November 10, 2006

I guess I'd better rake my leaves tomorrow.

It was about 70° on Thursday, but they're saying there will be 4 inches of snow tomorrow, starting at noon. The gap between my first sleep and second sleep tonight is really long, but I can't go out in the middle of the night and do the leaves. That would be crazy!

Why haven't I done them yet? I've been really busy. Doing the leaves is not high on my agenda. It's just: Do them before the first real snow. Those minor dustings don't count. Damn. I do not have time for this tomorrow.

Why don't I hire someone? It's more trouble to do that than to do the leaves, and doing the leaves can be sort of fun if you do them when you're in the mood. But if the mood doesn't strike you before the real snow forces the task on you, then it's not cool at all. And it's not good coming on a day when I'm busy and when I can't sleep in the middle of the night.

In my middle-of-the-night alertness, I'm furiously trying to think of a solution, and I'm attracted to the idea that the predicted snow will turn out to be rain. I can't slot in the raking tomorrow. Certainly not before noon. It's going to simply have to be rain. And if it's not, my back-up attractive idea is: What does it matter if the leaves stay on the ground all winter? I've been here more than 20 years without letting that happen. Isn't it about time I let one thing go like that? And if the leaves ruin the lawn, that's a sign that I should hire people to completely redo the lawn next year. It would be a good thing. They can make it thickly plush, satisfyingly level, and shockingly green.

In my middle-of-the-night furious thinking, I see I've got a whole ambitious set of ideas about the failure to rake.

37 comments:

Meade said...

For the lawn's sake, you have until late March/early April to get the leaves off, at which time you can scatter a $10 bag of Shady Mix grass seed atop the permafrost, sit back and watch the greening begin. (Do hire someone to clean the leaves out of the gutters though.)

Now go back to sleep.

S.T. Steiner said...

Leaves-raking could be a nice "extra-credit" project for the students who love to work for their grades; it could also be an opportunity to get to know the students in a natural environment; and then a charitable donation could be given to a local charity in their honor. Just a thought.

Dave said...

My idea of raking: a broad expanse of concrete.

In other words, give me concrete over grass. Give me a city over suburbia.

Give me an apartment over a house.

No carpal tunnel syndrome from raking from me!

Pogo said...

Big deal. Leaves fall unraked in fields and the parks all the time. Plants still rise in the spring regardless. Lawncare professionals will cluck, as will the guy who crosscuts his lawn, but come spring, mow it all with a mulching mower, rake the bigger clumps, then mow it again.

Not that I've ever had to do this.

me said...

I raked the front yard last weekend and will do the back yard Sunday. My only rule is to wait until all the leaves have fallen. Otherwise, you end up having to do it twice.

It is a pleasant experience, though not as pleasant if it snows.

Christy said...

Get the person who usually mows to come and mow, mow, mow the leaves into bits to nourish the lawn. Otherwise, if you only have 5 minutes, make sure you get the leaves off your early bulb beds. Bulbs do not successfully work their way though mats of leaves. I had daffs last year that had 5 inches of pale yellow foliage when I pulled off what I had chosen to think of as leaf mulch. They never recovered and I never saw anything from the couple of hundred smaller bulbs I'd planted the year before. Shredded leaves are a great mulch. Whole wet leaves, not so much.

Lars said...

Did you decide not to go condo?

Bissage said...

Hey you, I leaf compost. But whole leaf mulch good if Oak. Elm or Maple leaf not good if thick. I will visit these Blog soon again to look all the news. Regards Bissage.

Dave said...

Hey you, Bissage make me snort oatmeal through my nose.

knoxgirl said...

Hey you, this is a very interest site! I agree with Christy... we rarely rake anymore, we just mow every other weekend or so in the fall, even if the grass isn't tall. It's much easier than raking.

Simon said...

Dave said...
"[G]ive me concrete over grass. Give me a city over suburbia. Give me an apartment over a house."

See, I'm completely the opposite. I hate the city, from the idea of urban life on upwards, for reasons explained here. If I didn't hate the idea of a long commute, I wouldn't even live in the suburbs, given the choice.

Ann Althouse said...

So, I see. Now I not only don't have to rake the leaves; I don't have to delete the spam. Thanks, Bissage. And a big Friday "hey you" to everyone.

reader_iam said...

We are a bit fortunate in how our house is located in terms wind pattern and on our hill.

My husband cuts the grass as short as possible right before the Big Fall period. Down the leaves come, but with little to stick to. In comes the wind. There go the leaves--to the street and everyone's else's yards. Not much left to rake.

(Our neighbors like us just fine, though. Everyone borrows DH's tools; he's probably helped rewire or some such thing in every house around, or responded to some emergency or other having to do with computers; and I've bought fundraising crap etc. from everyone at one time or another.

It All Works Out.)

reader_iam said...

And jeez--how about that weather! It was in the '70s when I left Davenport yesterday, a good afternoon for a drive to Des Moines, windows partly down music--and Althouse; I save up podcasts if I'm going to be driving--playing away from the iPod through the radio. This morning, it's cold and rainy (mixed precip) and even a little slippery, and I can see from look out the window at skidding cards that even the commute downtown to the convention is going to be annoying.

reader_iam said...

On the bright side, there's room service. You read a coupla blogs, someone brings you breakfast, and then, when you leave, someone else makes the bed. And no kid or dogs to puke, or whatever, just as you're going out the door!

Sometimes, it's fun to Relive The Days When .....

(Wouldn't want to do it too often, though)

StrangerInTheseParts said...

Too bad Audi or Mercedes doesn't make a nice drive around mower/leafblower. Ann could listen to Dylan and high-tail it around her yard every week.

Ron said...

Hey you, remember removing the spam is more like pulling the weeds instead of raking the leaves! Like many an academic I know, your mind has spun a far more elaborate and expensive solution to a problem which has the virtue of being...later.

Doug said...

I was white trashy last year and I didn't get my leaves up. I usually do what Christy said to do, mow over them, buy my uncle took my lawn mower once the leaves fell so we had to clean them in the spring. My wife was pretty pissed about that, so this year, I have been raking a few bags worth a week.

MadisonMan said...

I did notice a lot of new leaf piles yesterday in the neighborhood -- probably 'cause it was nice, not 'cause of the forecast of snow, which I don't think is gonna happen.

I'll mention, though, that 31 years ago today, The Gales of November came early

George said...

I am traveling to Wisconsin soon. I have never been there before, and I am hoping that you could answer a few questions--

Is it true that cheese is eaten at all meals?

Will leather spats protect me from wolverine bites?

Can I attend the cheese-bathing ceremonies?

Does Odin truly control the wind, the rain, and the stars?

Would it be best if I grew a beard and dyed my hair red?

Can my wife dip her fork into the communal fondue pot at "that time of the month?"

Would it help if I read the Conan books before I came, or can I just see the movies? If so, which one do you recommend.

Thank you. I appreciate your help in this matter.

Mike said...

Ann - This snow will be gone in a couple of days.

YAMB said...

Ann, I thought you sold your house and yard and moved to a condo? What's up with that?

Paul Zrimsek said...

Can my wife dip her fork into the communal fondue pot at "that time of the month?"

The issue never arises. Wisconsin, surprisingly, has a Fondue Lack.

VICTOR said...

Do you actually wake up in between sleeps?

Maxine Weiss said...

The big question, the big consideration , which I'm surprised you haven't agonized over... is this:

What will be the raking-the-leaves attire?

What does one wear when engaging in such an activity?

Daisy Dukes?

A sexy raincoat?

Overalls?

A Bikini??

I think it depends on who will be your primary audience, how you plan to wield the rake, posture and carriage etc...

The primary purpose of raking the leaves is to be seen---by all the right people.

You want to be noticed.

It's like washing your car. Men who was their car, shirtless---it's not about the car.

And so to, this has nothing to do with raking the leaves, now, does it?

Peace, Maxine

Simon said...

Maxine said...
"What will be the raking-the-leaves attire? ... A Bikini??"

It's surely a little cold in Wisconsin at this time of year for that.

MadisonMan said...

Paul, that was bad.

Wish I'd said it.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Can my wife dip her fork into the communal fondue pot at "that time of the month?"

I had originally read this to mean: 'Can I dip my fork into my wife's fondue pot at "that time of the month"?' I only note that because I am now cleaning hot chocolate from my computer screen.

Maxine Weiss said...

Simon, are you suggesting, that would the weather be a little bit warmer, people in Wisconson would don their bikinis to rake leaves in ???

Do people in the Midwest pull those kinds of stunts, at any time of year?

Plus, you can always throw a fur coat on over a bikini.

Great visuals.

Peace, Maxine

Simon said...

Maxine,
I thought we were talking about Ann's leaves, not the leaf-raking habits of the denizens of Wisconsin in general.

Simon said...

Maxine,
I thought you were referring to Ann's leaves, not the leaf-raking habits of the denizens of Wisconsin in general.

Christy said...

Or Ann could do what a couple in Ann Tyler's latest novel does, have a leaf raking party. Tyler details the leaf raking apparel of everyone including toddlers. Who knew we should dress for leaves? I am so out of it.

Maxine Weiss said...

Well, when the guy across the street peeps through his windows at every move you make, you might as well give him some great entertainment, as you go about your daily tasks.

So much fun having neighbors.

And, Ann doesn't mind being watched, as well as having other watch her watch them!

Peace, Maxine

OddD said...

Why does this sound like a metaphor?

The Dread Pirate No-Beard said...

Two days ago at this time I was enjoying 60+ degree weather and hiking at Devil's Lake State Park!

Leaves can be easier to rake when they're a little wet, but the inches of snow we're getting today is a bit much. I'm lucky because my property abuts a city park and I toss the leaves in the 10' wide patch of threes and shrubs separating us.

My nephew does a good job - he's near Shorewood and inexpensive. :)

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Ann Althouse said...

Oh, no! I deleted the spam and then saw that Bissage had made it funny, and I'd wanted to leave it.

I miss Bissage.

And isn't it sweet to have Meade talking to me in the middle of the night.