Winnie the Pooh was pretty profound for a bear … one of his favorite expressions was “Oh bother!” That exclamation fits the bill for humans too, in many exasperating situations. Plus … you can feel free to utter it without raising any eyebrows.
Today’s “Oh bother!” was the leaves. They come from a big maple tree at my next-door neighbor’s house. It usually takes a few weeks for all the leaves to come down, but these recent blustery days, especially Thursday night’s wicked winds, caused the leaves to come down in one fell swoop. They are everywhere, and, I might add, very few leaves landed next door where the tree is located … hmmm.
That is what I get for scoffing at that tree when the former owners planted it and nurtured it several decades ago. They were newlyweds in a starter home and found a seedling growing in some dirt, the result of a “helicopter” maple seed drifting down and landing in a garden bed. They dug a hole, planted it and put a little fence around it. I remember rolling my eyes at the time, thinking it looked ridiculous and I gave it no hope of even surviving that first Winter. But, that little maple seedling was tenacious and grew and grew. Soon it was a sapling which was being staked so that tender young tree would not bend in the wind. Now, it is a full-sized tree, with lots of leaves and it torments me by scattering them on my lawn and sidewalk, annually wreaking havoc with my free time and racking up costs for leaf bags to contain those spent leaves. I guess I was in earshot of that tree when I predicted its early demise and my words have come back to haunt me.
Leaf-raking can be pleasurable, if you’re in a sweatshirt and jeans, or a light jacket, enjoying a fresh Autumn day, sun shining on your still-bare head. I would have raked yesterday, but I had a mess of errands and grocery shopping, which kept me out and about until late afternoon. At least it was more seasonable and the sun was streaming through the car window which made the weather much more tolerable than Friday. I checked the pedometer when I got home and I’d logged nearly three miles on it, but, it was too late to start raking, so I tabled that task until today.
I did get to enjoy a walk this morning, albeit a very abbreviated one, since I kept glancing up to the gloomy-looking sky for those promised snow/sleet or rain showers predicted for late morning. I think the weather folks at WWJ, as well as the online site The Weather Channel, weren’t sure what exactly would be sprinkling out of the sky this morning, so they essentially called for a mixed bag of precipitation.
There is nothing more fun than raking wet leaves on a cold day. Before my neighbor Marge’s pair of flowering pear trees split in half and took a tumble after a 39 mph windstorm back in November 2014, they never dropped their leaves until after the final yard waste pickup. So, I’d be out there grabbing leaves up and stuffing yard waste bags, then storing those bags in the backyard to weather the Winter, until yard waste pickup resumed in April. What dark purplish leaves didn’t get raked up littered the snow the entire season.
Those plum trees are long gone, but a new maple tree was planted by the City on Marge’s property earlier this year. The City’s Facebook site offered ten new maple trees on a first-come basis to residents. Marge called and received the last tree, so it was delivered and planted a few days later. Its sparse leaves have already fallen, but one day it will grow up to become just another reason for me to grumble “oh bother!”
The weather is to be more seasonable all week and we are promised no more Arctic blasts until next Saturday, so if you’ve not dug out all your Winter woollies and boots yet, better hop to it.
[Image of Winnie the Pooh courtesy of Creative Commons from Pixabay]