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Tis’ the Season for Leaves

fall-leaves Tis’ the season for leaves.  Those beautiful yellow and red and orange leaves that light up Tennessee mountains.  Those beautiful leaves that fall to the ground.   Those leaves that aren’t so beautiful when they cover my yard and deck and driveway.  Especially when it rains.

I love living in the woods.  I love to watch tiny buds burst into leaves in the springtime, and I love the comfort of a shade tree.  And nothing in nature is prettier than the colors of autumn.  But when leaves begin to fall from trees, they spell work.

Almost thirty years ago, Husband and I built a house in the woods.  Through the years, we’ve lost trees to disease and storms, but it seems that each year our trees produce more and bigger foliage than the year before.  We’ve used every method to remove leaves.  Raked, mowed, and blown.  When our children lived at home, we ‘did leaves’ as a family undertaking, and now we usually, and happily, hire out the job.  Some people say to let all the leaves fall and then get rid of them one time.  Well, if we tried that, we’d be up to our eyeballs in leaves.  At least, up to our knees.   Someone will have to blow or rake the leaves in our yard at least three times between now and December.

Early in our marriage Husband assumed the responsibility of yard care, but because I’m the one who loves living in the woods (he’d be happy in a walk-up apartment) and we need to see where to drive, I try to keep the driveway leaf free.  I haul out my electric leaf blower, a 100-foot extension cord, and a rake.  I spend as much time untangling that long extension cord and moving it from an outlet on the front porch to a basement outlet as I do blowing leaves.  And I use a rake where I can’t reach with the blower.  Two hours later, I can see pea gravel and concrete once again.

The next day, leaves litter the driveway.  By the second day, especially if there’s been breeze, even a mild southerly breeze, I can’t walk the length of our driveway and not step on leaves.  Time to haul out the leaf blower.

Last week, my oldest Grand, age 8, made my heart quicken.  “Gran, can I blow the leaves?” he asked.  Can he?  How fast?  As quickly as I could get him to my house.  He carried the leaf blower, and I lugged the extension cord.  I gave directions on how to hold the leaf blower and which way to blow – straight into the wooded yard area designated for leaves.  We pulled on gloves; he covered his ears with hearing protectors.  I began taking wet leaves that were stuck under shrubs, and he stood holding the silent leaf blower in hand.  “One more thing, Gran,” Samuel said.  “Are you going to pay me?”

My Grand says he’s saving money to buy a Lego set.  He’ll have enough money soon.  There’s plenty of work for this boy.




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