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!
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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.
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