Today I went out to rake some leaves. The lawn actually has looked pretty good, because on some windy day, all the leaves came down but ended up blowing to the edges of the yard, so I didn't think this was going to take too long.
But then I started thinking about it. Apparently some place in the north of England got somewhere around 10 inches of snow this week, so if they're getting that much already, it's probably likely we'll have some by the time my parents get here just before Christmas. And if we do, then all the leaves nestling in snow-like drifts among the flowerbeds would just disappear. On the other hand, and in the meantime, I realised it would look a whole lot better if I raked the beds out, too.
The short version of the story (because I know you don't want to read about every pile of leaves I picked up by hand and chucked in the wheelbarrow and wheeled across the lawn to the driveway to dump into the woods on the other side) is that it took me two hours to rake a quarter of the lawn. And then, just as I was wrapping up that quarter of lawn and muttering under my breath about how that was all I was doing today and I needed some lunch!, the wind changed directions. This meant that the leaves in the adjacent quarter of lawn that I had not touched yet, began to blow into the quarter I had. I valiantly resisted to the urge to swear, and I still went inside and had lunch, but do I ever hate raking! Especially by myself.
After I went in, Smug-Neighbour came out with his leaf-blower and tidied up his already pretty immaculate lawn. Former-Roommate-Sarah and I used to note with some disgust how he always came out with his fancy lawn equipment whenever either of us was doing lawn-work over here. Today I was telling myself we must have made that up, but . . . I really don't think we did.