You could find her most days hunched over a section of curb, edging her yard with a pair of iron hedge clippers. Dressed in long sleeves and gloves with a floral-pattern scarf covering her hair and cinched beneath her chin, she set about her task and didn't seem to notice the 100-plus-degree Texas heat. If she wasn't edging, she was slowly pushing an antique reel mower over her lawn. At nearly 90 years old, she was hard to miss, and quite often was the talk of the town as neighbors and residents offered to help her maintain her large, corner lot. She turned them all down. As a kid, I would ride my bike down her street and stop to watch her, wondering why she would choose to do things the hard way. I finally settled on the idea that, because she was older, she was just more comfortable doing things as she'd always done.
I might have continued this way of thinking were it not for someone who pointed out my very own antique mower and hand clippers. As computers were just beginning to make their way into the classroom and most work places, I was still writing my term papers longhand and then typing them up on a computer. I had become very comfortable working from scraps of paper and legal pads filled with my handwriting. It wasn't until an internship my junior year that my editor pulled me into her office and told me that if I wanted a career in journalism, I was going to have to catch up with the times. Imagine that, I thought, she, 20 years my senior, telling me to catch up with the times! I realized that it isn't a matter of age that compels us to do things the way we've always done them, it's a matter of keeping up, educating ourselves about new technology and a little bit about trust. I slowly began learning more about computers and by my first real job, I trusted them — and myself — enough to throw out my legal pads and extra fine Sharpies.
New technology is only intimidating when you don't know anything about it. The same goes for new technology in the green industry. Before you can truly benefit from it, you've got to learn about it. More often than not, manufacturers are looking out for your best interest — trying to solve your problems with advances only imagined. This month's cover story describes the lengths to which manufacturers will go to bring you products that will make your life easier. Do your part to learn all you can by reading about the first transgenic turfgrass, beginning on page 10. Or opt for getting back outside to your antique mower and hand clippers.
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