October 09, 2005

Leaves Are Leaving

It's fall, or autumn or, as they call it in Hawaii, "sunny, with a chance of rain."

Yes, it's that time of the year, once again, when we Minnesotans must steel ourselves for the coming onslaught of winter. Before the first frozen flakes of snow descend and begin to blanket our fair state, we have to address an annual inconvenience that affects almost all of us.

I refer, of course, to leaves. Oh, sure, in April, we simply can't wait for those tentative tree buds to soak in the requisite amount of sun-given heat for them to burst forth in a green celebration of spring. We thirst for that moment of nascent greenery.

Come June, however, we've already become indifferent to the leaves we so yearned for just a scant couple months earlier. Yeah, they're green. Yeah, they're everywhere. Yeah, they're better than snow and ice. Booorring!

By August, leaves just seem like they'll always be there. Plus, it's swelteringly hot out, so we spend most of our time indoors, bathed in air conditioned splendor. We no longer go out and visit the leaves. We don't even call. This makes the leaves sad.

After one final grace month of September, the leaves, now deeply depressed by our lack of attention, and determined to wow us one last time, start to change color. Suddenly, we all remember the leaves again. We marvel at the majesty of their newfound hues. No longer simply green, they blaze forth in bright yellow, orange and red. And we also realize that the leaves are planning on leaving us, like they're going off to college down south somewhere.

And boy do they leave us. They plummet to the ground practically over night. It's like they all get together, plan a date and time, and on the prescribed date, they hold hands and just jump. And you walk out of your house the next morning, and you think "awwww, NUTS!"

I hate raking leaves. As household chores go, raking leaves ranks just above cleaning the litter box with my tongue, and just below cleaning the toilet with my tongue. Not that I actually do either of those things, but if I did, raking leaves would fall between those two distasteful imaginary chores.

Last year, on the weekend when I finally got around to raking my lawn, it was roughly 40 degrees out, and we had just experienced a fairly large rain. For those of you who don't know leaf math, wet leaves have about three times the mass of dry, crunchy leaves. Plus, I had to scoot along my rooftop, cleaning the gutters of over seven months of icky detritus, 70 percent of which consisted of new species of life, 100 percent of which felt suspiciously like phlegm.

When the last leaf was raked, I had 16 huge lawn garbage bags packed to their tops with leaves, and I STILL had to transport those bags to the dump. And, I'm here to tell you, 16 lawn garbage bags stuffed with we leaves looks NOTHING like the much-welcomed leaves of April and May.

Of course, come January, I'll be looking out the windows at the frozen earth, wishing for all the world that there are leaves on the trees. And, come April, the cycle will begin all over again.

We Minnesotans are kind of dumb that way.

Posted by Ryan at October 9, 2005 12:11 PM | TrackBack

I borrow my Dad's leaf blower to clean out the gutters and "rake" the leaves. Works great and less work. Also, Mankato does leaf pickup, so I just put them in the gutter... much less work.

Posted by: Mike Wills at October 7, 2005 01:17 PM

They plummet to the ground practically over night. It's like they all get together, plan a date and time, and on the prescribed date, they hold hands and just jump.

God, aren't you the lucky one. Ours can't seem to get their act together and drag the whole thing out over weeks and weeks. That means raking leaves every weekend for, like, 4-6 weeks. Now, how annoying is that?

Posted by: Gudy at October 11, 2005 05:40 AM
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