November 17, 2008


I didn't get the whole leaf thing. Yesterday the wind was blowing 19 miles an hour. I was walking through the parking lot after Christmas shopping, my cart chock full of toys, when a gust came up and nearly knocked me flat. I had to hold on to the cart to keep it from tipping, and then I thought we'd both go over. Turns out I'm fairly strong.

Photo Courtesy of Concord Library

Meanwhile, our neighbors are at home trying to blow fallen leaves into piles, and the wind is just blowing the leaves back in their faces. Mrs. Next Door said they hauled sixty-five garbage cans of leaves up the hill.

I understand wanting a neatly groomed yard, (or I would understand if we had something other than gravel beneath our detritus) but rounding up mountains of leaves in raging winds is not something I ever intend to do, much to my neighbors' dismay. They're concerned about everybody else's foliage blowing their way.

These are the same neighbors who cut down three trees over the summer to mitigate the insanity of autumn.

"What's the big deal?" I asked R today exasperatedly. So they have a messy lawn. So we have messy gravel. Besides, aren't leaves good for growing what's beneath them?

R says the big deal is that in the spring when the snow melts the leaves are sopping, so there's no blowing them, only raking. Also, nasty little black flies hunker down under the leaves for the winter, and they get really irritated when raked.

He also said there's no way in Hades he would have chased the leaves in yesterday's wind, so I'm not altogether wrong about that.

Today, as I was taking Buckaroo for what should be our daily walk to greet the horses, I saw that our neighbors were still battling the leaves-- I really can't believe there are any left on the trees after yesterday's howler, but down they fall-- and then two of them-- neighbors, not leaves-- ganged up on a third to have the leaves blown from the dirt road.

Flies Shmies I say. It all seems a bit fanatical, but maybe I'll be singing the autumn blues next year. If that's true, I'll be raking up Ginkgo leaves along with all of the oaks. I can't wait!

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