Saturday, December 1, 2012

Sold The Weed-Whacker

-
Civilized folks call them string-trimmers; rednecks like me call them “weed-whackers.” Since I’ve used both terms now, you have no excuse for not knowing what I’m talking about. The machine was the smallest handle-bar style trimmer made by one of the major brands. I originally bought it to use in the Christmas tree fields, so it would have been at least fifteen years old.

Since I sold the farm, though, it just stood under my deck most of the year. By the time I’d decide to use it, it would be so difficult to start that sometimes it was easier to use a scythe and be done with it. Still, once I or the equipment dealer got it running, it was a real dynamo. That’s why I sold it to the neighbor boy. Actually, the “boy” is probably over 40, but that’s still a kid to me, these days. He’s an industrious soul and is always cleaning around his place, so figured it would do him more good than it was doing me. Besides, I doubt if he even owns a scythe. He seemed tickled at the $50 price.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned that many smaller jobs are quicker done by hand, if you have the skill and the right tools. I’ve also learned the wisdom of breaking big jobs into smaller ones. These days, if I can’t run over it with my mower, or get to it with a scythe, I’m just going to let it grow. I’m not sure if I’m getting wiser in my old age, or just getting lazy.

Basically, I believe that power tools are for those lacking skill, or for jobs just a little bigger than you want to tackle by hand. I’ve got both types of tools, so I’m not trying to sound elitist. Not so the old Scandinavians; they used to say that any sort of saw was for those who didn’t know how to use an axe! © 2012
-

7 comments:

Ralph Goff said...

I can agree to some degree. I have a chain saw but most of the time I will just grab a bow saw and cut by hand rather than go to the trouble of mixing up fuel and getting the saw started.

Linda said...

I am really happy to hear you sold it. It is refreshing to get rid of clutter and to make some money in the process for more needed things.

Joel said...

I'll just call it wiser Gorges! It's often easier and quicker to reach for the hand saw, or the axe for many jobs, much quicker than having to untanghle the wire, put the plug in and switch the thin on, adjust the knobbly bit on the tool, etc etc...

I also think "precision" is another over-rated concept. I do a lot of my stuff by hand and by eye and with no computer designed plans these days, and, to the surprise of other people, they often fit just fine, without the use of tape measure, squares and such contraptions! To me, it's good enough when it's good enough.

We are definitively wiser, Gorges,not lazy...not at all.

Gorges Smythe said...

Funny you should say that, Ralph. I bought a used cross-cut saw recently to carry in the back of the truck instead of a chainsaw, in case I have to saw my way home sometime. Cross=cuts start easier in cold weather!

Thanks, Linda, you're right.

Gorges Smythe said...

I like the way you think, Joel!

Kathy Felsted Usher said...

I guess I passed the uncivilized test. I've never called them string trimmers. Weed wacker / weed eater is what I say. I need one I can handle. Tom has a gas powered that you have to wear head protection with (lots of rocks on this ridge). I need a bitty one that can handle my flower bed.

Gorges Smythe said...

They make little cordless electric ones, Kathy, or, you might consider a sickle.