Today the Hooligans and I held a funeral for Ole W21.
Those of you who are serious gardeners will understand.
The temperature last year reached 64. My crocuses were opened for the first time announcing spring. Some of the daffodils look like they will be blooming by next weekend. It was an overcast day, a great day for gardening. I got the John Deere out, loaded my shovel and bags of composted manure in the scoop and headed out to dig up Elizabeth Salter, Meadow Morn and Spanish Sketch Daylilies out of my Deshler High School area and relocate to another spot in the garden. After dividing and replanting near a white Beautyberry, I noticed a saw briar and a couple of hackberry trees coming up under the bush and grabbed the shovel and pushed it in the ground. The blade folded. I thought it had bounced off of the tree root and plunged the blade in the ground again with the same results.
My favorite good ole model W21 (ole yeller) made in the USA which I’ve had for at least 20-25 years blade was broken. The first shovel I can remember wearing out before breaking a handle. I’m not sure what brand it was as that information was long gone, but I think it may have been an Ames made in the USA which is hard to find these days. I had purchased it when shovels with fiberglass handles first came out. It was on the pricey side, but it was lightweight with a bright yellow handle that could be seen if left in the yard. Light weight was something I needed after back surgery. I had purchased several other shovels of different types and lengths over the years but after using them once of twice went back to ole yeller which no longer had a point on the blade. Last summer I had accidently ran over the handle with my tractor and it came through without a scratch.
I found a new Ames fiberglass shovel assembled in the USA of US & foreign parts with a grass green fiberglass handle. It’s a little lighter than ole yeller but I worry about mowing over it if I loose it in the yard with the green colorization
I took ole yeller to the Rebel Welding Shop to see if Leon can make it dig another day just in case I loose “Mr. Green Jeans” in the tall grass, but he pronounced W21 DOA. I had worn the metal so thin there is nothing to weld to. After digging a post hole, I planted W21 in the hole and backfilled. I asked the Hooligans for a moment of silence. Levi flopped down and went to sleep. Patches and Blackie ran off to chase a rabbit.
I put out three Japanese beetle traps last week. So far I’ve collected twelve gallons of the little buggers. The sanitation guys were happy today. They smell horrible when dying. The full story is on my Quad Cities Daily post and my GRIT magazine blog post
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