Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Making the Cut

I used to spend hours and days outside with these tools saving the property from invasive cedars and Japanese honeysuckle vines, and after about seven years the clippers and weed whip, dulled and unusable, sat in the garage until I realized a while ago, "I can now pay to sharpen these," and, to be honest with you, also thought, "When the apocalypse comes, any day now, I will wish I had sharpened these tools" to cut a clearing in the underbrush and clip and trim branches to build my lean-to, and so on.

Nobody else, I was sure, ever let their tools get so dull. Embarrassed to bring them to the sharpener, I prepared a fib -- "I bought these at a garage sale" -- in case the sharpener said, "Whee doggie. I've never in my life seen garden tools in such a deplorable condition." I wasn't sure whether the weed whip, my favorite, with its double-edged and serrated blade, could even be honed. I never knew anyone who cleaned or sharpened garden tools; Demetrius left his crusted with clay and soil. Also needing treatment were two lopping shears and a very old pair of hedge shears with wooden handles. The hedge shears were already here, rusted stiff, blades blackened with time and handles sticky with dust, when I moved in long ago. I wondered whether they could be salvaged. In the garage when I moved here was also a scythe, an actual scythe, but I think it's gone.

The sharpener sharpened and spiffed up all four and covered the freshly honed edges with paper, a courtesy unexpected and appreciated. Here they are back home, and out I go because I like cold weather for doing the heavy work of cutting.