On caregivers, faith, family, and writing…

Published by the Rains County Leader on Thursday, October 13, 2021:

Two weeks ago I wrote about our appliance ordeal when the dryer went out and we unexpectedly bought a freezer, all in the same day. Space is too limited to recount all the confusing details that caused chaos in the Brendle household. Suffice it to say that some major shifts had to occur to make room for the freezer. One item that had to be moved was a rather large, heavy treadmill. This wasn’t just any treadmill, though; it was a treadmill with a history.

Several years ago a couple named Michael and Magrate began attending Believers’ Baptist. They were Malaysian missionaries who gave seminars on worship through movement. They had come to the U.S. to present a number of seminars and ended up buying acreage in Rains County where they planned to build a retreat and education center. Magrate came to our ladies Bible study where we became friends, and she and Michael invited us to their home for dinner several times.

After a couple of years, they moved to Tennessee to be closer to family during some health issues. The Texas property was listed for sale, and Michael asked David to keep an eye on things until it sold. As they prepared for the move, they invited us for one last dinner and gave us a complete tour of the property including an outbuilding where I spotted the treadmill. It was dusty and covered with cobwebs, but when we plugged it in, it still ran. I offered to buy it, but they insisted on making a gift of it.

I don’t remember the actual move of the treadmill into our house – I may have still been working at the church at the time. I do know that it was too large to fit into our vehicle and too heavy for the two of us to move. David contacted a friend with a truck, and he remembers that the two of them struggled to get it into the house and had to do some deconstruction to get it into the bedroom.

David and I used the treadmill pretty regularly for a while, but walking nowhere in a room that has to be kept closed to keep Kitty from roaming through what amounts to our own private storage unit is not a lot of fun. We used it less, and when we joined Anytime Fitness in early 2020, it went the way of most home treadmills and began to once more gather dust and cobwebs.

Then, David suggested that we consider getting a freezer. I loved the idea, except in order to find space in our small home for the new appliance, we’d have to build a new room off the back of the house or do some of the shifting I mentioned earlier. Shifting was much less expensive, so I took a critical look at our “stuff” to see what we could do without. The treadmill was the obvious answer. My friend Betsy heard me talking about it and said she might want it. But after asking her resident furniture mover about it, they decided it was too big and heavy to move upstairs.

Posting the poor unwanted piece of equipment on a Facebook garage sale went onto my to-do list, but it wasn’t toward the top. Then I wrote the column two weeks ago, and a received an email from Kay saying she might want it. I sent her pictures and stats including the fact that it weighed 218 pounds. I offered her the same deal I offered Betsy – if you can get it out of here, you can have it for nothing.

Saturday I gave a talk about “how to be a book writer” at the Commerce Library. As I usually do, I silenced my phone and put it in my purse until I headed back to my car. By then I had two phone calls, a voice mail, and a text from Kay saying she had a vehicle and help lined up and wanted my address. I put her in touch with David, and by the time I arrived home, a small pickup with a camper top was backed up to the stepping stones that lead to our front porch. The handlebar and console assembly were in the bed of the truck, and I wondered where the rest of the unit would fit. In the house, the door of the bedroom was off its hinges and my folding vendor table, two large bags of cat food, and the vacuum cleaner were in the hall, and four people were trying to figure out how to get the really heavy, bulky part out the door. I’ve been working out, but I’m still a lightweight, so I stayed out of the way and opened the storm door when they got that far.

The treadmill fit into the truck just fine, and we have a little bit of open space in the bedroom. Kay offered to pay me, but I refused. I told her that it was given to me for free and I was glad to see it go where it will be used. So the treadmill has moved to the next stage in its history. It’s anybody’s guess what’s in store for it next.



Kitty’s Story

Fallen Angel Salvage

Tatia’s Tattoo

Mom’s Long Goodbye

A Long and Winding Road

Comments on: "History of a Treadmill | by Linda Brendle" (2)

  1. Where was Kitty during all of this? There must be an addendum to the story!

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