There comes a time in every person’s life when she or he looks out across the proverbial field of hardened soil and says: That, I must till.
For some, shyness is their hardened soil. For others, a lack of self-esteem. Still others are called to till the hardened hearts of the mean or lonely.
And so it is that I, in 2014, have confronted my personal field of hardened soil, which also happened to be an actual field of hardened soil.
And to do so, I’ve leveraged many allies:
The square spade.
For the gardener or horticulturalist, a square spade is as artful and precise as a painter’s brush. For a farmer, it’s the straw given by Pharoah with which to empty the Nile.
The 1974 Montgomery Ward push tiller, property of my brother in law’s father.
She, with her blaze orange coat,
Her recoil starter that requires kicking,
Her backwards throttle and gas-leaking carburetor,
Her wobbly wheels,
And ungrounded sparkplug. I call her Monty,
And she’s been the most reliable piece of machinery
(I’m looking at you, H.)
Staff at local Little Engine shop: Busy yet helpful, I was presented with a vision of a fits-behind-whatever-you-got tiller that I wouldn’t have to push.
Staff at Bomgaar’s in Fremont: “What you see is what there is. All our ordering is done outta headquarters in Sioux City.”
Staff at John Deere Mart near Elk City: “Can we HELP you?”
Menard’s: I ran breathless through the aisles, singing Save Big Money in a delirious sweat, but couldn’t find anyone…ANYONE…and then woke with a jolt.
Horticulturalist, humorist, humanitarian, friend, and former employer,
“Yeah, I think I’ve got one of those in my shed. May I deliver it to you at no cost?”
And so scarcity becomes abundance. Just like that.
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