A Toads Tale
I have the honor of being in charge of the weed whacking in our yard. I’ve had several electric whackers over the years. Annually I am told that I should get a gas powered whacker, but they are too noisy, and heavy for my taste. Never seeming to make it from one year to year without having to have some type of serious repairs. When spring comes I just want to plug in and go. The first electric one I remember was one that my father had. It was about as big as a piece of spaghetti with a head like a bumble bee. It had a rechargeable battery built in and instead of plastic line that is common now it had two little stainless steel blades that looked like mini helicopter blades. Truly it was piece of junk. That is why he gave it to my husband when he bought a new, bigger, more powerful weed eater. It came home with us and we tried it—once. Now it sits in an old building as a monument to things that we keep; reminding ourselves to live and learn.
I since then have gone through three electric weed eaters. All used an old 100 foot long extension cord that I would unwrap and re-wrap at the end of the work. Each time I would re-wrap it I would end up looking like I had been kidnapped by my weed eater and tied up in big black knots.
I found a cordless model that I like now. I hesitated at first remembering the cordless treasure we so lovingly acquired from my father. (Apparently I did not heed the live and learn lesson.) My new friendly whacker uses a lighter smaller diameter line that might take a little more time to get the job done, but at least I no longer have to fight my way out of the knots and loops of that evil extension cord. The new one has rechargeable batteries. I started with the one that came with the machine. Then I needed another one because one would run out of zoop before I ran out of work. I had to get a third battery because I skipped a week of weed eating and the grass grew enough so my two batteries ran down before I was done. I had to get a fourth battery because I didn’t get the three I had all charged up and I figured that if I had four I might be able to stay ahead of the recharging. Now I have gone to a fifth one. Seems one of them will not hold a charge, I’m not sure which one because I don’t take the time to label them as they die. So even though I have five I really only have four.
Let me tell you this little story about weed whacking. It was a wonderful summer afternoon and I was buzzing here and there trimming grass. Lawn freshly mowed, the smell in the air was that amazing nose happy smell that you usually only get on summer Saturdays.
In our area in the summer we have frogs that seemingly appear out of nowhere when the water starts to flow. Well just toads really. They are these cute little toads that never grow any bigger than what a silver dollar was. About two inches across for you that who have never had the opportunity to hold a real silver dollar or to experience a few of them jingle jangle in your pocket. But again I digress…
The lawn was in great shape, green and lush and moist from being watered recently. I was using my 16 inch cut electric weed eater dragging my extension cord behind me as I gave the edge of the yard a buzz cut.
All of a sudden there was a quick ker-thunk from the whacker and then a splat on my face, just to the left and bottom of my mouth. Yep it was a little toad. Got him with the whacker. He didn’t have a chance. It was his time. There was nothing I could do, but spit and sputter and wipe and choke. I can still to this day feel the wet slime of the little guy. (You touched our face didn’t you?) I can go to the exact spot it happened along a flower bed we have in the front yard. I bet that toad’s DNA is still traceable because it was quite a splatter of an incident. Happily we don’t have frogs big enough to fry their legs. I would have never gotten over that splat! After seeing this in front of me, I’m thinking I haven’t gotten over the little toad either. Guess I need to go to a weed whacker support group.
Trina Machacek lives in Eureka. Her book ITY BITS can be found on Kindle. Share your thoughts and opinions with her at firstname.lastname@example.org.