Thanks to the miracle of 20 volt rechargeable lithium batteries, I now have my own weed whacker and hedge trimmer. It’s high time. After 17 years in this house, the woods are reclaiming the property. We’re close to the Sleeping Beauty scenario in which I (the Beauty) fall under a magic spell (my bed) and sleep for a hundred years (totally possible) waiting for the handsome prince (aka Maywood Man) to hack through the enchanted forest to save me with True Love’s Kiss.
Yeah, well, I’m not exactly holding my breath here. Thirty-five years of marriage has taught me that Maywood Man is going to spend the next 100 years fixing some tractor or other and never get around to hacking down the enchanted forest. If you don’t believe me, check out John Harp’s Ferguson tractor video, going positively viral on YouTube. (Or it will once my viral readership clicks on it! )
Meanwhile, next door, my 90-year-old mother-in-law can be heard weed whacking nearly every day. If she can weed whack, I can weed whack. I just need the right tool. Not one of those heart attacks on a stick…you know, the gas-powered model with a pull cord that was clearly invented by a guy trying to prove his manhood. No. And not an electric one. The yard is too big. (That doesn’t stop Nana, though. My father-in-law strings a bazillion extension cords together and she whacks all the way across the yard, somehow without whacking the cord into pieces.)
With a battery-powered weed whacker I can go all the way to the field and whack around the blueberry bushes. It’s great! But giving me a power tool is a like giving a five-year old scissors….wow, the things to be cut! There is so much to cut that I soon realize I need power hedge trimmers. A weed whacker can only do so much. Ah, now, with my own little girlie chain saw wanna-be, I’m like my mom with hair clippers. Bzzz, buzz. I begin with big slicing hacks. Once I can see the trees, I can get a little more subtle. Bzzz, a little here. Bzzz, a little there.
I think of our neighbor when we were growing up, Mr. Lapres. Mr. Lapres was a real World War II hero. One of the famed Rangers of Point du Hoc, he lost a leg at D-Day. But when I was a kid, he was a hero to my brothers by setting a stool in his driveway and buzz-cutting all the boys’ hair. He had 3 sons, I had 4 brothers, my cousins across the street had 3 boys. It was a veritable barbershop in his driveway. He saved my brothers from my mom and the hair clippers. Bald was not a fashion statement back then. And bald spots will never be a fashion statement, I hope. Yeah, Mr. Lapres was a hero.
I am no Mr. Lapres. I hack and whack and buzz until Mother Nature and my body scream, “Stop already!” I come inside for water. My hands can barely hold the glass. My arms rebel at bringing it to my mouth. In this condition, I may starve to death. A tractor drones in the distance. I think I might just close my eyes for a bit. And maybe my handsome prince will pick up all the debris I left in the yard.