SHREWSBURY, Massachusetts – Autumn is without a doubt the best time of the year, what with the end of summer’s heat, the baseball Playoffs and World Series, the football season in full swing, and the trees decked out in their finest colors. There’s so many things to do there’s just not enough time to do them all, and I’m especially grateful for living in New England where all can be experienced firsthand. Of course there is the problem of getting rid of the leaves that mess up lawns, but even that inconvenience can be easily solved in a number of ways.
When younger I’d almost look forward to spending a bright Sunday morning raking the debris in the crisp air, and in later years used a blower to scatter the tree droppings into the woods, but now in my golden years I use a lawn maintenance guy to clean my property, a service well worth the expense. Over the years however, some of my neighbors have come up with more creative ways to solve leaf litter, and while I’m not advocating those methods I’ll pass them on just the same.
One genius decided the easiest way to solve the problem was to use the vaccine mentality, preventing the illness before it even starts rather than curing it afterwards. He contacted a tree doctor and had his property cleared of every tree, so when all other yards were a mess his would remain pristine. Naturally he had no way of preventing the wind from depositing other neighbors’ leaves on his lawn but he hadn’t thought that far ahead. Short of erecting a 10 foot high fence around his property he hadn’t solved a thing and had a barren yard to boot.
Another neighbor decided to let Vulcan remove the fallen foliage by first raking the leaves into several small piles around his yard and then setting them on fire. He did have the foresight to first get a permit from the town Fire Department but like the other guy he forgot about the wind. The smell was intoxicating but in a short while his yard was ablaze, and after realizing that a garden hose wasn’t adequate to halt the conflagration, he wisely called the fire house for assistance. Smokey the Bear he was not.
My all-time favorite though was the neighbor who decided to buy what was advertised as a mulching lawn mower, supposedly able to chop grass and leaves so fine that the residue would drop out of sight and would actually feed the lawn, negating clean-up and saving the expense of purchasing lawn food as well. Some people will fall for anything, because the next Fall when he had his lawn thatched, while others had four or five bags of yard waste he had about 50 bags full which cost him double to have cleaned up while making the front of his house look like he was trying to hold back the Mississippi River from overflowing its banks.
Is it any wonder I love autumn, and having neighbors is the best part of all.