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the wistful longers club meets again

the wistful longers club meets again

May 14, 2007

The notes from the last meeting are here.

This past weekend I stopped at a road side tag sale. I rarely do that anymore. I think this is mostly because I already have a house filled with too much stuff. I don’t really need more clutter. Also unbuckling and rebuckling several children just to get out and look though other people’s junk just isn’t as appealing as it once was. We can go home and take a stroll though our own house.

But, I am currently looking for a dresser for my daughter’s bedroom and I have something fairly specific in mind. Also, I don’t want to spend a lot of money on it. Why is it that when I didn’t need one I saw them everywhere?

This tag sale had a bunch of vintage bicycles. There were a couple of bicycles built for two, which I always tell Rob I want so that I can sit in back and relax while he pedals. And a couple that would be fun with a basket in front and maybe some streamers from the handle bars.

But the one that really caught my eye. It was a triwheel bike, sort of like a tricycle for grow-ups, with a huge basket in the back. It was in rough shape, covered with rust. It needed a new seat, a paint job, a new chain. (It looked very similar to this one.)

But I could see how lovely it would be.

I imagined myself riding it around a town, wearing a long flowing floral skirt, my hair blowing gracefully in the breeze, not once getting tangled in my mouth or whipping into my face.

In the rear basket are several baquettes fresh from the local bakery and a bunch of freshly cut flowers, their stems wrapped in a damp embroidered handkerchief. I ride along waving at the old men in berets who are sitting on the park benches which line my route. “Bon jour!” I call, as I give them a friendly wave.

I imagined myself into a fantasy which has no base in reality. I felt that wistful longing which is such a prominent feature of my existence that I don’t often even recognize it a such anymore.

I stroked the handle bar long enough for my almost 10 yr old son to come up to me.

“Are you going to get it, Mom?” he asked, jolting me out of my fantasy life.

One in which I am young, beautiful, French, and able to EAT BREAD. Not to mention friendly. My life is better suited to a mountain bike, or something motorized if I ever want a hope of keeping up with my children.

In reality, I’d have to put several children in that basket to go anywhere. They would inevitably fight and shove each other out of the basket, tempting me to just leave them laying there crying on the side of the road and ride off. (Hey, fantasy within a fantasy) I would be swearing in French, my loaves of perfectly crusty baquettes would be flattened beyond recognition, and the freshly picked flowers would be nothing but flower heads that had been plucked off their stems by the roadside.

“Nah. It isn’t very practical for my life, is it?” I replied.

“Well, I was thinking you could just ride behind us. And then after awhile we would wait up for you,” he said.

My heart warmed, what an ingrate I felt like at the moment. My son would wait up for me. And though that made me feel positively geriatric, it also made me feel good.

He continued, “You could carry a big cooler in that basket with our lunch and snacks.”

That made me laugh.

But I did get another bike. $2.

Radio Flyer

Replaced with a new fantasy… a little blonde boy on a vintage red Radio Flyer bicycle. With a bell.

And I think I could attach a wagon to the back and he could pull the cooler of snacks behind him.

Next year.

sitting on his new chair

Better start exercising those little legs now, baby.

Posted by Chris @ 1:31 pm  

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  1. Beckie says:

    Two dollars for that bike - What a Bargain!

    The bread and flower fantasy - I have that one. Then the bread molds and flowers wilt. Ahh, life.

  2. maggie says:

    Totally - I love when I can get my kid to do things for me, like go upstairs and get my glasses. She’s too little for most real tasks, but I am looking forward to the day she can pull the cooler!!

  3. goodsandwich says:

    What sweet and gorgeous children you have. Despite their probable tendency to destroy flowers . . .

    So I read the other post, and wonder — is it possible for your family to move to another place at this point? I mean I know that we moms who stay home w/the kids all feel a kind of holding pattern, and maybe you don’t feel as strongly as you did 6 months ago. But — well, maybe the bears are a sign.

    Not that I would want to contemplate house-shopping for an 8-bedroom house in a semi-metropolis, or even a 5-bedroom . . .

  4. Denise says:

    I almost bought two chairs just like those in your picture at a yard sale last week!! Dang it.. shoulda got em!
    Nice bike for Miles!! He must be excited!

  5. Maggie says:

    This is such a beautiful entry: fantasies like this are a daily part of my life, any part of my day in which I am alone can allow these dreams to float up, of another person in another life where the sun is always just so, where a new persona can be occupied with new clothes, no To Do lists (well, maybe the baguettes)…until the dryer dings or the phone rings or one of my three needs something NOW…but we can all dream…..

  6. love, laughter & Laundry says:

    The fantasy sounds great, but your reality is better. It would be fun to visit that place for a little while though.

    The bike was a steal. I love yard sales.

  7. dorothy says:

    My fantasy life always involves me getting to ride my own road bike on 30-mile rides with my husband again every weekend, like we used to before we had children. I suppose that time will come again - hopefully I won’t be too creaky to ride by then.

  8. Nicki says:

    My fantasy includes being able to ride a bike, while NOT pulling a trailer with child AND cooler along.

  9. Crisanne says:

    My grandmother had one of those-don’t ask me why cause I have NO idea-but we loved it. She lived in a trailer park and there was nothing to do but play shuffleboard…and terrorize the neighbors! My brother and sister rode on the seat and I rode in the basket! Good times!

  10. B says:

    Great find!

  11. bgirl says:

    Wow. I never find anything good a tag sales - you must have THE EYE.

  12. Qalballah says:

    That *is* a bargain. Good job. Those sell for a LOT of money over here.

  13. Elena says:

    Cute bike for Miles! (and what a bargain price)

    I saw one of those adult tricycles at K-Mart this past weekend. . . my 5 yo was all for buying it just so he could ride in the basket while I peddled.

  14. julie says:

    Miles will be perfection on that bike. And maybe you can rig up the wagon with some comfy pillows and he can pull you behind instead of the cooler. Just you and a nice cool drink.

  15. Mary Anne says:

    I thought about you as I drove between Pgh and Burlington Vt. this weekend to pick up daughter #3. I can see how life in a small town in those parts could get old. Though it is rather lovely I also kept a look out for your four footed friends every time we pulled over at any of the scenic view points.

  16. Margi says:

    Hair will always end up in your mouth. That’s like death, taxes and the fact that you will inevitably put your fingernails (even if they are non-existant) through a new pair of nylons.

  17. liz says:

    I love your fantasy life, and your real life too.

  18. Bronnie says:

    I love how you write! I could picture it all happening! The fantasy life…

    The red bike is gorgeous! Can’t wait to see some photo’s when he can ride it :)

  19. Playdate Susan says:

    We have a red Radio Flyer tricycle on our porch even as I type–it’s too small for my kids but I refuse to give it up because it’s so PRETTY and it makes me look like the kind of mom who walks patiently along next to a toddler who is learning to ride, instead of muittering under her breath and wondering why the damn trike didn’t come with a cupholder for my drink.


  20. Cathy says:

    I know those trikes well. They breed at my MIL/FIL’s retirement park. All the old folks ride them to the store, putting their Ensure in the basket for the trip home. It may be that your French fantasy would be all in your mind, as other people driving by would say, “There goes that eccentric woman, Chris”. Eccentric is a kind word for “off her rocker”.

  21. robin says:

    I’ve been reading your blog since you did that oh so nice thing for Heather. Anyhoo, my grandmother used to have one of those bikes. She would lay a towel down in the bottom of the basket and my sister and I would ride in it around the neighborhood to her friends’ houses. When we were too big, one of us had to ride our own. I miss being little like that sometimes. Most of the time, I just miss her.

  22. Melanie says:

    That bike was awesome. I want a three-wheeler! Your son looks so young and innocent in the picture, unaware of his future as the world’s cutest pack mule.

  23. Salsaqueen says:

    Put the wagon behind the bike and let him pull YOU! After all, you carried him for 9 months. Isn’t it about time he starts paying you back?!

  24. Tyler says:

    This is off subject….

    But have any of your kids (the two oldest) ever thought about blogging? I know they both got laptops for christmas and just wondered if they ever thought about blogging.

  25. Daisy says:

    My son (age 15, visually impaired) has a recumbent three-wheeler. We use his basket, not for French bread, but for all the lovely produce we buy on our trips to the local farmer’s market.

  26. Trish says:

    Don’t let that bike sit outside over the winter. It will rust like crazy!!! I have the same bike for my son, and it is now covered in rust stains that no amount of CLR will clean.

  27. Tamatha says:

    And I thought I was the sole member of the the Wistful Longers Club…

  28. fidget says:

    i would have bought that darn bike! I’d load my kids up back there and ride my kids around town. I’d also beat them silly with crusty bread if they acted all improper-like

    but then again the lil red bike is adorable and that boy looks meaty enough to haul snacks

  29. poppy fields says:

    This post warmed my heart in a wistful kind of way.

  30. Jennifer says:

    That is a beautiful a bike. Great price, too. They practically gave it to you. Can’t wait to see the pictures of him on it next year.

  31. Brigitte says:

    Only $2!

    Har, I’ve wanted a grown-up tricycle since I was a kid (an eccentric old lady, that I rather admired for not fitting the mold, had one in the town where I grew up)! But my husband refuses to let me get one until I’m too doddery to pedal it, the big meanie.

    I LIVE in fantasy world, but it couldn’t even come true now if I won the Powerball, as I’m about 20 years younger and 100 pounds lighter in my fantasy world . . . sigh!

  32. Denise says:

    My name is Denise, and I am a life-long member of the wistful longers club. My recurrent daydream includes me walking on green Irish hills, waiting for my true love to return to me, with my shawl wrapped about me and my long auburn curls gently lifted by the sea-sweet breeze. Mysteriously, tunes from “Maidens of the Celtic Harp” float nearby.
    But back in real life, we have had such gorgeous spring weather lately, that for an hour here and there life has actually reached the idyllic, so I really should be thankful for those moments. And I am! I just wish all the outside annoyances would stop intruding on the beauty of life…trust school to have a stupid science fair this Wednesday so that my husband and I and three of our kids are forced to spend all our free time on the stupid things.

  33. JENinMICH says:

    $2 is wicked awesome for that bike, good deal hunting.

    I just got diagnosed with celiac disease. I didn’t eat that much bread, but crusty baguettes with brie and wine. So going to miss that.

    Your porch looks great.

  34. Joy H says:

    Killer deal!!!! Miles will look positively perfect on it. BUT I wonder how much you could get for it on ebay?