The little things in life

I handle the bigger challenges in life better than the little ones.  When my Dad died twelve years ago, it was horrible but I think I exhibited some grace during the time between his death and his burial.  The same can’t be said of the occasions when I encounter uncooperative inanimate objects.  Nothing is as likely to bring forward a torrent of expletives from me as when a lowly object simply refuses to behave as it should.

In my opinion, the two most annoying inanimate objects are extension cords and hoses.  They share several important annoying features.  First, they are long and long is better if your goal in life is to get hung up in a wide range of features in the yard.  Furniture, trees and rocks all pose real opportunities for extension cords and hoses to drive me around the bend.  Second, extension cords’ and hoses’ natural state is to be in a muddle.  They live to get tangled.  Finally, extension cords and hoses hate to be put away for the day.  They will do anything they can to avoid being forced into a neat and tidy state.  But help is on the way for me.  Members of our extended American family have made a couple of products that tame these wild beasts and they make up this week’s Three for the Week.


A couple of years ago, I purchased a Suncast Smart Track Hideway hose reel.  Since that time, my hose has no choice but to go meekly to his “room” at the end of the day.  The Suncast Smart Track Hideway hose reel can accommodate 5/8″ hoses up to 225′ long, comes completely assembled, and has a comfortable reel.  The Smart Trak™ hose guide feeds the hose onto the reel as if by magic.

Tuff Guard hoses

The perfect hose made on our shores to use in your Suncast hose reel is the Tuff Guard hose.  Tuff Guards utilize a polypropylene double helix construction that allows the Tuff Guard to be 35% – 50% lighter than other garden hoses, flexible and weather resistant      from -20°F to 158°F, and virtually crush proof.  Tuff Guards uses heavy-duty brass ferrules for its end of hose connections.  Tuff Guards come in a range of colors. I won’t be ordering the pink.  You can buy Tuff Guard hoses at Sears stores.

Saf-T-lite reel extension cords

General Manufacturing makes its Saf-T-Lite products in Bluffton, Indiana.  General Manufacturing was established in 1962 in Fort Wayne, Indiana.  In 1995, General Mfg. developed and added the Competitive Edge Products™ brand to compete with low-cost imports from the Middle Kingdom.  The Saf-T-Lite Mid Size Plastic Reel with Locking Outlet is primarily designed for mechanics, but it can be used by homeowners if you just put up a little bracket on the wall where it can be hung.

The extension cord is 50′ long, UL listed and has a three-way outlet at the end of the cord.  Saf-T-Lite cords can be found at Sears.

I try to work on a daily basis on not sweating the small stuff, with varying degrees of success.  Sometimes it feels like cords and hoses are conspiring against me, but I know that they probably aren’t.  Still, the three products listed above can help me with the small stuff on days my spiritual condition is not in tip-top form.  As an added benefit, I know that buying these three products will provide employment for members of our extended American family.  Now if only I could remember where I put the watering wand!

About Simply American LLC

I live in Seattle and love telling stories about Americans, the places where they work and the things that they make. I have just published a book, Simply American, encouraging Americans to purchase American made products; the book can be ordered at
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