(Warning: I can tell I'm going to be too lazy to proofread and correct my tenses, so proceed at your own risk.)
Our trees are officially leafless. Our leaves, as planned, all migrated to one corner of our yard but then obstinantly resisted our positive visualization that they would fly into our trashcan or translocate into our least favorite neighbor's yard. Being forced to see them every time I stand at my kitchen sink finally got old.
I woke up earlier this morning than I'd like, so I mulled over the day's possibilities once I decided it was useless to try to go back to sleep. Knowing it's trash day, I decided to press my luck and see what would happen to my hands and wrists if I raked them up. I got up early, pulled on a turtleneck and a jacket, wrapped a muffler around my neck and grabbed one of the boy's old snow hats and headed outside where it turned out to be surprisingly warm. After several icy nights in the 'teens and a night of howling winds, I had expected something chillier when I stepped out the door. The leaves were waiting in their corner.
It didn't take long to fill the small trashcan. It was no fun pulling the large can with the balky wheel--courtesy of the hit-and-run joyriders--into the backyard. What was I thinking when I didn't pursue the little wretches and get a nice new working can? The second can filled too quickly and I began missing my kids. Kids are a lot of trouble for fifty-one weeks for the year, but they come in very handy when you need someone to climb into the garbage can and stomp the leaves. I calculated the likelihood of my neighbor appreciating my ringing her doorbell and borrowing her girls for compactor duty, but decided retaining her friendship was more important. I climbed in the can myself and did a pretty good imitation of a trash compactor. Fill and stomp. Fill and stomp. It's pretty amazing how many leaves you can stuff in a finite space. It's also amazing how leaves will stick to anything you wear. The lawn looked good everywhere except where the deepest leaves kept sunlight from penetrating to the blades of grass. That's okay, I figure the yellow will eventually either green up or be covered by snow.
Raking unearthed more than leaves. I found a couple of tennis balls that Kharma enthusiastically fetched. I found a very old dog toy. I found a scrub jay head. Yeah, just the head. Kharma, a bird fanatic, was more enthusiatic about it than I was. It seemed way too Don Corleone at first, then I realized probably it was a remnant from either the pair of redtails that live in the pasture or the kestrel that trolls for voles and field mice.
Every now and then, I'd step on something hard, but not hard enough. Alas, I had counted on a cold night to freeze the little doggy treats that are an inevitable part of dog ownership so I wouldn't have to feel guilty when I just tossed the frozen, hopefully scentless scat into the leaves. I stepped inside to grab a plastic grocery bag to protect our waste management engineers' delicate nasal passages and immediately wished I hadn't as my first step deposited a smooshy brown mass on the oak floorboards. On the oak floorboard and into the crack between them. Lovely.
Am I bad because I went back outside and did my pooper-scooper routine and dragged the cans out to the curb first? Breed'em and Weep fans know that poo happens, usually when it is least convenient and least wanted and involves animals. Add to that, poo apparently happens when it is hardest to clean up.
Next time the garbage men can fend for their own noses.