Thursday, October 27, 2011

what is that i hear?

Tis the season. As soon as dawn breaks, the neighborhood resounds with leaf blowers. We got your electric ones, your hand held gas ones and your back pack professional models. Every once in a while, you see someone raking leaves. Now, Pat and I don’t live in a development with acreage, even though, some guys have riding lawn mowers. I can mow my front yard in 20 minutes. But, I digress. The Plain Dealer had its annual article discussing the world of leaf blowing. Do you blow the leaves or do you use a rake, the Plain Dealer asks. Our city picks up leaves twice in the fall. It’s funny that the trees don’t normally cooperate by dropping their leaves to coincide with the pickup days. Whole families bond by collecting leaves on the weekends. How sweet is that? It doesn’t seem to matter that the wind blows the leaves back into the yards, not necessarily the yards where they came from, but yards never the less. I guess it’s just more bonding time for the next week end.
What I don’t get is why I seem to be the only one who mows the leaves. I enjoy family bonding opportunities as much as anyone. If our kids lived with us, I’d get them to participate in some labor intensive project. It just wouldn’t be collecting leaves. I would save opportunities like this for number 57 river rock or sweet peet. Mowing leaves is so much easier than collecting them. It’s better for the yard, better for the environment and better for keeping peace in the family. None of the kids we see collecting leaves look all that happy.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

back to the garden

Thank you for all the very kind sentiments. I know now what a virtual hug is.

A summer of wordless Wednesdays has gone by. I was in a writing funk. Every time I sat down to write, my mind felt like a black hole, stuff went in, but I couldn’t get anything out. On my trips back and forth from Chicago, I had all kinds of ideas, but they all went flat once I got home.
It seems like only a little while ago that Pat and I were shoveling 10 yards of sweet peet and 5 yards of gravel. Now we are trying to guess when the last weekend before the first killing frost will be. We want to put in a couple more flower beds in the front yard (my battle against turf grass will never cease) and we need a place to winter all the perennials we have in pots. Dumping five yards of sweet peet in the fall gives our garden a real boost in the spring (only 5 months or so away). I know we weren’t going to get any more containers this year, but maybe we can try that again next spring. That will give me time to get a couple more for the new beds.
We broke our precipitation record last week, and we’ve still got two months of snow-induced traffic jams to look toward. I thought I was imaging it but it really rained every other day, or was it every weekend. I know, I know. All the rain could be snow. The back yard is as wet today as it was in March. It’s great for the new perennials we acquired, easy for weed pulling, but lousy for walking off the paths. Everything in the garden grew like crazy because of the rain. I mean everything. I was weeding after a week away and came across an 8 foot weed. For crying out loud, weeds bigger than me. We had bird seed growing everywhere. We had our own amber waves of grain growing in the back yard. I told Pat that we could grow our own bird feed. That, or maybe hook some kind of farm implement to the back of the Aztec and harvest the stuff.
There are still flowers that think it’s summer. A daisy bloomed yesterday and we have anemone and hibiscus blooming. We planted a boatload of mums in late August, so they will probably winter over. I thought we got white and yellow mums, but they seem to have a way of morphing into different colors. Just as long as they winter over, I don’t care what colors they are. The impatiens are in their early fall burst. We discovered that deer don’t like begonias. They thrived in our deer infested back yard.
Hey, maybe I’m out of my funk.

Friday, October 7, 2011

funerals stink

I got the phone call that I’ve expecting for the last year and a half. “Hurry.” “I’m on my way.” I drove thru a dark and rainy tunnel. A couple of days ago everything seemed fine, or as fine as fine gets considering the circumstances. I was comfortable living in the denial that it would be later rather than sooner. I got to Chicago in time to say goodbye. The Aunts and Uncles from Minnesota got there right when we were making those middle of the night phone calls. Man, did I hate to make those phone calls. By the time we had time to sleep it was around 4 in the morning. It was kind of funny that a sister, a niece and I all slept on couches in the family room. The idea of sleeping in Mom’s old room was just a little too creepy. We divvied up jobs the next morning. Off we went to make all the arrangements that you have to make. I got to see our youngest daughter, Sarah, for an hour. It was time to go back to Cleveland, board the boys, find a shirt that fits and oh, yeah, grab Pat. Back we went.

Boy, what a turnout. People from the old neighborhood, church, nieces and nephews, all turned out to see Mom off. It was a nice send off. All the people to see and things to do helped distract me from the reason we were all gathered.

The trip back to Cleveland was sunny and full of Fall color. It helped take the hurt out.

I love you Mom, always have, and always will. Give Dad a hug. He’s been waiting.
My Mom, Mary Ann Groble