2021 Leaf Campaign Kickoff? – Week #1

We have many oak trees in our backyard, not to mention the neighbors’ oaks that lean over our property. That makes for a lot of great shade in the summertime and a lot of falling leaves in autumn. I mean A LOT of leaves. Every year at this time, I gird my loins and start collecting and dragging the leaves from the backyard to the curb, where our town’s highway department picks them up. A typical leaf campaign starts the last week of October and ends the first week of December and involves around 60 tarpfulls of leaves. You read that right, 60 tarpfulls.

We moved into this house in 2004 and for 12 years I took foolish pride in corralling all of those leaves with just a rake, a tarp, and lots of elbow grease. But in 2016, I finally “tapped out” and bought a powerful Husqvarna 350BT backpack leafblower. Man, I should have bought me a Husqvarna way back when we first moved in!

Today’s November 7th and by this time I’ve usually dragged around 25 tarpfulls to the curb. But climate change is kicking in and the oak trees are hanging onto their leaves even longer (see photo above). To date, I’ve collected only 2 tarpfulls. Let’s do the math. There’s 4 weeks left in the campaign and 58 tarpfulls still on the trees, which works out to about 15 tarpfulls per week. I work Friday thru Sunday, so on my 4 days off I will need to collect and haul 4 tarpfulls per day. But it will inevitably be raining on some days, so I’ll need to move even more leaves per day on the good days. That’s a part-time job in addition to my regular full-time job.

I’m not getting any younger and following some recent leaf campaigns I’ve blustered/whined about selling this house and moving into a work-free condo. But the current plan is to stay in the house for as long as possible. I’ll be retiring at the end of November 2022 and the outside housework and yardwork will be a much welcomed diversion. A small riding lawnmower would be a huge help in cutting the grass and hauling the leaves, so I anticipate I’ll be purchasing one of those in the next year or two.

How are you doing with your own leaf campaign?

Throwback Thursday: Spiritual lessons from raking leaves

33 thoughts on “2021 Leaf Campaign Kickoff? – Week #1

  1. Hi Tom, we sold our last home about 10 years ago and now live in one of the new high rise apartments. When we first moved into the high rise I had a concrete bowl that I filled with soil and seeded with grass and put it out on the patio. A couple of times a week in the summer I would take a pair of scissors and tell me wife that I was going out to cut the grass. We have lots of trees around us but we live on the eighth floor so not too many leaves make it up here. If you really focus you can see me smiling! Our last home had a huge front and back yard and LOTS of trees. No big deal but I DON’T miss it, nor do I miss MOVING the various bushes and plants that my wife had a habit of wanting me to do. We have outside planters for flowers and some vegetables for the patio in the summer. There’s no digging when I MOVE those puppies now! Yes, I am still smiling! Same with shovelling the large drive way. For some reason the snow never falls on the heated UNDERGROUND parking. Yep, still smiling! Not to mention that if I had to collect, bag and haul all those leaves now, I would be in traction in the hospital for a couple of weeks. The only problem I run into now is that my cheeks sometimes get sore, from SMILING! Blessings brother!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks for the humor, Bruce. The irony is that after owning a house with all the upkeep for 22 years, we (or at least me) were seriously considering a condo in 2004. But my wife went house shopping with her realtor sister and “fell in love” with this place. Another irony stemming from that is that my wife regularly wants to know why I spend so much time on the yard and yearly house painting when I “should be” focusing on her to-do list.

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      1. Glad you “get it,” Marla. Push, push, push for a house that requires lots of outside work then criticize the hubby for spending too much time on outdoor chores. Sheesh!

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  2. Wow we’ve noticed the big foliage change this year during our many drives to MA. I think the leaves are changing from green to dead, foregoing the color process!
    Maybe in these last days, as man grows darker, all creation will mourn and lose its luster, waiting for the King who “reconciles to Himself all things…”
    Until then, let’s press on brother! 🍁🍂🍁🍃

    Liked by 1 person

  3. We don’t have a leaf campaign, but praying for y’all! In our area 50% have turned color or are still green and the other 50% have blown off the trees. Climate change is a real thing. Nature testifies to it regardless of one’s political background!!! Love, hugs and blessings!!! Also, how’s Sue making out, she’s been on my heart and mind lately.

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    1. Thanks, Mandy! Sue is doing “okay.” She’s still in her “independent living” apartment but it’s only a matter of time before she is moved to apartments for Alzheimer’s/dementia patients. She complained to management about water leaking down through the ceiling from the apartment above when it was her two cats urinating on the floor. She can’t/won’t maintain the litter box.

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  4. Will read this super late today since we have lots of meetings! ANswering your question about Saturday: It was busy with youth in the morning and Systematic Theology and I was spent and didn’t get to have energy to study as well last night (had to answer a lot of people this weekend too)

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  5. Wow, I guess you don’t need to work out at a gym! Haha

    No cactus leaves to rake. We just came back from Pittsburgh to admire the leaves. That’s easier than raking. Haha l admire that you still had time to blog.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, the leaves will be coming down later and en masse. Not much on the ground this morning. I’ll leafblow the entire backyard later and only get one, maybe two tarpfulls. Seems like waste but it’s two tarpulls I won’t have to deal with later.

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