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Leaf Wrangler – Not for Hire

by Pennie on November 7, 2013


My town does a very nice thing a few times a year.  It picks up leaves curbside.  Not bagged leaves.  Just leaves that you have raked over the curb into the edge of the road  (making sure that you haven’t blocked the driving path for the mail carrier or the garbage pickup).  They come by with what is basically a big vacuum cleaner and suck up all the leaves off the street into a closed truck and then they haul them to the dump where they get piled onto a compost heap.  It’s a pretty nice setup.  The only you have to do is get the leaves curbside.  Not too bad right?

I think I have mentioned before that my yard is surrounded by some sort of wildly growing deciduous tree.  As a result my yard, which is about a third of a acre is completely covered in a dense coat of leaves.  Now a smarter (read: less lazy) person, would periodically go out and gather those leaves up so that it didn’t become one ginormous task to be done all at once.  I am not that person.

Leaves have been steadily falling and I have yet to take rake or leaf blower in hand to do anything about them.  Until this past Tuesday, because I know that a curbside leaf pickup is coming soon.  So out I go into the yard, long pants, light jacket (because it’s really not that cold yet), shoes, socks and gloves, rake and leaf blower.  This was about 9:30 am.

I start in the back yard, which has the most leaves, but is pretty level and easier to deal with.  I have dreams of blowing the leaves up the side yard into the front yard and into the street but that is abandoned about an hour and a half in and I just create a huge pile of leaves in the back that I hope I can figure out how to get to the street.  My arms have started to quiver from carrying the leaf blower.   I come inside for a break.

My daughter has a break in her day so I manage to talk her into coming out to help.  By the time she is dressed the baby is starting to wake up and she helps for about 15 minutes.  I start on the side yard that is heavily covered in trees and try to round up leaves as best I can without falling over and breaking my neck on roots and vines.  I make some headway and another hour goes by.

I can’t work on a full stomach, so I have a very light snack to stave off hunger and return to the driveway side of the house which is covered in pine straw from the neighbor’s trees.  I manage to get that 90% of the way up the drive along with some of the leaves in the front yard before I realize that collapsing is eminent.  Tools are brought down to the front of the house and I stagger up the stairs through the front door.  I plead with my daughter to get the final 10% of the driveway cleared and into the street.

I go down the stairs, pull off my clothes because I am a hot, sweaty mess and collapse in a heap in a chair.  (I have been working somewhere in the range of 4 to 5 hours.)  Where I stay for quite some time because I cannot move, while I drink plenty of water.

Usually I get more sore the 2nd day after I do something, not the day after.  So according to plan, I am expecting Thursday to be very uncomfortable.  But it is Wednesday as I write this and I can barely move either of my arms.  They are stiff and sore.  This does not bode well for tomorrow.  I expect to be having a very unpleasant day, if I can manage to get out of bed!

I’d like to think I’d remember this for next year, but since I’m pretty sure I did the same exact thing last year, I don’t hold out much hope.

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