Heavy Loads Are No Real Concern

Backpacks are for soldiers, Boy Scouts and hikers.

Well, that’s the way it used to be, anyway. Nowadays, every student, so it seems, from sandpile through doctoral candidate, has a backpack.

Though they’ve has been around for well over two decades, we still do a double-take when we see the youngsters all humped over with the luggage on their daily trudge. Evidently, it’s a real problem, because there are medical reports now of back and shoulder problems from the youth hauling heavy loads.

Coincidentally, in the midst of our thoughts on this subject, two police cars stopped on the road in front of us and apprehended a teenager with a backpack pacing away from  school. Somebody suspected there was more than schoolwork in his luggage, but  the thought hadn’t occurred to us, until the suggestion was made.

Cross-shoulder contraptions are becoming more prevalent to reduce strain from the other back gizmos. “Hip bags” also now appear commonplace for modern women, and some men, too, for transporting we don’t know exactly what.

In our school days, we carried books without bag. Homework didn’t amount to much then, as teachers didn’t require it, and desks stored texts. More night study was needed in high school, but generally only one book, and lockers kept the rest. By college, regular moving of assignments was required, so we grabbed texts from the car and went on.

Briefcases were the mode of shipping educational materials back then, but that was just for professors. Seldom did students use briefcases, though we did win a nice   leather one for an FFA scrapbook competition. It was never put into use. Mom had a cardboard briefcase she carried sometimes for paperwork, as did many businessmen.

Truth is we did have a backpack as a youngster, a real one from the Army. Don’t really know where it came from, but we may have packed it once on a Cub Scout hike, and then it served as a fishing tackle bag for a few years.

Saddlebags are supposed to be used by cowboys, but other than the plastic ones we got on our bicycle nearly 50 years ago, we’ve never had a set. Daringly, we took those   bags and put ’em across the back of our saddle once, but they didn’t fit. Most pasture cowboys, our son included, have several leather pouches for their paraphernalia.

Admittedly we do have a businessman’s briefcase we use for rulebooks, clipboards, tablets, rubber bands, pens, whistle, tape measure, bit gauge, stopwatch and aspirin   when judging horse shows, Otherwise, guess we’re just out of the modern realm for carrying cases, because brown paper (or now plastic) bags and cardboard boxes still work fine.

No need for concern when packing anything thanks to Jesus’promise in Saint Matthew 11:28:“Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”