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