Editorial: Next-to-the-throne drawer finds

Published 6:55 am Tuesday, May 31, 2022

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Is it me, or is the world getting smaller and smaller?

It seems that crowds are everywhere. Even our roads here in Davie County become crowded from time to time. Restaurants are crowded. The stores are crowded. The paper on my desk gets more crowded every day.

And the stuff in and around my house? Well, it’s pretty darned crowded, too.

I decided to do something about that. After all, we only need a couple of hundred square feet to live a comfortable life. The other 50 million square feet or so of additional house and garages and buildings are there just to hold our stuff. Yep, our stuff. Most of it may have a use, but it isn’t necessary. It may be sentimental, it may be a hobby, but it’s just stuff.

They say the best way to recovery is one step at a time.

My first small step was the reading drawer next to my personal throne in my home. It is amazing how many magazines and books can fit into a small drawer.

Old Cook’s Country magazines. Out. I had read them all over and over. There’s a recipe in there I need to try, I would think, and gently place the magazine back into the drawer. It’s been a while since we’ve subscribed to that one, and I haven’t used them for a recipe or a kitchen hack yet. So, they can go.

Getting rid of those magazines freed up half the drawer. It wasn’t crowded any more, but it was still half full. Let’s dig a little deeper.

I reached down to the bottom of the drawer and found the crown jewel of all next-to-the-throne drawer books that everyone needs: “What Weeds Don’t Want You To Know: Weed-Eating Secrets.”

A gardener, I have been battling weeds my entire life. They say a weed is just a flower out of place, and that may be true, but when it’s crowding your favorite tomato plant, it has to go.

Where has this book been my entire life? The copy was already on its third printing in 1995, with the first one in 1994. It was a handy, small size book you could carry into the garden. What a find.

I started turning the pages and was immediately disappointed. Black and white only. No photographs, only drawings of the weeds. My mind doesn’t work that way. I would have to see a photograph to make an identification.

I pored over the pages. Pull the weeds out of the ground, roots and all, it said. Dispose of them properly. Mulch to prevent weeds from sprouting, it said.


We had saved a book for some 27 years that tells us the best way to rid your garden of weeds is to pull them up.

We sure had.

It gets worse.

The book went into detail on how to pull a weed out of the ground, including the following exercise  to get your weed pulling fingers into shape. “Practice by putting your hands in front of you at chest level. Keep your fingers relaxed, palms down, and elbows bent. Now, pinch your thumbs to the sides of your forefingers as you move your arms slightly up and  outward, as if your hands were moving apart along the outline of a half circle.”

The problem here is, I can’t decide whether to keep the book or throw it away.

Maybe I should put it in the spare room with all the other stuff we have but aren’t sure what to do with. It could go right beside the huge seed catalog I took from that same drawer. It couldn’t be thrown away because I may need it later.

After all, I could forget how to pull up a weed.

P.S. The book also instructs one in how to use a hoe.

– Mike Barnhardt