Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Herfy

A while back in my career, I worked at the Hanford Site in southeastern Washington State.  Hanford is a former nuclear weapons production facility that was built during World War II and active through the Cold War.  Starting in the 1990's, the facility was in clean up and deconstruction mode. 

As is the usual custom for new employees, I was given a site tour by some of the long-timers - second generation workers.  Their fathers were scientists and engineers and the next generation were environmental clean up experts.  The surrounding towns and people were surreal, the place was a like a throw-back to the 1950's.  We all lived in houses built in the 40's by the Army Corps of Engineers, the men hunted and fished like a religion, and women quilted.  We also popped out a lot of little pups (aka children).

One of the second generation workers was telling me about his family - his wife and 5 kids. In a good-natured way, I learned that after birthing 5 kids and living a comfortable life in "gods country", his wife was sort of "herfy", which I took to mean pleasingly plump.

After living there a few years, I bought a bike that we nicknames Herfy.  A 3-wheeled adult tricycle with a huge basket in the back to carry everything I would want to take with me.

And now with our car-free lifestyle, Herfy has a new life and purpose, hauling heavy things.  Today, Herf will be cleaned up, tuned up, and used to haul a propane tank for refueling.  The propane tank ran out the day we sold our cars for scrap. As it turns out, every problem has a solution.

Astrid

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