Raking Leaves



            To me, the leaf blower is an abomination.  Leaf raking is an art; it is good exercise; therapeutic; and can be fun in the right company, i.e., a grandchild or a playful pet.  The shrill noise of a leaf blower intrudes on the quiet serenity of an autumn afternoon or evening.


          As a child, raking leaves was a chore, but if you lived in the right neighborhood, it could be a source of income.  Or, if you had the right parents, it could boost your allowance.  As a young adult, a well-kept lawn, free of fallen leaves, was a source of pride.  Raking the leaves also afforded a social opportunity.  What better way to catch up on the neighborhood gossip than to pause, lean on your rake, and chat with the folks next door?


          As a young parent, it was fun to have the children run and jump in your pile of leaves, scattering them so the process could be repeated again and again.  Sometimes it was even fun to jump in and roll around with them – at least until reality set in and you realized the job had to be finished.   Then came the day when the children were replaced by playful kittens or puppies, and then grandchildren.  The job might be a bit more difficult by the time the grandchildren enter the scene, but you had more patience and it brought back fond memories.


          There were two theories about raking leaves –(1)  get them up as soon as they fall – a process that had to be repeated almost daily for several weeks, or (2)  wait until they were all down and only have to do it once.  On the second option, there was always the risk that the wind would blow some of them onto your neighbor’s lawn – your neighbor who subscribed to the first option.  There was also the risk that it would rain  — and wet leaves are not fun to rake.


          Raking leaves could be very therapeutic.  There’s something calming about the sound of dry leaves crunching under your feet as you rake,  along with the sound of the rake rhythmically scratching the surface of the ground.  A lot of problems can be sorted out in your mind as you make your neat piles.  You can also challenge yourself to make straight rows or block sections, properly spaced or random piles.  The thought processes during an hour of leaf raking are endless.


          Then there’s the question of disposal.  Do you bag them to be picked up by the trash collectors; do you use them as winter mulch for your shrubs; or do you burn them?   Before environmental laws prohibited the latter, that was the preference.  The aroma of burning leaves is now a distant but pleasant memory.


          Now we have the unpleasant roar of the leaf blower and the equally unpleasant sound of the leaves  being slurped up by a huge vacuum machine to be hauled away and ground up.


         And up here on the Hill, I have very few trees.   Anybody need some leaves raked?



  1. November 3, 2013 at 5:46 pm

    Great imagery, Nancy. I could “see” you out raking your leaves (if you had any).

  2. November 4, 2013 at 4:26 pm

    […] Raking Leaves (bzenan.wordpress.com) […]

  3. Pat G. said,

    November 6, 2013 at 10:20 am

    I have one tree in the front yard that produces leaves. If I wait just the right amount of time, the wind blows all of them downhill! I am in that waiting time now! 🙂

    • nannydavis said,

      November 6, 2013 at 1:09 pm

      Thanks, Pat. Is that an invitation for me to come to KY for a visit? I would love to, but don’t see it on the horizon! Besides, the exercise will be good or you and Jack.

      • Pat G. said,

        November 6, 2013 at 2:27 pm

        We seem to exercise “control” not to exercise more than not..:)

  4. November 11, 2013 at 11:13 pm

    […] Raking Leaves (bzenan.wordpress.com) […]

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