Posted on November 15, 2010


Last Friday I went out to rake my yard and I reflected on how some things have changed.

Take leaf blowers, for example. I’ve never used one. My parents had a big yard when I was doing yard-work for them. My dad believed that they weren’t energy efficient. By the time I was an adult with my own yard, which isn’t that big, I didn’t want one. I don’t want to learn how to use and maintain one, or buy any support equipment or material. I know so little about them that I’ve just never bothered to dig into it. My neighbors are different. They have a leaf blower. They use it to blow the leaves from my maple tree off their property and on to mine. Which is okay with me – the tree is clearly on my property, even if some of the branches hang over their yard. I’ve known for years that they’re a little passive-aggressive. They’d rather blow leaves on my yard than come over and chat with me about when I planned to rake my yard. If they had, I could have explained about my back injury.

Then again, take my standards for raking the yard. When I was a boy, I worked to my father’s standards, and they were very high. No leaves or twigs could be left in the yard. I’d heard of mulch back then, but there was no such thing as a mulching mower. Raking was when we got the year’s debris off the grass. It had to be perfect, or I’d be out doing it again – and it was a lot of property. Raking was a multiple-day job. Now I rake to clear the yard. If there are some minor twigs or a few leaves left, that’s okay. I have a mulching mower. Also, living in the Pacific Northwest, I know I’m going to cut the grass again before Spring. One thing I always tell new friends who’ve just moved to the PNW is that you’re never going to put your mower up for winter. They should plan on cutting the grass year-round. So I never have to worry about a few leaves. I can just mulch them in to the grass.

Raking didn’t do my back much good, but my front yard looks a ton better, and I got a chance to reflect.

Posted in: Self-Reference