November 26, 2007 by Marj Hatzell
The day before Thanksgiving the whole town was awash with color. The brightest hues of rust, amber and burnt sienna (I know my crayon colors, thankyouverymuch) adorned every tree. There was barely a leaf on the ground and the temperatures hovered around the mid-sixties. It was beautiful! The kids played outside for hours on end. Thanksgiving Day was no exception! I was able to boot them out to play while I hurried about, straightening the house and making a delicious feast. By the time we sat down to dinner, the temps began to plummet and I noticed a wind kicking up, creating a rainfall of colorful leaves. Not one leaf was left on our trees the next morning.
Since just about everyone in the universe had off on Friday (sorry, retailers!), the entire town was out raking and blowing leaves into neat little piles by mid-morning. It was refreshing to hear the scrape, scrape, scrape of the rakes and children’s infectious laughter as they leapt into the piles, only to be chastised by their parents for scattering the leaves once more. By Sunday the last leaf in town was cleaned up. The trees now look mostly barren with a few stragglers left behind.
This morning as I walked Shad Roe the Wonder Dog, I felt relaxed and happy. The boys were just put on their respective buses, the air was crisp and cool and it felt good to FINALLY feel well enough(after ten days) to get some fresh air and exercise. Within the first block it dawned on me that today was a trash collection day. When you live in a town of six hundred people, Trash Collection is much-anticipated. We don’t get it twice a week like most municipalities. During the summer months they pick it up twice a week but once October comes around again we are back to one day.
Cans and bags lined every curb. This week there seems to be so much more. And then it hit me: People were bagging their leaves. In plastic bags. They are taking a NATURAL, BIODEGRADABLE RESOURCE and putting it in plastic bags that will never decay. Talk about STOOPID! I mean, if you HAVE to bag leaves, why not use paper lawn bags? I know we don’t have the luxury of leaf collection here due to the lack of money for such programs, but PLEASE! Plastic Bags? This is an old town, which translates to big, old trees which translates to eight-to-ten bags of leaves per household, at minimum. That translates to TOO DANG MANY plastic bags of leaves. Now, I often rake leaves over my flower beds to protect and insulate them for the winter. I turn the top layer every now and then over the winter but by spring I merely need to top with top soil and plant away. Heck, I know plenty of folks that compost their own leaves in a corner of the yard. It really is not that difficult to do. Anything but plastic bags! I know the paper ones are more expensive, but heck, do the world a favor and do ANYTHING but put them in plastic bags!
Ahem. Sorry. Rant over. Moving right along.
I’m done holiday shopping and only need to wrap and do cards. Do you hate me now? No? Good. I start as soon as school is in session and strive to be done for Thanksgiving every year. I cannot stand crazy people in crowds. But Darling made me go out yesterday anyway (even with two hours of sleep, thank you Bugaboo) to look at pots and pans and a DVD player. Those are our presents to each other, since we desperately need new pans and the DVD player broke long ago (thank you again, Bugaboo). I thought my kids were going to get run over, both in the parking lot and in the store. There is something about this time of year that brings out the absolute best and absolute worst in people! The whole santa thing makes me insane. I am glad we chose not to “do” santa with the boys. They run screaming when they see him anyways. Bugaboo shows absolutely no interest and Bug Boy knows that although a man named St. Nick lived a long time ago that the santas we see today are just people who like to make kids happy by dressing up as santa. He has also been instructed (and warned) that although WE know that there really is no santa that other people and children prefer to think Santa is real, and therefore he is NOT to discuss it with his classmates. We don’t need any drama, do we? Some people might think I am mean, but Bug Boy is so very concrete that the tooth fairy and easter bunny and santa are too easy for him to figure out. Therefore, no imaginary fairies and such come to our house. He almost seemed relieved when I explained it to him (even though we’ve never actually mentioned it) because he was extremely skeptical of the whole deal. Too smart, this boy. Besides, Santa is NOT the reason we celebrate, eh?
Time to get back on track. My fifteen minutes of rest are over. Enjoy this damp, crisp, fall day.