My most versatile tool, a pocket knife, is something I always carry on my person. (Mary Lowther photo)

Mary Lowther column: Pocket knife an invaluable tool

Ever since I read that story, I bought pocket knives for myself and every member of my family

By Mary Lowther

Although gardening writers tell us we can grow food all year long in our climate, I know very well that November brings an end to digging and hoeing, lending itself perfectly for yearly tool tending. As much as I enjoy mucking around in the garden, cold wet weather means time to catch up on inside jobs. Life must be so much harder for those southerners who never have down time to repair, mend and lubricate their tools.

On the other hand, we lucky northerners can take the time to clean this years’ detritus off our tools and get them whipped up for next year’s assault.

Indispensable tools in my arsenal include my pocket knife that I always carry around in my pocket. Not in a backpack, not in a purse, but on my person. If I’m wearing women’s clothes with no pockets that must be designed by men who want us dependent on them, who always have pockets, then an apron goes on to hold the knife. Even when not gardening, pocket knives prove necessary. Ever been somewhere when something needs cutting and a man will come forward to save the day?

Some men have knives but do not keep them on their person, like a fellow I read about years ago who saw a car accident and ran over to help the woman trapped inside. The engine was on fire and they couldn’t get the seat belt undone, so he ran back to the car to retrieve his knife, ran back, cut the belt off and pulled her to safety. She had terrible burns on her feet and legs but he saved her life. If he had had the knife in his pocket, he could have cut her out sooner and maybe the burns wouldn’t have been so bad.

Ever since I read that story, I bought pocket knives for myself and every member of my family, including my kids who I taught how to use them safely. I can’t count the number of times I’ve used this handy gadget and wouldn’t garden or do anything without my pocket knife. Because it folds up safely it’s easy to carry and quickly has become my most important tool. Although I maintain it throughout the year, because a clean, easily opened, sharp pocket knife is a pleasure to use, I also give it a critical assessment at the same time as my other tools, just to keep on top of things. I prefer the kind with no other gadgets attached because I don’t need the extra weight and keep one with all the doodads in the car.

Please contact with questions and suggestions since I need all the help I can get.

Lake Cowichan Gazette