Growing up, I don’t remember owning many tools. Having said that, I know my dad owned a lot of tools, as many of them found their way into my tool box 20, 30, or even 40 plus years ago. Early on, however, it seemed as if tools and I just didn’t really connect. I guess that is why I don’t have a lot of stories about growing up with tools.
I could tell you a cool story, however, about my science kit and having to evacuate the house next door. Or the time when the wings literally flew off the wagon as we attempted to gain altitude on the biggest hill in town. Or when we smoked up the neighborhood with military grade smoke pots and someone called the fire department. As I recall, that was really, really cool (and purple, too). I could also tell you a story about a wild ride (or perhaps even dozens of wild rides) on a variety of motorcycles, but I think it best that some stories just remain untold. Ah… don’t you just love those growing up stories. They make me smile just thinking about them.
Back to tools… can you ever imagine having enough tools? I can’t! Of course, one might ask, how many tools does a five-year old need (I would say at least a dozen), or even a ten-year old (again, perhaps a tool box full; minimum of 36, not including 1/2 drive sockets and combination wrenches). After all, you have to start somewhere. I know that tools were a part of my growing up as I have the evidence that says they were, even if I don’t remember much about them. Lets face it, tools are a part of our lives, one way or another.
Ah, the evidence, did you say? Yes, I managed to acquire quite a few tool related merit badges on the way to becoming an Eagle Scout. On my sash there hangs, to this day, merit badges in Basketry, Cooking (don’t tell Marie), Home Repair, Pioneering, and Painting to name a few. Each of these merit badges required the use of one or more tools, and while I don’t remember having them, I certainly have them now.
In the context of this post, tools are considered to be devices or implements, especially ones held in the hand, used to carry out a particular function. The one in the picture above is a Makita 4″ Angle Grinder. It is, without a doubt, one of my favorite tools. She has been with me for a long, long time and sadly, it is now time to say goodbye.
She sands, she grinds, she drills, she cuts, and she brushes. She is blue (political affiliation noted) and she is an amazing gal. I will miss her, but after oh so many years, and oh so many repairs to her power cord, she has had a major malfunction; a bearing blowout. The cost of repair is far more than the cost of replacement, so it is time to say goodbye. It is hard to say goodbye, too. I can’t put my finger on it, but there is a feeling of attachment that says “Wait, it’s too soon…”
I know I shouldn’t be attached to materialistic things, like cars or boats or tools. As far as cars and boats go, I’m really not. But this grinder has been a faithful friend. She has given great service and has never let me down. I can’t imagine life without her, for around here, there is always something to sand, grind, drill, cut or brush. Some days she is just a part of me.
In the real world, however, we have to let go. We let go of things we love all the time. In fact, the more we let go and the more we give up, the greater the opportunity for new and different things to come our way. New surprises to enrich our lives, new joys (or perhaps toys, like Evita; more about her at a later date) to challenge our thinking, and new opportunities to learn and grow that make us laugh and smile and play. So I’m going to let her go, this little blue angle grinder, without a tear, knowing that she will be replaced and that life will go on without her.
I’ve let go of a lot of things in my life. I’m sure you have as well. Sometimes its been very hard to do, hasn’t it? We all know the pain of loss, and we all know that grief can’t be measured in days or weeks or months or years. A part of me will always miss this little blue angle grinder. But in time, as my life is filled with new surprises, new joys, and new challenges, she will become a distant, but always present, memory.
That doesn’t mean I will love her any less. It just signifies that, with the passing of time, life goes on and we become whole again. Be it the loss of a tool, a job, or even a loved one, we go on. Softness returns, and I’m glad to be blessed with a life that has seen the ups, the downs, but most of all, the softness of each and every breath.
So good-bye, my little friend; always a memory you will be.
PS – Your new baby sister is pictured below. She has grown a bit and at 4 1/2″ and she is already strong and mighty. I might add, she too, is blue!