We are halfway done with our annual leaf-raking saga. Can I just say here, once and for all, that I really hate this part of living in Maine. Don't get me wrong, I love trees. I just don't want any in my yard. Or you know, maybe one small one. An evergreen one.
We have a few maple trees, which are nice, but mostly we have oak trees, which are just awful. They shade the flowers, not the house. Their leaves don't turn a pretty vibrant color in the fall; rather, they turn an ugly brown. Also, their leaves are the last to fall, which means we have to WAIT to rake them all up. Sometimes the snow falls before the oak leaves fall. Oh, and did I mention the acorns? Ever tried to rake piles and piles of acorns? No? You haven't lived until you've raked and bagged ACORNS.
I've told my husband I want to clear out a huge majority of our trees. And for you bleeding heart tree lovers out there, get over it - Maine is chock full of trees. The woods around our house are chock full of trees, so even if we cleared our yard, we'd STILL have leaves. But maybe it would be a do-able job. You know, maybe just a one or two day job. Not every weekend from Halloween through Thanksgiving.
I raked for a good part of the day yesterday, and the wind tried to thwart my efforts. This, after we worked out there all day last weekend. Yesterday afternoon just before it got dark (you know, at like 3:00 p.m.) we started loading leaves into the back of our pick-up truck. On top of those, we put the bags of leaves we'd filled last weekend. This morning, we took it all to our local dump, and then came back and got the rest. So yay, the front yard is nearly done. But the back yard... I want to cry when I realize we STILL have leaves to rake. They never end.
So, let it be known, if I ever have some extra money lying around, I'm going to have those oak trees cut down. Oh yes, I will. And just think of all the firewood we'll have?
And speaking of firewood, last night we were sitting in our living room watching an NCIS re-run, and I realized that I felt really, really relaxed for the first time in weeks. I couldn't really say why - my comfy flannel pants and sweatshirt? A clean house? Dinner over, dishes done, glass of wine in hand? Maybe - but here's what I think it really was... the house was WARM. Yesterday was the first day we lit a fire in our woodstove.
Each year as the weather gets cooler, we begin using our kerosene monitor heater in the basement, but as temperatures dip below freezing, the monitor just doesn't cut it. The woodstove is the only thing that will really take off the chill. It was nice to finally get into bed and not shiver violently, waiting for the down comforter to start doing its thing.
Of course, when January arrives, with its sub-zero temps, we'll be cranking the electric space heaters and choosing warmth over food.
Ok, not really, but that's me, always looking on the bright side.
Copyright © 2010 - Paulla Estes