Garden shears and assorted obsolescence


Decades ago, we had garden shears in our house.

Actually, that might not be the right name. Iím thinking of the style for lawn and grass, blades about six or so inches long, and you squeezed the handle to use them. I always remember thinking of them as garden shears. AnywayÖ

Recently, I began thinking about them. Between drainage ditches, fences, and assorted other obstacles, caring for the lawn and plants around our house can be quite a project. One issue are two garden-like areas we have on the ends of our house. Lawn mower is out, since weíre talking about plants and flowers and not nearly enough room for something as awkward as that. A weed whacker is a bit haphazard as well. (Iím going with weed whacker. You can call it whatever you like. Edger. Trimmer. Iím fine with that. No matter what the name is, I end up ALWAYS misjudging the line feed at some point and cutting leaves on plants I want to keep.)

The trouble is, these beds of plants tend to get rather busy and overgrown quite quickly. And, attempting to keep up with it using traditional methods of weeding would wind up with me outside for hours upon hours to clear a whopping few feet.

For whatever reason, recently my mind flashed back to something from my childhood. It was a battery powered garden shear. You may have seen them. It usually consists of two plates with three or four prongs, attached to a motor, battery and handle. Simple. And I donít have one.

In fact, I donít have the regular garden shears around the house either. And thatís the thing that really stuns me.

See, I tend to collect tools when I need them. And when I get them, I keep them. For instance, thereís a dirt road next to our house. Stones all around, uneven bits from tires heading through during muddy days, and in general just a nightmare for a lawn mower to operate near. Everything you could possibly imagine for banging around a blade and causing damage. So, Iíve kept an older mower that I use just for that section. No need to destroy a good one by trying to mow a stretch of gravel.

Probably just like many of you, I have several hose sprayer nozzles, shovels, rakes, and even multiple watering cans. I do not have a pair of garden shears. Two wet vacs. No shears. A croquet set, including the handles from two broken mallets. No shears.

All of which got my tangent of a mind working on two things. Number one, figure out how it happened that I have lived in houses with Terry for multiple decades, and yet, somehow, we donít have a pair of garden shears anywhere. Number two, add battery powered garden shears to the list of things to check out and possibly pick up in the next few weeks.

Itís kind of a mystery, isnít it?

Hammer? Yup, got a hammer. Screwdrivers? Sure, got those. Flashlight? Sprinklers? Spare propane tank for the grill? Yes. Yes. Yes.

If you own a home, or even if you took care of one you were living in, you probably understand the idea. There are a few assorted tools and pieces of equipment that you are going to accumulate over time. What is throwing me off though is kind of simpleÖ

Garden shears seemed so universal as a kid. Parents had them. Grandparents had them. I donít. Iíve bought multiple lawn mowers. I even have an electric hedge trimmer. In fact, I have a pair of those really long blade hedge shears and a lopper. A lopper. I have a lopper. But somehow, in roughly thirty-plus years, and I have never picked up a pair of garden shears, basic or battery powered.

The obvious answer to all of this is that I never needed them. I either found alternatives, or just never was presented with a lawn where they would have been the solution. What once was a fairly handy and routine household item no longer is. (At least for me.)

Does that mean, in essence, theyíre obsolete? Or, does it just mean Iíve had blinders in place and for the past several years Iíve been working harder as a result?

They say experience is the best teacher, and there are sound reasons to support such a claim. But sometimes, a decent memory deserves credit for an assist.


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