Lawn care on my block when I was growing up was serious business. I am not sure why, because people only had what amounted to a postage stamp of land to care for, but many took it very seriously. In the early eighties, a new tool emerged in the lawn care arsenal that caught on like wildfire, the Weed Eater or Weed Whacker.
Just one year after spotting them, it seemed everyone had one, and they were all saying goodbye to hand trimmers and chemical weed killers. That is everyone but my family. No, I continued to chop away at those hard to reach weeds and lawn edges with a pair of trimmers for the rest of my youth. Most of the time look forlornly over at a family with their new electronic marvel who completed their entire yard in the time it took me to finish just a small area.
My Mother did finally get one after the turn of the millennium and I used it on a few visits there. Each time I recalled the hours I sweated leaning in corners and pulling at weeds and cutting grass. Maybe it helped build character, but even now I would trade some of that character for a few extra hours of air-conditioned Atari 2600 time.
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