A View From Our Side: Memories From When I Was A Kid

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Staring out the window at my front yard, I see the ground covered with leaves from the once small ash tree that during the summer provides a great amount of shade for our home. I love the colors of fall, until they are all over my lawn. I take a deep breath and convince myself to put on my big-boy-pants and take on the job at hand.


And then with disappointment I realize that yes, the leaves have fallen, but looking at the tree, it’s only the beginning. I stand there in a Charlie Brown trance looking up and knowing that once I rake the lawn, the job is not over. There will be more leaves, not only from my trees, but the trees next door. They will certainly blow over my fence once we get one of those 60 mph winds, and then they become my problem.


Fast forward just 24 hours. It was below 30 degrees last night. I watch as a snowstorm of leaves tumble off the ash tree. Why didn’t you wait until all the leaves fell, you ask? It’s kind of like asking why you don’t wait until all the snow has fallen before you shovel. A yard with leaves is like a sidewalk with snow…it just ain’t right.

I Think My Parents Had It Right
In the small town where I grew up there were many, many large trees. I can remember that one of the encouragements for us “kids” to rake leaves was to make a large pile, and then jump into the pile. There was an unmatched aroma that came from those leaves when you were rolling in them, matched by the sound of leaves crunching under the weight of several kids. We would go from tree to tree raking the leaves into large piles. Combining the piles made for more fun. At the end of raking and rolling (hope you get the pun) we would stuff the leaves into large garbage bags and eventually they would be hauled to the city compost site.

Why Not?
So why not do the same today? Well, it is quite simple. Once I hit the ground, how do I get up? OK, giving myself a bit of credit. I could get up, but I would be hesitant to pile dive several times, knowing what I would feel like the next day. The neighbors next door are originally from Texas. They are both military, and when I explained that their even larger tree was eventually going to shed its’ leaves and they could make large piles, they took pile diving to a new level. They have a trampoline, and they can hardly wait to jump from their trampoline to the piles of leaves. I’ll let you know the outcome.

This Week’s Best Kept Secret
Speaking of jumping….now that the weather is getting a bit chilly, maybe it’s time for some indoor jumping fun. High Air Ground in the Oak Park Shopping Center is a ton of fun for adults and kids. There are rumors of upcoming dodge ball tournaments!

This Week’s Chuckle
You many not necessarily have a sense of humor if you laugh at the boss’ jokes. You do, however, have a sense of direction.

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