Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Hoe of My Heart

We've all seen them, those articles on "The 10 best Tools in Your Tool Shed" or "The 5 Tools No Gardener Can Live Without" or something like that.  Tools are very personal things to me so these titles make me cringe when I see them.  A few of us are lucky enough to have a tool that are family heirlooms passed down by parents or grand parents...tools we learned to garden with  These tools are the kind that stand the test of time being made of quality material, bearing the patina of a life of service on their handles and faces but still strong.  I have a tool like that...a sweet diminutive time tested tool that has been around for more than half a century, my heart-hoe.
Oh my little heart-hoe, so many memories are sown in the furrows you created.
I have this rich memory of my father leaning on the handle of the heart-hoe standing above me as I knelt on the ground with my hands in the warm soil of the garden planting corn, radish, carrot, beans and more.  I remember Dad running it through the freshly tilled garden soil along side the bright white cotton string my mother had tied to wooden stakes at either end of the garden bed to mark each row, creating the straight furrows that would receive the seed we were planting.  These are sweet memories that flood in at the first sight of this very special tool and as I take her in my own hands and run her in the warm soil along the strings that are strung tight between the wooden stakes in my own garden my heart and mind are filled with those days in the family garden.

I would not give up my little heart-hoe for love nor money for the memories yes, but also because its a great tool.  The smaller head is perfect for getting in between plants, because it is rather light weight I can use it for longer periods of time than other heavier tools so weeding becomes less of a drag.  The original hardwood handle which was smooth as silk from the years of use broke a couple years ago and my husband (bless him) decided to put a "real" handle on it.

Being a "guy" he used the "more is better" theory of fixing things and what I ended up with was a larger, heavier, shovel handle on my sweet little hoe instead of the smaller but still sturdy straight hoe handle that used to. I blanched when I saw it and was actually offended because he had turned it into a "dude tool"  It was like putting boxing gloves on a ballerina!!!  It was huge, too heavy and made it hard to use the hoe.  Of course my mind immediately thought "What was he thinking?" and the first words out of my mouth were less than kind.  He had of course done more than just put an ill-fitting handle on the hoe, he had offended its memory.  I think I'm going to get a new handle for her this year, a proper handle and just chalk this whole thing up as another chapter in her history.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Patty,
    I noticed you left a link to your blog on my Sustainable Living Project but did not leave it to any specific post. It needs to link to a specific post where you also mention the Sustainable Living Project with a link back to my blog. If you can do that then you will be qualified to enter the giveaway. Please leave a comment when you've done that too, so I can come over and read your post and comment on it! Thanks, Jan