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November 15, 2008

An Ode to the Leaf Pile

2 Last year around this time, I wrote a Manifesto about how much I hated trees, mostly because of all the manual labor involved in having them on or near my property. This year, I've decided to take less of a whiny and more of a productive approach to leaf season—the longest season of the year.

I've decided to rake.

It's not that I've matured or anything; it's not that I'm any less bah humbug about the suburban tree canopy; it's more that I'm tired of being the only house on the street without piles of leaves in my gutters.We live in one of those neighborhoods that doesn't have to bag up their leaves and put them out for the garbage man, or leaf man, or whoever takes bags of leaves. All we have to do is rake them out to the curb and twice a season a big truck with several guys and a big sucky vacuum thing comes down the street and slurps up all the leaves.

I know! Cool, huh? But it is less cool if the leaf vacuum passes by and your leaves are still spread out all over your lawn. Or, even worse, still on your trees.

My trees are literally (and I mean that literally) the last trees on the block to turn brown and drop their leaves. I have three giant trees that are still green. Some of the leaves are yellow, but most of them are still green. So it's not like the raking I'm doing now will finish the job. I have weeks of raking ahead of me.

But when I have piles of leaves in the gutter, I feel like it lets the other homeowners on the block know that I'm trying. It makes me feel good too. I feel a little bit like my neighbors will overlook my jungle-like yard and tall grass if I have mounds of leaves waiting for the leaf guys.

I have some big piles this year. I hope the vacuum doesn't come until late in the season. I don't want to have to rebuild them.

And we'll see, if this makes me feel good enough and diverts enough attention from my super-weedy yard, maybe next year I'll rake the front and back lawns. Maybe.

Original DC Metro Moms Blog post.

During raking breaks, Jean blogs at Stimeyland.

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