I may need to qualify that further by saying my first wheelbarrow in my adult life. In my childhood memories, I do have glimpses of playing with a little plastic wheelbarrow but I don’t vividly remember whether it was mine, was it at a babysitter’s, or was it at a friend’s place. I don’t remember one being around our house, so it must have been at someone else’s house.
That being the case, I was no stranger to the benefits of a second class lever system, even if it was just to transport a haul of precious cargo like teddy bears, super-sized packs of crayons and the absolutely essential Fisher Price telephone. Even back then, I wouldn’t leave the house without being just a phone call away.
But fast forward several decades and here I am again, hauling stuff in a trusty wheelbarrow. What a full circle moment!
When I told my partner that I was writing this post, he asked if I mentioned how I was initially unconvinced when he first proposed it. I thought it was a good point to add. In never using one in my adult life (to this point), I truly had no sense of its potential.
I didn’t need one during my apartment years since I had no responsibility for the surrounding land or garden.
And for the last 20 years I was living in a condominium where pretty much all exterior landscaping was up to the property management company. I had responsibility over my 15 feet by 15 feet backyard, but let’s just say I never needed a device to haul things from one end of the yard to the other. Even just standing still, any given wheelbarrow covers six square feet, so it was hard to justify getting one.
In our rural property, I am surprised how we survived our first year without one. The reality was we didn’t have a garage in which to store it securely and to shelter it from the elements.
Once the garage was finished, the next hurdle was waiting for the pandemic lockdown to be over to be able to go buy one. Of course we could have purchased one from Canadian Tire with their super-efficient curbside pickup, but we wanted to get a good look, to see a few up close and to test some before committing to a purchase.
When we finally brought one home, we knew that we had filled a huge gap in our garden tool collection, but at the time, we just didn’t know to what extent.
My partner and I both have had a history of back issues, on and off over the years, and at this point, it made no sense to haul heavy loads without a little help. A backache flare up that takes one of us out of commission for days or weeks, just wasn’t worth it.
Even though we’ve only had it a few weeks, it has already come in handy for a number of projects.
First and foremost, it was an essential for collecting and hauling apples from our extremely abundant tree. It doesn’t take many apples to make a plastic bag, carried the wrong way over a long distance, a hazard for a back with a degenerating disc. For that reason alone, the wheelbarrow has already earned its keep through saved chiropractic bills and over-the-counter pain reliever.
Anybody who has suffered from a bad back knows the value of anything that keeps the back running smoothly and pain-free.
Also, even to go out around the property and collect weeds, it is so much more convenient to just toss them into the big tray atop the wheelbarrow, rather than trying to call upon my horrible eye-hand coordination and attempt to throw them into a paper yard waste bag that keeps closing on itself.
Plus, dragging a paper yard waste bag over the dewy grass first thing in the morning is a metaphorical ticking time bomb, waiting for the morning I bring the garbage to the street. I found out the hard way that a wet paper bag doesn’t hold much. But taking the weeds from the wheelbarrow and putting them directly into a dry paper bag in an area sheltered from the elements, warms the cockles of my Type A personality’s heart, ticking all the boxes of an efficient process.
Another work-in-progress around the property is to fix up the area around the garage we built. Right now it’s a combination of rocks of all sizes and poor quality soil, where all that seems to grow is more weeds. With a wheelbarrow, I can sift out the rocks and dispose of them in a spot where they won’t get in the way, and then haul in some topsoil to try to sprout some grass and make the area looked more finished.
Moving all those rocks with my hands would have been tedious beyond words. With a wheelbarrow, the job is considerably easier. Again, who knew that something as simple as a wheelbarrow, would make me this happy?
Not only is it a time saver and an energy saver, but so far, it has proven to be a back saver as well. Plus, the range of tasks I can take on to maintain our property has also been enhanced. It is amazing what the right tool at the right time can do.
Readers might think that my gushing about a wheelbarrow might be a little over the top, but the reality is that for even a modest country property like ours, a wheelbarrow has proven its worth in so many ways. And given the fact that in my city life I never needed one, the sense of wonder I feel each time it serves a genuinely useful purpose is a constant sense of awe, wonder, deep satisfaction and gratitude.
It would truly feel weird to write a product review for something that has been around for two thousand years, but hey, here it is: “Five stars! I love it! How did I ever live without it?”
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Sincere thanks for reading!
Have a great day,