Manure Fork | East Wenatchee, WA | December 2019
Years ago, a maintenance man for the Diocese of Baton Rouge explained to me the value of hand tools. “Wood handles are best,” he said. “The oil from your palms smooths the grain, makes it your own.” Sure enough, the pickaxe he swung to dig the ditch had depressions that fit his hands. The shovel, too. “But I’m cheating,” he laughed. “My daddy grooved these handles from the ditches he worked. The grip still feels right.” It took us two days to dig the ditch, and he did 90 percent of the job. The next time we dug, I noticed my shovel’s handle had begun to smooth.