Friday, November 21, 2008
The shortened days of winter - pt 1
The days are definately getting shorter. The tilt of the earth has almost reached its peak but the ever increasing absensce of light presents its own set of consequences.
Yesterday, I flew home after work in order to finish up the front yard raking job before it got dark and before it starts getting snowy. This always winds up having to be done twice at my house because our annoying catalpa tree looses all it's leaves as soon as the temperature dips below 45 degrees and it's leaves are about a big as dinner plates, so they need to be removed reasonably quickly from my already suffering grass in the front yard. When those humungous leaves get wet, they are like sponges and become super heavy which equivalates to maximum raking un-fun-ness. Have I ever mentioned that I really hate that tree? I think I have, so I won't go on about that.
Anyways, I raked my front yard about a month ago and drug all those leaves on the biggest tarp I own, which is about 10'x15' (we used to cover a pop up camper with it) into the corner of our back yard. I made 5 trips with all the leaves (from just one side of the front yard) and piled them up pretty high. This makes sense since I am contributing to nature by feeding my compost pile (that sounds pretty good, doesn't it?) and providing a shelter for a stray mouse or chipmunk or something like that (so compassionate to wild animal welfare). I would have filled at least 40 leaf bags (I kid you not) if I chose to bag them, and after bagging the first year we lived there, I have vowed to not do that ever again.
The people across the street from me fill about 6 bags and they are happy as clams together raking their leaves up. Making a fun dad-son-daughter event out of it. I, on the other hand, am miserable and blistered and aching from my unforgiving yard, wondering why I decided to not have sons who would eventually take this task over for me. Sparkie is not allowed to be around for this sort of thing, since it would be a Wood-tick-stock event, and he would be the campground and concession stand. It seems like most of the trees growing on my street are on my lot and only one of those trees is a pine tree which presents it's own unique pine-needley mess in the back yard. That is another story in itself.
"Why do you have to do the yard twice?", you ask? Because the tree in the other side of the front yard hung onto it's leaves until about a week ago and, I kid you not, my front yard looked like it had never been raked at all. There were so many leaves on the driveway that you couldn't even see the asphalt. Have you tried to shovel snow that is over a leaf covered driveway? Take my word for it, you don't want to let that happen. And after the leaves were getting mashed into bits from being driven over and parked on so much, I had to face the fact that enough was enough. *Sigh* Back to square one. So out I went with the rake and the gardening gloves and the gigantic tarp to clean it up again.
Although the job was much faster and I didn't get any blisters this time, my mind couldn't help but think about how we never raked when I was growing up and yet our yard always grew just fine. Then I reminisced about how my brother and I used to do chores together and he would manage to have to go to the house to get something and then not show up for an hour and a half while I did all the work by myself. For a minute I remembered I had a leaf blower in the garage, but since I was almost done at that point, I just made my thoughts go elsewhere. I also tried to figure out how I might get my hands on one of those leaf sweeper/catcher contraptions that I could hook up to the back of the lawn mower so I'd have an excuse to ride around on that thing one last time before winter hits. But mostly, I thought about how I was only cleaning up the front yard of my lot and how the back yard was just going to have to fend for itself this year. After all, the days have become too short to do that much raking after a day at work.