Machines on the Move

By Jim Hagarty

My father-in-law was a very good minister, artist and woodworker. We inherited seven or eight of his big, heavy woodshop machines and have had them in the shed for the past year. A few months ago, it became clear to me that they would be better situated in our finished and heated garage where we can make a proper workshop. Since then I have fretted and worried about how this transfer of machines would be accomplished. I knew I needed help but foresaw a number of problems with the project. Broken windows, scratched doors, injured helpers, damaged machinery. Where would we get a dolly we would need to carry the heavier pieces? I wonder, if I could put all that anxiety together, whether or not it would take up two hours or three or four. Maybe.

Tonight, my son and a bunch of his 17-year-old friends happened to be over at our place for burgers and pop. Afterwards, I asked them if they could help me move the machines, thinking they might get three or four of the lighter ones moved. Sure, they said. And they did. All the machines were moved, settled, done in 10 minutes. Then they hopped in the van and drove off. Nothing broken or scratched, no pulled muscles, no dolly needed. They just got together and got it done, as though they were doing the dishes after supper.

A few minutes later, I took the dog for a walk and I noticed that old familiar tension behind my eyes and wistful tears sitting there. Oh, to be 17 again. To not look ahead and behind. To not think there are things you can’t do. To live every day as an adventure with your pals. To be forever in the moment.

What happens to us to take that away? Do we get too cynical, or too bored or too tired?

Last year I took a van load of those guys to Port Huron, Michigan, for the day. It was the most fun I have had in years, just listening to the banter, the joking, the expressions of joy and anticipation of good things to come. The talk of cars and girls and music. The finer things in life.

Author: Jim Hagarty

I am a 65-year-old retired journalist, busy recovering from a lifelong career as an unretired journalist. This year marks a half century of my scratching out little fables about life. My interests include genealogy, humour and music. I live in a little blue shack in Canada and spend most of my time trying to stay out of trouble. I am not that good at it. I also spent years teaching journalism. Poor state of journalism today: My fault. I have a family I don't deserve, a dog that adores me, and two cars the junk yard refuses to accept. My prized possessions include my old guitar and a razor my Dad gave me when I was 14 and which I still use when I bother to shave. Oh, and my great-great-grandfather's blackthorn stick he brought from Ireland in the 1850s. I have only one opinion but it is a good one: People take too many showers.

One thought on “Machines on the Move”

  1. I can remember those days, I also remember the feeling of immortality. That feeling was really not having a clue to my mortality. I was faster, stronger and smarter than anyone I knew… Ignorance sure was bliss.
    If I could go back, I wouldn’t. Along with the good comes the struggle. We all forget the struggle, the mistakes, the impulsiveness that caused it all.
    All I have now is the knowing how things are. I know contentment.

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