Tools of the trade vs. a good cup of coffee

I was recently having a cup of coffee at one of my routine coffee drinking places (of which there must be a thousand) when I happened to notice the guy outside doing the grounds work.  You know the guy I’m talking about.  He pulls up in the parking lot with his low sitting trailer behind his pickup truck which carries all of the tools of his trade.  It appears from looking at it that he pretty much has a “gas powered everything” on that trailer.  I can’t think of a single thing that needs to be done to the grounds here that he can’t take care of in a split second with one of those engineering feats of modern technology.

This caused me to start thinking about my days in the lawn care business.  Back then the only tools that existed were the “me powered everything”.   I can remember many a day trimming the boxwood hedge around my grandmothers yard with an old pair of hedge trimmers.  The steady rhythm I would get into as I went along the top and down the sides of those hedges help keep my mind off of the pain I was experiencing in my shoulders.  I would have sworn that those hedges must have been a mile long at least!  The only thing longer than the hedges were the sidewalks that needed to be edged.  I would use one of those edgers that you rolled back and forth over the same place again and again until it had cut the all but the last little bit of grass that was growing on the sidewalk… and you’d still have to bend down and pull that last little bit of grass that just wasn’t willing to give up the fight.

Finally I would take a pair of hand grass cutters to do the trimming up close to the flowerbeds and around the things that the lawnmower just couldn’t reach.  There were no weed eaters back then…. just the constant snip, snip, snip of the cutters as you squeezed the handles over and over and over.  I would sit on the ground and just scoot along until I got it all trimmed out.

As aggravating as it all was, it was a real sense of accomplishment once I was finished.  Everything always looked so orderly and in it’s place… it made me feel so good to know that I had accomplished it all.  But you know what?  It don’t feel so terribly bad sitting here, watching this guy with all of his new fangled equipment while I enjoy this coffee… oh, I guess it’s time for another cup!


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