically vintage model, which I am rather attached to for its many fine features. Namely, that it comes apart and fits into the trunk of my car. If this wheelbarrow needed a spokesperson to speak glowingly of its attributes, I'd be on it. But apparently I'm the only one who needed such a product, for it was discontinued several years ago. What, nobody else needs a wheelbarrow that comes apart but is still big and strong enough to transport heavy loads of wood over uneven terrain?
As they say, behind every great wood stacker there is a great wheelbarrow. Over the years I have tried several kinds: hand trucks, carts, regular barrows for when I could throw one in the bed of the truck. But I'm not driving the truck these days, it's got some quirks and is not as fuel-efficient for all the miles I'm covering. Hence my consternation (a nice word for swearing loudly) when a key element broke today after being pushed to its limits for weeks by my constant use. If only I'd tried to reinforce with duct tape? My dad pointed out there might be a spare broken one we'd kept for parts somewhere in the woodyard, a donor barrow. He kept Camrys around for the same purpose; as one after another sputtered to its end and was replaced, it'd be pressed into service for its parts as its body crumbled to rust.
I usually much prefer to repair things rather than replace them, I think people discard stuff too easily these days, and many modern things aren't even meant to be repaired, so they must be thrown away to make room for the next. My friend Sarah's blog and project, Zero to Go, is part of her passionate efforts to educate and encourage people to reduce-reuse-recycle. It reminds me that I could be doing more in this department, but I do what I do and try to be mindful.
My fondness for old trucks doesn't obscure the fact that I know they're hard to maintain and service, and yet I'd still love to own one someday. Old appliances can be ornery but they keep on running. Shown here is a painting (6"x6") of a great fan, from a local antique store, that has blasted me with cool air for many summers. And most of my clothes I've had for years. I pull on a new pair of jeans with the utmost reluctance. Not that I don't like new objects and clothes, sometimes. A new paintbrush, tube of paint, pretty dress, yes. If I could find a new Stow-&-Go (formal name of the one-wheeled wonder) I'd snap it up, but no luck. I've got to get on this pronto, for this time of year, the piles of wood await.