The Hand Truck

I bought a hand truck yesterday.

I learn day by day all of the things I need to do.  Moving heavy trash cans, boxes and …well, so many things …  is too hard on my back.  But with my new cart, I can do it all.

Hurricane Irene caused our basement to flood.  Everything had to be moved to one small area so the carpet could be dried.  It took a professional maintenance service to dry it — nine huge fans and three big dehumidifiers going for a week. The carpet actually rose — like the Magic Carpet — floating above the floor on the powerful airflow.

When I discovered the soggy carpet that Sunday morning at 5:30, I just walked back up the steps,  closed the door,  and sat on the sofa.  Then I looked up the number of  ServePro.  I was resigned to just throwing the whole carpet away and figuring it all out later.  But my friends, Rodney and Ine,  showed up two hours later with wet/dry vacs and worked with me all day to move things and take up water until the professionals arrived.  I could never have done the job alone.

I knew there was no use waking Bo to tell him about the carpet,  so I didn’t. Later, when he came down,  he didn’t understand what was going on.  He wasn’t even aware of the hurricane.   He tried to help, in his way, but he was confused. At one point, I saw him with a few paper towels in his hand.

“What are you doing, Honey?”  I asked.

“I’m taking up some water here on the carpet,”  he said.  He had touched the carpet but didn’t realize it was wet everywhere.

Even now he doesn’t understand why the cellar is such a mess, and has no idea of helping me return everything.  All of his model airplanes and tools are piled high but he has no interest in reorganizing them. I will keep them.  To get rid of his hobby, even though he has no interest in it,  would be like erasing a part of him.  I can’t.

But I made the decision to get rid of anything else that’s too heavy for me to move — anything I don’t need  (Do we need any of this stuff we save?)

And tonight the hand truck worked wonders as I moved things back to the new lightweight plastic shelves I bought today to replace the heavy wooden ones.  I filled the containers with my cookbook and children’s book collections and rolled them in place.

What I’m learning is that there is a way to do things.  I just have to figure it out. I can no longer turn to Bo and say, “How you do think we should do this?”

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4 Responses to The Hand Truck

  1. Mimi says:


    Again, another wonderful memoir.
    And it is much harder with just one person to figure out all the decisions.
    I know from years of experience……but somehow, it all works out with a good night of sleep,
    and good problem solving…and

  2. greg says:

    Nancy, learn his happy place and work with it.
    I have walked in your shoes and I am still doing it.
    If you need to talk, call me.

  3. Cheryl Simone says:

    A beautiful memory and so well-written. You will continue to grow your strengths and ingenuity out of necessity. When you realize you can handle all the bad things that come at you with assurance and ease, your confidence and peace of mind will grow.

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