Every year in the early spring, I tackle the task of tidying the shed. I’m ruthless when it comes to deciding which flower pot, gardening tool, or piece of sports equipment to part with and which has permission to stay.
This year was the same. I ended up filling a giant garbage bag and was pleased with my efforts. One item that didn’t make the cut but was too large for a garbage bag was an old rusty tricycle. I put it on the patio to remind me to put it out next garbage collection day.
I had discovered the red-and-white tricycle at a church bazaar in May two years prior. I’d been thrilled, envisioning my three-year-old granddaughter riding it. Here’s a pic of me, exiting the church hall, reliving my early trike days, haha!
For eight weeks, I forgot every Thursday night to put the tricycle curbside along with the garbage cans. Since my oldest granddaughter’s five now, she’d outgrown the tricycle. And my newest granddaughter is only ten months old. Was it worth the effort to restore the tricycle for her to use down the road? How much does a new tricycle cost anyways? Well, this was more a matter of the heart than of the wallet.
My hubby picked up spray paint for me in the shade described as Safety Red. It was bright! I could not find any white paint at Walmart or Dollarama but I did locate some white acrylic paint at The Dollar Tree. I asked my husband if that would work for painting the bike. Guy replied, “Sure, that would work if you were making a painting of the bike. But, if you’re looking to paint it, you might consider using a rust paint like Tremclad.”
I drove to Canadian Tire, waited in line outside—socially distanced from the other masked customers—then made my way to the paint department. The generic white glossy rust paint was five dollars cheaper than Tremclad. It was also out of reach on a high shelf. I considered trying to whack it with a BBQ utensil I was purchasing for Guy but there were people around me, so I didn’t do it. I’m shy that way. Pre-COVID, I would simply have asked a taller person to get it for me but that seemed rather inappropriate now. I bought the pricier Tremclad.
I toiled with an SOS pad on the chrome and I used sandpaper on the spokes and the extremely rusted seat.
Then, I spray-painted the metal portions of the bike and the handlebar grips Safety Red.
I also painted a few rocks as I remembered how my first grandchild liked to collect rocks. Red rocks would be treasured!
Next, I realized the error of my ways. I should’ve started with white paint for the parts of the tire and the spokes that were white. I made an awkward attempt to cover the red parts with newspaper and painter’s tape.
I’m no expert at painting. I applied another coat of white paint and removed the newspaper covering the red painted areas. I needed now to cover the white areas with newspaper. It was necessary to apply more red spray paint as there was white paint splatter on the red paint job! Aaaargh!!
As I painted, I remembered the day I bought the trike at the spring church bazaar. I was accompanied by Mom and my youngest daughter. We had browsed and shopped individually and then met up with our new finds.
When I asked Mom what she had got, she replied, “Talking books, fruit pies, chicken pies, and hugs!” Hugs from friends, and even from her nursing supervisor from over thirty years earlier!
Yes, it was like another era when hugs were allowed, and Mom lived only a couple blocks away. Mom’s in a retirement home an hour away from me now. Who knows, maybe if pandemic restrictions lift, an autumn bazaar may still take place. I bet Mom would like a chance to see and hug her friends once more.
But for now, I have the memories of that day when I gaze upon the tricycle. My little project turned out just fine! The addition of some red and white flowers helped the trike fit in nicely on the patio. It had made its home there for a few weeks anyways once it left the shed . . . and apparently dodged the garbage collection!
Check it out!