what do weed pullers and Peggy Fleming have in common?

oh the joys of seeing the plants re-awaken… the winter takes its toll (although no so much this year) and it looks like the bare, muddy ground could never produce a thing.  then come the weeds.  (honestly, some of the weeds in our yard must be descended from chernobyl seeds)

i usually just pull the things, though i have been known to douse a few with chemicals.  since pulling weeds doesn’t always get the whole root, this year i decided to buy a weed puller.  i was remembering the kind my dad had that kind of looked like a forked snake tongue with a wooden handle.  it’s still kind of the same except that the handle is now rubber and there’s something called ergonomics that’s put a bump in the shaft.

of course there are a lot of designs of this tool, even some that have a very long handle so you don’t have to bend over/kneel down. (i passed on that one figuring that i wouldn’t be able to see the weed from that far away)

i remember using that weed puller when i was a kid, but i don’t remember that it worked all that well.  (it probably worked just fine, i probably didn’t work it very well)  i just remember spending more time than i ever wanted to pulling weeds in the garden.  my father (or my mother i don’t know which) decided to plant an iris garden in the back yard.  if you know anything about irises you know that this is a plant that requires a great deal of fussing over to have the beds look nice.  (either we hadn’t heard of mulch or weren’t on top of gardening enough to put some down) besides the weeds, the plants have to be dug up and divided every couple of hours (kidding, it just felt like that… it’s actually every couple of years), which is a lot of work.  (come to think of it, i don’t know how we grew irises in the crappy california soil which became like concrete if you didn’t seriously water every day)

somehow it was my job to tend to that iris garden, though i don’t remember liking irises in the first place.  (i planted the sweet pea garden under the mailbox – a space of about 6” by 12” as opposed to the 20’ by 40’ iris garden… no, it was probably a quarter of that, but again, when you’re a kid…)

what i remember the most about that iris garden is that i missed seeing Peggy Fleming skate her gold medal performance in the 1968 olympics (you young people are thinking, “so what’s the big deal just dvr it or catch it on line.  no, this was back in the days when live tv was live and if you didn’t see it live, you missed it forever) because i was out weeding that damn iris garden.  i’m sure i have a mental block against ever planting the things in my own garden.  and maybe i even had a mental block about owning one of those weeding tools too.

so i finally bought one and what i can tell you is that it’s one of the greatest inventions of all time.  it’s amazing how much junk i can now get rid of with that handy puller!  it’s even great for scraping the nuisance ivy off the wooden walls of the garden house and whacking in the loose nails on the fence.  In a pinch it might be misconstrued as a weapon (like when one of the few foxes that live in our neighborhood decided to sidle up the driveway and watch me put down mulch)

I’m glad I finally bought a new tool (that’s actually an old tool), even if it brought back painful memories of missing an historic gold medal performance.

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