To Rake or Jump?

There are many questions pondered by many people all over the world, but the onset of fall/autumn still brings back the eternal question:

To Rake or Jump?

When I was a child, my family lived in a house surrounded by several trees.  I have never been good at knowing anything about nature, so please don’t ask me what kinds.  I know that we had a birch in the front yard (my friends and I adored peeling off strips of birch–to my parents’ dismay–and “writing” on them with twigs), an evergreen in the back corner, several smaller trees on the boulevard, and an enormous tree that was big when my family moved in and only continued to get bigger.  We saved money on air conditioning in the summer because of the wonderful shade provided by that tree on our house.

We were lucky that Hurricane Sandy didn’t rip through to send the tree tumbling on our house, come to think of it!

When I was a very little child, my dad put up the requisite wooden tree swing.  I was too young to remember actually using it, but I have pictures of myself sitting in the swing and laughing.  I loved swinging.  Still do.

But the best/worst part of all those trees?  You guessed it.  Mountains upon mountains of leaves in the fall.

Ana the child saw the sea of leaves in the backyard and squealed, “HOOOOORAYYYYYYY!”  Until we got a dog that turned the backyard into a minefield of doggy surprises, running and jumping into those masses of leaves was one of God’s best gifts to the earth.

Ana the teenager saw the sea of leaves and groaned, “Why do *I* have to rake them?”  My parents were very strict (in more ways than leaves) and not only expected every single leaf properly put away in garbage bags to line up around rosebushes and other plants to serve as protection in the cold winter, but I as the teenager of the house was the designated leaf-raker, lawn-mower, dish-washer, and bathroom-cleaner…  (My parents would have made good Puritans.  They never permitted idleness, and even reading was considered an idleness.)

Once I became old enough to be the designated leaf-raker, the leaves no longer beckoned to me as nature’s 100% recyclable lawn-sized trampoline-slash-mattress.

Doesn’t everyone look at a pile of leaves and want to jump?

Not if you are indoctrinated in dull, adult codes of behavior and pragmatic, look-ahead ethics that prioritize tidiness.

It makes no sense to jump into a pile of leaves.

But I pity those who never have.

To rake or jump?

You decide.  And let me know.

One randomly chosen commenter will receive a gift voucher of my upcoming book, The Vengeance of Mrs. Claus.  Blurb is below.  Thank you for visiting!

(Commenters below need to leave your email address IN the comment box (in addition to entering it in the email field) in order to be eligible for the grand prize drawing.  If you don’t wish to be entered in the grand prize drawing, you do not need to enter your email address publicly.)


(For purposes of the blog hop, *this* is the post you need to comment on.  Commenting on this post will enter you in the grand prize drawing as well as my individual contest. Prizes for the overall drawing include:

1st Grand Prize: A Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet

2nd Grand Prize: A $50 Amazon or B&N Gift Card

3rd Grand Prize: A Swag Pack that contains 10+ paperbacks, ebooks, 50+ bookmarks, cover flats, magnets, pens, coffee cozies, and more!

On December 8 my first book, The Vengeance of Mrs. Claus, will be published by Blushing Books.  Here is a blurb.)

The Vengeance of Mrs. Claus

In some countries, turning 21 means gaining the right to vote and drink alcoholic beverages.  For Claire Labraun, the Christmas after her 21st birthday would be beyond her wildest imagination.


Minelle and Matthew Labraun believed in a traditional marriage.  Matthew was head of their household, and Minelle was his helpmeet.  When it came to raising their headstrong 21-year-old daughter, however, they found themselves at a loss.  Minelle had always taught Claire to do the right thing for right’s sake.  Claire, however, had different ideas.  She rebelled against their rules, flaunted authority, and connived to get things she wanted.  She had never been spanked in her life; Matthew and Minelle kept that adult privilege strictly between themselves.  But this year, a visit from Santa plus Claire’s newly adult status would change her idea of Christmas forever.

Please click on the button below to find more blogs participating in this event at


55 thoughts on “To Rake or Jump?

  1. Susie says:

    So many contests…I just can’t keep up Ana!

    But it’s all about the jumping. It’s the joy of childhood. The grown ups rake and the kids jump.

    I know, we had to go and grow up.


    • Ana says:

      Susie, *I* can’t keep up either! After this weekend I’ll have to do a better job of streamlining. 🙂

      Growing up is necessary, but I miss the jumping.


  2. Penelope says:

    Jump, definitely! 🙂

    Although sometimes, at least with unknown leaf piles, it is best to look before leaping. A friend of mine once leapt and his chest met a buried tree stump. Ouch.

    Lovely writing as always, Ana – I can just picture everything you describe, including the pouty teenage you.

    “Doggy surprises”… lol. Should be a minefield rather than a landmine, though.


    • Ana says:

      ohhhhhhh dang you are right. 😀 Two swats for me. Mmmmm may I please have another? *giggle*

      Yes, we learned the hard way to look before leaping. Those rakes are SHARP!

      *giggle* about pouty teenager. Mayyyyyybe. 😀


      • Cathy V says:

        Good point! I live in a condo with no yard. So really I just need to find some random yard, rake, jump and then leave the yard the way I found it, with leaves strewn about. It would just require the addition of stealth so no one would be the wiser! It’s like the city version of cow tipping.


        • Ana says:

          LOL!! The city version of cow tipping. Oh gosh, now I want to find a good pile of leaves in someone else’s yard so I can go jump without having to clean up.


  3. Veronika says:

    Autumn is my favorite season! I like all the beautiful colors outside and the weather is not that hot anymore but not freezing cold either. It’s just perfect! Thank you for the giveaway!

    verusbognar (at) gmail (dot) com


  4. pao says:

    I agree with raking the leaves into a big pile and then jumping on it 🙂 I’ve never had leaf piles back home but if I see a big public pile of leaves I’d play with it.


  5. Annie says:

    Bring on the rake and when the kids are done jumping its my turn. 45 and still will jump in a big pile. Little girl at heart. And the smell is amazing remember the smell of fall leaves. AMAZING


  6. April says:

    I adore autumn because of the amazing colors, bundling up in sweaters, Halloween and my birthday! Autumn also means cuddling up with a good book and a cup of cocoa!


    I love the hops cause of all the awesome new books I find to add to my to read list!


  7. Carla says:

    I’m totally a raker. I would rake my own and then start on my neighbors. I’ve even been know to rake other people’s leaves without asking.


  8. Nikki says:

    Rake for sure then jump. WHen I was little where we lived you raked your leaves into a pile left by the curb and these giant vacuume like machines came and sucked them up. But until then, we would make a mess of the whole neighborhoods leaves.


  9. belindaegreen says:

    Sorry no jumping for me….I ‘m raking to get done cause I am cold and want to go inside, grab a cup of tea,and sit by the fire with a great book. That’s way more fun! lol

    Thanks for the opportunity to share.

    Belinda G
    belgre AT comcast DOT net


  10. Urb says:

    After raking, you deserve a jump! Then, some hot cocoa with cinnamon schnapps. Thanks for participating in the blog hop!

    brendurbanist at gmail dot com


  11. JanD says:

    Rake. Jumping on a pile of leaves doesn’t appeal and I’d rather take a picture if they’re very colorful.
    bituin76 (at) hotmail (dot) com


  12. Jo says:

    We don’t rake because my husband mulches the leaves back into the grass with the mower. Thanks for being in the hop!

    jochibi AT yahoo DOT com


  13. Renee B says:

    My favorite thing about Autumn/Fall is the changing color of the leaves, orange, yellow, red, even purple. They are so pretty. My least favorite thing is raking up those pretty leaves. LOL I love to curl up by the fire and read a hot romance book on a cold fall evening. Thanks for being part of the hop and for the chance to win.
    reneebennett35 (at) yahoo (dot) com


  14. Kaci Verdun says:

    I love the fall because of the football games and tailgating with family and friends! And of course having a campfire with roasted hotdogs! Thanks for the chance to win a great giveaway!

    kacidesigns AT yahoo DOT com


  15. SheriV says:

    I love Autumn for the leaves. I read lots of books as it gets colder.Rake then jump and then rake again. lol

    smurfettev AT gmail DOT com


Thank you so much for joining the discussion! Please play nicely or you may be asked to stand in the corner. ;)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s