Just Leaf it to us!

17 Nov

On Friday I stopped by my grandparents’ house and was greeted by this familiar sight…20131116-212605.jpg There was Papa, out there blowing leaves into huge piles that would need to be cleared away. And just like that, I was transported back 10 – 15 years to when I was little and my sisters, cousins and I would all “help” Papa clear the leaves. I’m pretty sure we destroyed more piles than we created, but somehow the leaves were always out of the yard by the time the first big snowstorm hit.

It’s no secret that I love fall! I adore wearing hoodies and sweaters (not the cold though), the food is delicious and the smell of pumpkin and cinnamon fill the air. But what I love most of all are the leaves, their changing colors and how they gracefully float down to the ground. It’s just a beautiful time of year and full of such fond memories. 20131117-132232.jpg So, Saturday morning I went to help Papa clear the leaves away. And if I’m being honest, part of me wanted to make sure he wasn’t out there alone and the other part really treasures the time I get to spend with him one-on-one, it’s special.

Let me set the scene for you. Here’s the pile of leaves…..20131116-213734.jpgAnd believe it or not, I couldn’t even get the whole pile, or I guess line, in one picture because it was so long. If I were to stand in the pile, it would have come up to my waist! My job was to take the leaves and pile them into the trailer while Papa cleared away the leaves from the side yard. Then he’d drive them back to the woods and dump them out. Easy enough. 20131116-215350.jpg Here I am rocking my headband and hoodie from my high school Alma mater, clutching two rakes that would soon be doubling as makeshift claw hands. And obviously raking could only be more enjoyable if you are dancing, singing and grooving along to your favorite tunes!

Papa told me to fill the trailer and then pack down the leaves and fill it again…. So that’s what I did. 20131116-220034.jpg Do not adjust the screen brightness, refresh the page or blink your eyes trying to decide if what you are seeing is correct. Yes, that is an old gutted pop-up camper dubbing as a makeshift leaf trailer. Genius isn’t it?! It was Papa’s idea, my uncle wanted to get rid of the camper and Papa needed something bigger than the little black mower trailer he had to haul the leaves away. And thus, this creation was made!! It took me about an hour to fill this bad boy – scooping leaves, dropping them in, spreading the pile, packing it down and repeat. This is what my pile of leaves looked like around 30 minutes… 20131116-220724.jpg 20131117-092530.jpg When Papa came back from dumping my first load of leaves he said he hadn’t realized how tightly I had packed them. Apparently I had about three loads worth in that one load. Whoopsie! One the bright side, three loads down in one huge load! We filled and emptied two more (single load worth, not triple) loads before stopping for lunch.

While I was filling my first load of leaves, my cousin Adam came to clear off the roof and to clean out the rain gutters. I will be completely honest, I was thankful he was up there and not Papa or I, as neither of us has the balance required for such a task. 20131117-130351.jpg We went down to the local community church where grandma was scrapbooking and had lunch with her and the other ladies there. My uncle even came down and joined us! After filling up on grandma’s homemade chicken noodle soup, veggie pizza and grape salad, it was time to return to the leaves with a strict order from grandma that I would make Papa stop at 4:30 PM.

By this point in the afternoon we were both a bit tired and feeling a little sore which meant we were both moving a little slower. While waiting for Papa to return from dumping a load I found the perfect resting spot against a tree. It felt nice to have something strong and sturdy supporting my back for a few moments. 20131116-221702.jpg 20131117-131301.jpg And that’s when my phone rang, it was Papa calling to say the tractor had run out of gas…Mariah to the rescue as I located the gas can in the shed and carried that heavy thing (okay, so it probably wasn’t that heavy, but my arms were sore!) back to the woods. At least I was able to catch a ride back! 20131117-131035.jpg20131117-131107.jpg We ended up clearing away 8 loads of leaves in six long hours – but if you think about it, my first load was really three, so our total should be more like 10 loads! Grandma had told us we needed to stop at 4:30 PM and I am happy to report we had finished a little after 3:00 PM. And that my friends was all of the leaves from the front yard! Looks a lot better now, don’t ya think?! 20131117-132007.jpg We decided to leave the ditch (which had just as many, if not more leaves in it as the front yard) for another day. Thank goodness!! 😉

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