Leaves and I have had a love-hate relationship ever since I became a homeowner. Yes, I love them in the spring when they are budding anew and I love them in the summer when their lush canopy provides a respite from the hot sun. However, and I can’t stress this enough, I hate them in the fall when they, as leaves are want to do, fall. Now, if I had to deal with only the leaves from a few trees, then I might not become so bitter. However, the place the Mistress of the Manor and I call home has more trees than you can shake a squirrel at, which is not surprising since squirrels hate to be shaken. In fact, they get rather annoyed.
Once the leaves begin to fall, the gathering of leaves, the blowing of leaves, the mowing of leaves, the cursing of leaves is an ongoing process that lasts until almost Christmas. We have several huge oaks that prefer to drop their leaves at the last possible moment, such as when the temperature falls below freezing, or when snow begins to fall. I am convinced that the evil tree god, Screwyu, does this on purpose just to torment me. However, being aware of my civic duties, I, along with the Mistress of the Manor, endeavor to rid our yard of every last leaf.
This season, we had done a terrific job, if I may say so myself, before falling into a leaf malaise over the past few weeks. While my neighbors were busy cranking up their mowers and blowers, I sat contently within my abode ignoring the growing number of fallen leaves amassing in our yard. When Hurricane Sandy came through, I thought, perhaps, that Sandy was the answer; that she would blow all the leaves away and leave me with a pristine yard that would make Biltmore proud. But did Sandy help, noooooooo, I don’t think one leaf moved.
Now, it wasn’t as if I totally ignored the leaves. No siree, I mused several times that maybe I would crank up the mower and rid myself of these dastardly reminders of my failure as a homeowner. But it seemed like there was always something more important to do, like watch a football or basketball game, play scrabble, read a book, listen to music, eat, sleep, stare into space, or even contemplate the zombie apocalypse. Oh yes, it is coming.
My lack of lawn care apparently became a bit of a concern to my neighbors, and visitors alike, recently. One day a visitor asked the Mistress of the Manor if we had gotten up all the leaves we were going to. When she informed me of this question, I said she should have responded, “Yes, we have already picked out all the best ones, you may have the rest,” or, possibly, “I am inclined to tell you to stick the leaves where the moon don’t shine, but because of my cultivated upbringing, I will just say, bite me.” One neighbor offered to blow the leaves off my front yard, which, coincidentally, faced her front yard. She had just finished tidying up her yard, and I think she was afraid my leaves would migrate across the road to her place.
So, in order to cut back on the inquiries as to my plans for the mounting collection of leaves, the other day I did indeed, crank up the lawn mower, and wreak havoc on nature. I mowed and blew and ravaged those leaves like a Viking on meth. They didn’t stand a chance, because I was on a mission to uphold my family’s honor in the eyes of the community, as well as keep the leaf police off my back.
Now, this doesn’t mean my yard will stay pristine, oh no. You see, I’ve got three oaks that are still holding on to their leaves for dear life. It is times like these that I threaten to cut down every tree we’ve got. Of course, I never do. One, though they are a pain, I really do like them, and, two, if we don’t have any trees, then we won’t have any squirrels to shake, and boy oh boy, do I love shaking them squirrels.