This weekend, I raked leaves, probably one of the first times since I was a small child, when my raking was minimally useful. I raked a gigantic pile of them at my house in Michigan. We have a fairly good-sized yard, and it took me over three hours, with maybe two ten minute breaks — one to chat with the neighbors and the other to take Gorilla Girl into the house for a break. About half way through the raking, my shoulder was aching and I was developing blisters on my hands. I downed a few ibuprofen when I finally finished. At least I did not have to bag the leaves; instead, I just dragged them into the street along our house. The helpful neighbors told me the village has a leaf sucker (called snuffleupagus by the local kids) that comes along on Mondays to consume the leaves.
My yard now looks fantastic.
Despite the blisters and aching shoulder, I am happy and proud of my work. It was a beautiful crisp day. Gorilla Girl and Monkey Man “helped” me, and played around in the yard. It is satisfying to have done some real physical work on our house. City living affords little in the way of getting one’s hands dirty caring for the outdoors, so this was a welcome shift.