It’s the time of year when our thoughts turn to fun fall activities, pumpkin carving, enjoying cider and donuts and watching the beauty of the fall foliage in all their vibrant colors. Unfortunately, there is one fall activity that isn’t so fun, raking leaves. In fact, I’m pretty sure that’s how fall got its name — falling leaves. If I would have had a say I would have recommended, “stay” as in — stay on the tree. Or, “next” like — in my next door neighbor’s yard. Why Mother Nature decides to intrude into our lives with her seasonal cycles is just plain cruel. My lament is brought on by the fact that the neighborhood my wife and I moved into is one of those established enclave of homes, with many towering and mature trees. My yard is cursed, I mean, blessed with a huge, did I say HUGE, silver maple. The trunk on this beast alone is seven feet across, can’t wait to see the piles this beast drops. In the back yard is a Sycamore. Not sure what the Big Guy upstairs was thinking when he came up with this doozy? It was the last tree to leaf out and the first one to drop its bounty from the branches. Why bother? It’s late giving us shade and it’s first to remind us of the chore ahead. The only redeeming quality of this Autumnal activity is the strategy I will employ to round the leaves up. I don’t own a riding lawnmower so those big vacuums you haul around that I covet are not in play. Although, I do have two dogs and wondered if I could tie it up to them and have them tow it around the yard. It looks as if I’ll resort to the leaf blower, rake and bag method. Nothing too scientific but effective to say the least. Mother Nature can redeem herself with a couple of well-timed wind storms. Only problem is, my neighbors all around have trees as well. In the end I trade some maple leaves for oak leaves, there’s just no escape from fall. You get reminded in so many ways. My wife starts to wear her “fall colors” wardrobe. It’s one thing to deal with the colors on the trees and on my lawn but when your wife starts to wear the color of your nemesis it’s time to draw the line.
Pete Ruffing is the Sales Director at M3 Group in downtown Lansing. He and his wife of 14 years Brenda live in Okemos.