We bought our house in September, when the two big trees in our front yard were brilliant with color. Standing on the corner of our lot you could look down our numbered street and see a canopy of trees stretched tall and wide with fiery leaves. It was so romantic as to induce a series of heart-felt sighs.
In October we moved in, after the two big trees in our front yard had vomited all their leaves in a thick carpet that lay, wet and slimy, on our grass. Shortly thereafter, we raked and we raked until our palms were blistered and some 20-odd garbage sacks were filled with tree waste.
Last year I discovered a leaf blower hidden in the bowels of my dry vac, and upon plugging it in, was delighted to discover that magical thing would blow all the leaves off my yard and into the gutter in no time at all. I was in love and, will admit only here, I may have had a few terms of endearment reserved for my beloved leaf blower alone.
This year my children decided to help me rake the leaves and created one huge pile in my front yard, after which they insisted that this chore, inspired only by their love and concern for me, should earn them each a dollar. Those cute little capitalists.
And then it rained. It rained before I had a chance to retrieve My Sweet Little Leaf Whisperer to disperse the leaves and move them to the gutter. And if you don’t know how rain can thwart the powerful magic of a leaf blower, let me tell you.
That pile ‘o leaves, which my children had so lovingly gathered together for me, had become a thick, immovable mass. My Sweet Little Leaf Whisperer blew and blew, and nary a leave budged. Okay, so that’s not true. There was some budging, there was some flipping and flopping (because that’s what wet, congealed leaves do after they’ve been composting in your front yard through a series of rain storms), but there was NO magical swooshing, where the leaves, as if commanded by something stronger than Nature herself, would dance their way to the streets.
So after two hours with My Sweet Little Leaf Whisperer (and two very numb feet), I still have a fairly large pile ‘o leaves in my front yard. Although I did unearth half a bag of Halloween candy, two rakes, one broomstick, one plastic snow shovel, and a handful of squirt guns. My cute little capitalists were obviously doing more than just raking leaves in my front yard.
If the rain stops, today I will find myself on another date with My Sweet Little Leaf Whisperer, once again trying to move that sopping leaf pile into the gutter.
A leaf pile, remember, for which I paid three dollars…