The fallen….

as in leaves, not people or angels. Living in the Midwest is an especially beautiful time of year, with the leaves of trees turning a variety of bold and brilliant colors just prior to them falling to Mother Earth. We bought our current house ten years ago in a neighborhood that was developed in the mid-nineteen sixties, hence we have a neighborhood chock full of a variety of mature trees providing us with a wonderful canopy of shade in the summer. Wonderful. Cool. Shade. It’s the fall that sucks. It’s in the fall when, I’m not exaggerating, we have ZILLIONS of oak tree leaves taking their suicidal plunge to our yard. Over and over. In daylight and at night. AAAAAaaaaahhhhhhh!!! My retired neighbors, Ed and Bob, work feverously to clean up their yards on a daily basis, like its some sort of sick competition to see who has the least amount of leaves on their yard. If that competition were based on who has the most amount of leaves on their yard I’d win the prize by a landslide…er leaf-slide.

Our city has a big truck with an industrial sized vacuum on it that comes around weekly and sucks up any of our leaves that we’ve dutifully raked to the curb, this is where Ed and Bob really shine, me….not so much. I’d kicked around the idea of approaching the guy who drives the “leaf-vacuum truck” and present him with this scenario. “Hey pal, what if, after work…maybe this Saturday…you borrow this truck, drive over here to my place again…then crank up thee ol’ vac here and then drive all over my yard…sucking up a few zillion oak leaves? I’ll bet that if you did that there’d be a few cases of your favorite barley pop and a Texas fifth of Jack Daniels on my patio for the taking if that could happen…say around 10 o’clock Saturday morning. Aye? I don’t want an answer now….you just think about it.” HAR HAR. You see…we have so many leaves that blowing them all to the curb isn’t feasible. After about five minutes of blowing, there’s a two foot tall, ten foot deep, fifty plus foot line of leaves across much of our front yard. A residential leaf blower just doesn’t have enough wind to blow all of that where I truly need it. I’ve tried just about everything, including raking them into a tarp then dragging them to the curb (but what am I…a mule? Don’t answer that.) Mulching them with the lawn mower is a nice idea, but even the mower can’t handle the volume…so I’m left with using a combination of using all three means of “corralling” those disobedient rascals just as Ed and Bob watch through their respectful picture windows surely cussing me under their breath for being “late” again for the “city leaf truck”. “That kid just doesn’t get it!! Wednesday’s LEAF TRUCK DAY ON NORTHGATE DRIVE!!” At this point I don’t care. I gave up caring about leaves about two years ago, though I make a reasonable effort, for appearances sake, in the front yard. I try to stay out of the back yard, there’s more trees back there, and…I had a really, really bad experience back there last fall. The Leaf Monster almost got me.

An actual artists rendition of the Leaf Monster encounter as well as my cat-quick reaction in staving off the beast (Thank God that I had a disposable lighter in my pocket as a suitable backup plan)

An actual artists rendition of the Leaf Monster encounter as well as my cat-quick reaction in staving off the beast (Thank God that I had a disposable lighter in my pocket as a suitable backup plan)

So…as you can plainly see, and hopefully sympathize with, I’m simply out of options for raking leaves this fall. I’d write more but the Leaf Monster is giving me the stink-eye through the kitchen window and its giving me the willies.

For now and later….peace.


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