The right tool for the job. That’s one of the lessons I’m grateful for from The Colonel: he always had the right tool for the job, and he gave me my very first toolbox, with a set of staple tools including two pliers that I still have. He used a Dremel tool to engrave the last four digits of my social security number on them – it makes me laugh out loud now – so I would never lose them? Or what? Anyway, I have never lost them. Also a little hammer-screwdriver set engraved with those four digits. I used to help him in his shop, since I couldn’t take it in school. Because I was a girl. Those pliers have lasted fifty years, and been well used every single one of those years. I’m grateful for things that last.

So many things don’t. But that’s another post. This one is about things that last, not only fifty years but perhaps five thousand. I’m grateful for this stone tool that I found somewhere on the property, and has ended up in my vegetable garden. It’s actually a delight to use for mixing soil in the raised beds and pots. It’s not quite a perfect fit for my hand – I’m sure human hands were smaller back then when it was made.

There are those who might tell me it’s not a prehistoric tool at all, but just a flake off a river rock incidental to a gravel operation. I know better. Even if I’m wrong, it’s what I choose to believe. I’ve known a few flint knappers over the years, and believe I can recognize human-made edges. Plus I have a degree in Anthropology. To me, this is clearly some kind of scraper tool. I had a similar stone tool decades ago that I used to clean a deer hide when I tanned it using – well, never mind, that might be a little too graphic, but suffice to say that I did it the extremely old-fashioned way, including scraping the hide clean with a paleo tool.

I’m grateful for the range of knowledge that my education and life experience have provided me, which enabled me to recognize this artifact for what it is when I discovered it by chance. I’m grateful for the curiosity and spirit of adventure that led me to try it out as a tool in the garden. I’m grateful for durability, for things that last, and for the right tool for the job.

3 thoughts on “Durability

  1. Dearest Rita, This post really moved me. Thank you. I’ve been finding old tools and stories this week with my mother, now well into her hundredth year.

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