I've got a nice shed in my back yard. My dad built it along with my husband and sons. We roofed it with the help of a neighbor or two who helped hold struts into place. It is beautiful - still smells like wood inside. It has shelves full of winter clothes, roller blades, kid's bike helmets, and balls. But the front half of it is where we store our garden tools.
The lawnmower sits there. I need to use it today if the sun comes out enough. The bags of seed, fertilizer, and other chemicals sit against the wall. Leaning on one wall is the shovel, rake, leaf rake, and other various tools for yard work.
There they sit.
Enough usefulness in them to keep the yard in good shape.
But they are useless unless they are used. Strong, good quality, the right tools for the job - but useless unless used.
It is not all in the tools. It is in actually picking them up and using them. In getting blisters on your hands from the grip of the tools. In the soreness of a back at the end of the day. The satisfaction of a hard job tackled and finished.
I'm going to be sitting in a class next week learning tools.... learning them from a man who is excited about these tools. Great tools, can do amazing things. Perhaps the best.
But the man's yard is a disaster. Weeds grow knee deep with roots down halfway to China. Grass never cut. Bushes taking over the flower gardens, never trimmed. Grass dying since it is never watered.
His tools sit in his shed - never used.
I like tools. Don't get me wrong, I do. But I like jobs done - if you don't have the right tool, adapt, learn, adjust, put muscle into it.... but do it. I'd rather have the basics in tools and a job well done than a well stocked shed and nothing done. Last week, with mis-matched gloves and an old shovel, I put in my vegetable garden. I don't have a wheel barrow, so I hauled dirt and compost the old fashioned way - by sheer grit and muscle by the bucket load. I'm a do-er. Don't get me wrong - I like tools. I have a few of my own.... picked up in unusual places, adapted to whatever I am doing at any given time. But for me the proof is not in the shed, but in the garden.