Sunday, October 24, 2010

Day of Labor

Today, I labored. A windstorm has hit Oregon, along with, at times, extreme rain. It has not been cold, just wet and wild. I love Oregon storms.

The maple trees out back threw off their leaves in one fell swoop. Trees that shed! Oh for a furminator that works on a tree before their leaves cascade down into the gutters, clogging them, before those leaves blow in wild wind, all over the neighborhood, prompting my area yard nazis to shake their heads sternly and look away, should our eyes meet.

My yard has more trees than most in this city. My yard converts enough CO2 to O2 to sustain most of the cul de sacs humans.

I would think people would be so grateful they'd bring me gifts, really nice ones, on that account. What wishful thinking.

The trees will go naked for the winter, hairless. Seems like nature in reverse. My cats hair coats are growing in thick for protection, even though any of them could spend their entire time inside. I soon will don a coat, which is not normal for me, even in the coldest and wettest of weather. They're a nuisance and I leave them places and I'd be going naked like the trees if I wouldn't be rightfully immediately arrested for the act.

But their leaf shed is more like bears hibernating. They don't have to grow without leaves. Their sap slogs and thickens up and off to sleep they go. Darn lucky trees and bears.

Today I battled leaves clogging my ancient gutters, that leak anyways, in several spots. Today I battled the one day leaf blitz happily, chasing them across my driveway and through the cat yard with a rake.

There is no place for the leaves. The city's leaf pickup is practically nonexistant. I have not even heard when it might be. Usually there are four pickups, but knowing when, that's the mystery of it all. You don't know, during the spans of time given, when the pickup might hit your block. The yard debris containers are emptied by the pickup company only every other week and hold very few leaves.

Last year, suffocating in mounds of leaves growing to house height, I ran an ad on craigslist: "$5 for all the great autumn leaves you can haul. Don't have trees? No piles of leaves for your kids to jump into joyfully? No problem. Five bucks will buy you all the beautiful brightly colored fall leaves you could ever want." I got no takers.

So, in driving rain, I climbed my ladder and cleaned leaves from the gutter all around the house, climbing down, moving the ladder a couple feet farther, climbing back up. Water from driving rain had filled the gutter all around the house, creating sheets of water cascading off the roof around the entire perimeter, like a giant encompassing waterfall. While I thought it was beautiful, stern neighbor looks and knowledge of neighbor chatter drove me out into the weather with my ladder and some well used yellow dishwashing gloves. I could only find two gloves, two that fit a left hand.

I love the fall. It's my favorite season. I love especially the crackling cold bright black starry nights. I feel alive and close to the stars come fall. I love a good windstorm, too and I don't mind the rain at all.

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