He Was a Yard Raking Man

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

Time to rake!

You probably think I’m kidding, right? Christmas and all. But no, Christmas, if I understand the avalanche of advertising zipping my way these last months, has already started. I mean it’s December, all the leaves are brown (and down) and the sky is gray. But not in Mesa where I feel most at home this time of year.

Alas, I still have the house in Kenmore, outside Seattle, that’s in need of its late Fall cleanup.

So, with a heavy draft of fortitude, and a complete lack of interest (unfortunately, I find myself back before I was mentally prepared), I slunked forward. For there is no valor in late fall yardcare (if that’s a word, and if it’s not, it should be with me given all the credit). It is, certainly up here in the PNW, a miserable slog: wet, cold, sloppy, and thankless. There are no “Wow, nice yard!” comments as there are in Spring. Instead are averted eyes or shrugs from those who have endured their own yard hell, or are thankful that saps like me have all the big trees and all the headaches that go along with them.

(I have a whole whine about those who love trees and are aghast at their removal, but less forthcoming as to whether they have any, or are willing to help those of us maintaining the urban forest for them, but that’s for another time.)

Be that as it may, once fortified, and I do not recommend alcohol or gummies to fortify as power tools are often required, I gathered my implements of doom and marched forthwith. I even conned my wife into helping.

Together, over the course of four days, we cleared the yard, raking and making piles and raking and making piles and…well, you get the point, readying it for another year of the same-ol-thing: spring flowers, grass mowing, weeding, cleaning…

Why am I doing this again?

Beyond my own self-flagellation, I can say that now that the yard is less crummy looking, though probably not for as long as I’d like, I’ll leave you with a statistic: 980 pounds taken to the transfer station, where it is then taken to be turned into mulch for those not blessed with as much source material as my dear trees give me each year.

©2021 David William Pearce

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