By the time you’ve reached my age, the list of things you’d be doing for the very first time is extremely short. There are those things you did once, but you know you probably shouldn’t do again. There are those you took for a spin and then found it hard to stop. There are things you tried and now do all the time.
The other day, I did something for the very first time. I may never do it again, but in a way, was glad to have had the experience.
I used a sickle to cut down weeds.
While staying at the family cabin Memorial Day weekend, I offered to help my father-in-law with any outdoor projects he was taking on. It seems the weeds were getting a little too close to the deck and so he decided it was time to cut them back. In my mind, that meant firing up a weed-wacker, mowing ’em down and calling it a day.
Instead, he handed me a sickle and a file.
Really? I’ve seen these in museums and on Soviet flags but I was supposed to cut down the weeds with an actual sickle?
I did my best to look like I knew what I was doing and replied with a simple, “OK!” But this was first-time territory for me. I used the file to sharpen it, then began slashing grass like I knew what I was doing. To be honest, I was a natural.
I was amazed at how easy it just cut down the grass. All the while, I had two thoughts running through my head. The first: I could hear my grandfather Emil’s voice saying, “Yeah, that’s it. Keep swinging. You know, I used to do this for hours at a time!” Grandpa was a farmer in the Dakotas back in the days when a sickle was standard farm equipment.
The other thought—OK, where’s Ernie? I’m slashing this thing around like a madman and I don’t want anyone walking up behind me and having this turn into a “Friday the 13th” movie.
It was a first for me. Wouldn’t mind if it was my last time, but not opposed to giving it another spin in the future. I found it remarkably efficient.
But it was actually something I did for the first time after 58 years on this earth. I wonder what the next “first” will be?