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Friday, October 14, 2016

The Leaf Brigade

The trees are green, but my yard is covered in leaves.
I blew the leaves off the back patio and front porch, but sadly, that's an ongoing chore. I'll be fighting leaves on the patio, porch, and lawn for a many more months. (Sob!)

I'm not as obsessive about leaves in my yard as all my neighbors. Very few leaves are falling right now, but once they start dropping in unison, the men in this neighborhood go on 24/7 Leaf Annihilation ... and I'm not kidding! On any given morning, I wake up to a chorus of leaf blowers. These fearless leaf fighters blow their leaves into a pile and bag them. While they are eating lunch, more leaves will fall and they are back outside before they finish chewing their last bite ... and they fight the fight until they don't have the strength to capture and imprison any more of the enemy. Their wives probably consider themselves leaf widows ... you know, like football widows? (It sounded funnier in my head!)

When I moved in last fall, I was fascinated by the fastidiousness of the men around here when it comes to leaf control. While I'm sitting at my computer, typing and sipping coffee, they're outside rounding up leaves. As I walk around the house doing chores, I look outside and they're out there with a rake and leaf blower. In the evening, as the sun sinks low and darkness falls, they turn on all their outside lights/spotlights and continue working.

My old house had two giant pine trees, two maple trees, a magnolia tree, and two (stupid) gumball trees. I hate those trees. It sounds like you're popping corn when you cut the grass! Anyway, my old house had more leaves in the yard than this house ... and this house is nearly surrounded by trees! It's quite perplexing. My grass gets cut a few times in the fall to grind up the leaves, then I'm done ... but not my neighbors. They spend the entire fall, winter, and early spring capturing every stray leaf they can, while my lawn is spotted with the dreaded brown, shriveled opponent. And when spring finally rolls around, they have more leaves in their yards than I do ... but that's probably because the leaves from my yard blow into theirs. I'd feel bad about that if I purposely blew my leaves into the street or their yards, but I don't. The leaves find their way to other yards on their own accord.

At my old house, a friend asked me why I always had so many leaves in my front yard, when I didn't even have any trees in the front. I told him it was because all they neighborhood leaves came to my yard, but he didn't believe me. (He also didn't believe the squirrels had ripped open a patio chair and were stealing the stuffing ... until I snapped a picture of them doing it!) After spending a day clearing my front and back yard of leaves, he went out front to survey his handiwork ... and was greeted with a yard full of leaves. He was astounded as he watched leaves from up the hill blow down into my yard ... as well as the leaves down the hill blowing up into my yard ... at the same time! It's like my yard has a vortex that sucks in every leaf within eight square miles!

He stood there with his hands on his hips, mouth hanging open in astonishment, and said, "I've never seen anything like it!"

I patted his back and nodded my head in silent commiseration, then softly said, "I know, my friend. I know."

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