|Photo courtesy of Wiki Commons|
I raked the leaves in my yard today. It's funny, I didn't think I had a big yard until I decided to rake the whole thing—front and back—in one shot. (Confession: I only made it through 2/3 of the backyard before it got dark and I got tired.) This really should be used as a trick by savvy real estate agents. Wife: "Oh, honey, the house is lovely. But the yard's a little small, don't you think?" Husband: "Why, yes, dear. Not much land at all." "Um, sir," says the savvy real estate lady, holding out a rake. "Why don't you rake the leaves in that corner of the yard there." [elapsed time 10 minutes] "Doesn't seem so small now, does it, Mr. Jones?" And then she would make the sale and treat herself to a double-mocha latte or somesuch on her way home that night... Ok, back to my yard. Raking it really gave me a fresh appreciation for the size of our place. And it isn't really that big, but boy, when you're raking the leaves (or mowing the grass, or shoveling the snow), the yard sure seems to get a little bigger. And I'm grateful for that little eye opener.
I raked the leaves in my yard today. Alone. I did this chore alone because my darling husband was (and still is) asleep upstairs, having worked some 13 hours yesterday and 11 hours today, with nothing near 8 hours of sleep in between. When he sees tomorrow that I've raked the whole yard without him, he'll probably protest and say he feels bad and that he owes me one. Which is hilarious, given the number of sometimes vicious/sometimes pathetic meltdowns he deals with on a weekly basis from me, his loyal but emotionally unstable wife. Also, when I'm sitting downstairs with a kitten on half my lap and my computer on the other half, he'll be the first to answer my entreaty for a fresh diet Pepsi with a smile and a "yes, dear." In other words, he doesn't owe me anything. And really, I suppose I don't owe him either. Husbands and wives shouldn't keep score. Besides, we are both in debt only to Jesus, to whom we owe everything—including the joy of finding and marrying each other.
I raked the leaves in my yard today. My yard. This is now the second fall that we've lived in our house. *cue "Our House" by Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young* But just last week, while pulling in the driveway, I had another one of those wait-do-I-really-live-here? moments. The first six months we lived here, I felt like I was continually housesitting for somebody else. Now that it's been well over a year, I'm finally settling in more, gradually feeling comfortable, relaxed, content... at home. I've gained a possessiveness that is less selfish than it might sound. I'm taking ownership, and taking pride in maintaining what the good Lord has given me. My kitchen. My basement. My yard. And yes, my leaves to rake. The joys of home ownership, indeed. With two cats to boot (though, not "in the yard" as the song goes, since the great outdoors are verboten to my declawed felines).
I raked the leaves in my yard today. A simple job. A satisfying bit of exercise, out in the warm(ish) fall breeze. But the best part... the smell! Oh my word, if you haven't raked leaves in a while, if you've forgotten what this amazing and all too brief season before winter can do to your nostrils and your lungs, go grab a rake (yes, I mean you!) and forge a giant leaf pile. Then dive in, cover yourself up, and wallow in it, just so you can inhale and absorb the delicious aroma that emanates from those crunchy orange and yellow slices of autumn. Nothin' like it...