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9

Preparing For the Seasons


I think Iíve raked more leaves this fall than there are pepperonies on every pizza in the whole entire U.S.


My overall mission in life is now preparing for other seasons before they come. In the fall, itís raking leaf-blanketed lawns that rival the Pacific Ocean in size. One lawn I raked this year also was covered with leaves that were totally entwined in the grass below and swallowed me up to my knees. Besides having a cardiac arrest upon sighting of this property, I was fine.


But there is so much preparation for other seasons before they come it makes my head spin. I canít even begin to describe the duties that come to mind here at the Adams homestead. First thereís the Sisyphian task of raking, which took years at a time until we purchased the Leaf Sucker. This revolutionary savior cuts the labor in half and saves mountains of time. We now worship it and make sacrifices to it every 48 hours.


Then we have to empty the bags of chipped leaves in the woods, stack the firewood to keep us warm during Maineís cold winter, and most of all, dodge hunters that hunt just about in our living room. Believe me, thereís plenty to do to keep us busy. We practically even do spring cleaning in the fall.


On top of that is helping other people get ready for winter and spring. I spend days raking for other people too, and every time is quite an adventure. Docks are also mucho problemo.


Besides pulling in our family dock, we slave away helping our friends pull in their docks, no matter what the physical penalty. I got in the frigid water that would have frozen a penguin last week, just to help people pull their waterlogged docks onto sharp rocks that were shaped like Scud missiles and had edges like Samurai swords.


A very logical suggestion that would cut out all raking labor, forever, was given to me by a parent.


If we changed the name "fall" to "rise," all the leaves would rise like helium-inflated balloons and go almost out of sight until they explode and the wind scatters the pieces into someone elseís yard. No more raking, no more nothing.


No one ever wins, though. When winter rolls around, a whole new barrage of things to do hits like an avalanche, and more preparations have to be made for spring. Walkways need to be shoveled, driveways plowed, and sidewalks salted. And then, during heavy rains, all that work is washed away right before your eyes, and these exercises have to be repeated again and again until spring rolls around.


But spring starts with mud season, and thatís when I find myself shoveling mud.


For me, the moral of this story hasnít changed a bit. Iím not going to throw away my rake because the way luck has been treating me with the work load, all the exploded leaf remnants will land on my yard.


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© By Paul Adams