Though she sits on my deck, seemingly lifeless, her flat tires and rusted wheels tell tales of miles spent traveling up and down the jersey shore boardwalks, looking for seashells to fill her basket; Stories of anticipation for young lovers with no other mode of transportation, journeying toward one another in the hot blazing summer, or sisters on their way to get ice cream.
Betty and I first met through a chance encounter on Craigslist, where a nice, young man in a small, nearby town made a hobby out of restoring old bicycles and giving them to the neighborhood kids. She was rusted and dented, with two flat tires, but she brought happiness from the start. Betty came home with me, and spent a few years under my deck while I decided exactly how she should be restored and brought to a new glory. I dreamed of a basket on her front, filled with delicate flowers, and even purchased a beautiful hydrangea to use, but i failed to water enough, and it died. I pinned many pictures of beach cruisers used in various ways to bring nostalgia to a vignette, but when I saw the beach cruiser dressed in lights at the Garland Hotel in Pasadena while visiting to attend the Rose Bowl parade (similar to the one below), I knew what was in store for Betty.
Though far from the beach, Betty has brought much joy this year, watching her expression change with varying amounts of snowfall as she chronicles our winter season. With an ever-so-light dusting of snow, she wonders, “Is this it?? This is not so bad as I imagined.”
But then she exclaims, “Please stop!” as the snow continues to pile on her already weathered seat. She wonders if her wheels will ever turn again, and remembers the days of her youth, gently gliding up and down boards similar to these, except not covered in snow. She can hear the gentle surf in the distance of her mind as she settles back into her winter gloom, wondering when spring will come.
Alas, a break in the snow, and for a few days, even slight warmth, then rain, and snow again..
Longingly, Betty thought about the salt air, and the sand beneath her tires, which were once voluptuously filled with air, and now lay lifeless beneath her. It is not sand she feels, which warms in the sunlight of the summer air; indeed, the “sand” she feels now is cold and wet.
One day, Betty will once again feel the glory of the warm sunlight streaming on her weathered leather seat, but for now, she continues her journey, bringing joy to those who see her darling blue lights, and evergreen basket.
Thank you, Betty.
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