If you have been to a kid's softball or soccer game in the last 5 years you may have seen one of those red cloth wagons. I knew I wanted one the moment I saw someone carting all their equipment in it. I also saw them at outdoor concerts in my community. People filled them with chairs, picnic supplies, small children, and pets. Sadly, when I finally hunted one down at a local store, it was very much out of my price range at the time. I got lucky, though, and found one at a decent discount at a K-Mart that was closing. It was still a little pricey--I've always been living pay-check to pay-check--but I decided that I could come up with enough uses to justify the purchase.
At first, I didn't really use the wagon that often. I employed it a couple times to bring teacher gifts to my daughter's school at Christmas and during Teacher Appreciation week one year. I didn't even get to use it to bring her softball or soccer gear to practice or the games because I already had designated equipment bags pre-packaged and ready to go. So, my little red wagon spent quite some time in the garage, waiting for justification for the funds used to procure it. Then, my world finished shattering when I was tossed out like a bit of rubbish because the man who promised to love, honor, etc. until death do us part (TWICE, I might add, since we had a civil ceremony and then our marriage was sanctified in the Catholic Church) decided he wanted and needed nothing more from me because he found a better substitute, one who wouldn't provide a conscience or stand up for him when he was attacked by others.
[Sorry. It still hurts. But that's not what this post is about, now is it?]
Well, I found a new home far from my old one. I moved to an apartment, luckily on the first floor. But, I lost the convenience that a home gives you, namely the less-than-ten-foot walk it takes to bring in purchases from the driveway to the kitchen (or other designated room, if not groceries). When we first moved in to the apartment six weeks ago, I had family here to help me bring in my purchases and pack/unload all of our belongings. [That's another post that needs writing!] Even with their help, I found that my little red wagon was perfect for bringing in smaller items from the moving truck--pillows and blankets, luggage, small boxes. After we unloaded everything, I still needed to make many purchases to turn this place into a home. All we had, though it seemed like a lot, was our clothes and books and a few personal items. We had very little in terms of furniture, food, cleaning supplies, even bathroom accessories. So, I went shopping. That little red wagon came in handy with unloading my car, bringing everything into the apartment and helping my daughter and I set up this place into more of a home. It even proved to be a great convenience with carrying in all the shelving I had to buy (20% of the boxes we packed were books).
I actually use the little folding wagon on a regular basis. It fits 4-6 laundry baskets. Another convenience I lost when kicked out of the house was the presence of a washer and dryer, so I have to go to a laundromat each week. The little wagon folds flat in my trunk or back seat, then I pop it out and put in my baskets and soap, making the trip to the laundromat that much more convenient and less of a hassle. I also still use it on shopping trips, especially grocery shopping trips. It folds flat, sitting in my car until it is needed. I've been able to get everything from my car to my apartment in one trip each time I go out, even if I go out alone.
So, even though it sat idle for so many months, my little folding red wagon has more than paid for itself. I've even gotten a couple people asking me where they can find one for their own. I just have to keep my daughter from trying to ride in it (she stands at 5'5", so even if she had a stick-thin figure, which she doesn't, I don't want to risk her safety).