Monday, September 20, 2010

Power Tool Envy

Say your mower won't start. Face it. Unless it's just out of gas or you need my phone to call a mechanic, I'm not going to be much help.

Any device requiring a mix of gas and oil completely baffles me. I could never get my gas-powered string trimmer to start. I'd push buttons, pump rubber seals and yank the cord until my shoulders ached without success. It was embarrassing.

Seeing my struggle, a kindly neighbor would start it for me on the first try. I'd thank him, and after using it for a few minutes would have three feet of line painfully whipping my ankles or a useless stub. It was easier to get down on my hands and knees and trim with a pair of scissors. For years that is exactly what I did.

My electric blower sucks, too. I have to drag out miles of extension cord to blow off the street, driveway, porches and walks. The noise is deafening, and wrestling with the extension cord frustrates me to no end. Throw in blistering heat and believe it or not I start to get a little pissy.

Rolling up all that extension cord for storage doesn't help. No matter how careful I am, the cord always gets twisted. Then it starts knotting up and doubling back on itself and refusing to coil like it has a mind of its own. My mood advances from merely pissy to profoundly perturbed.

Here in Bermuda grass country, you need an electric edger to keep the runners from taking over driveways and walks. Again, I have to drag out miles of extension cord. The flying dust coats my sweat-soaked skin and clothes. Then I have to blow the trimmings off the driveway, and deal with all those damn cords. Perturbed advances to an ugly stay-the-hell-out-of-my-way kind of pissed.

The job only gets done once or twice a year because of all the hassle. Of course procrastinating just makes it that much harder to do. Throw in yanking the stuff out of flower beds and you begin to understand why I am no fan of Bermuda grass.

Last summer my electric edger broke. I hated it anyway and was glad to see it go. There had to be a better way.

Two months ago I bought a Black & Decker String Trimmer/Edger with a rechargeable battery. My yard has never been so beautifully edged and trimmed! Grab a battery from the charger (it came with a spare), snap it in to the edger, and off you go. Parts of my yard have been edged or trimmed for the first time in a dozen years.

A month later I bought a matching blower. The blower doesn't quite have the woosh of the the big electric one it replaced, but it gets the job done. It's light as a feather and makes much less noise, too.

A couple of weekends ago I was enjoying myself edging along the street and blasting all the weeds out of the cracks. Not one, not two, but THREE old men in big pick-up trucks stopped to admire my new power tools. It was a first for me.

I was so proud! At last I have arrived. I finally have something to talk about with...

The Crotchety Old Men

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