Monday, October 14, 2013

Rest from our labors ...


Marlene Terry
Uh, oh. There they are. Can you see them? Those red leaves in my maple tree. Those that I see every day through the window of my writing room.
In a few days there will be many more, and after that?

Well most of us are acquainted with what that means. It's a lot like spring except different.
In April we emerge from our homes to prepare our grounds for the summer ahead and for growing things.
Fall eventually sees us outside too, and in about the same weather conditions. Except then, we're CLEANING UP the remnants of what we grew and are preparing the grounds for the winter ahead as well as my favorite perk ... "resting from our labors."

I'm sure you know by now that I truly love the colors of fall and all the fun that the changing seasons bring. ... I just wish that raking up all those leaves wasn't so time consuming, messy, and labor intensive.


I mean, why can't those leaves fall just one giant bag at a time? 
I'm pretty sure I could handle that. 
But at my house at least, the moment I have the yard cleaned up and looking good, a night wind arrives and secretly deposits, amid branches and garbage, about a million leaves. 
... And they're everywhere ... at the edges and corners of the lawn and packed tight under the fence making it impossible to reach them with a rake. The rain gutters will also be filled to the brim. .. And how in the world do you remove leaves STUCK under the shingles on the roof of all places?

Despite my worries and complaints, I'm pretty certain we'll make it through again this year. But I DO wish I could think of an easier way to do things. That is in addition to leaf blowers, adjusting the lawn mower really high in order to suck the leaves up, and RAKING, RAKING ... and RAKING!

In the past I've had my moments, figuring out solutions to most challenges ... especially when the effort helped to alleviate some of the time spent on a task.
... Like years ago when we had a big garden and an even bigger orchard. 
It was a fun experience at first. You know ... when all those fruit trees were small and growing.
Later, when they all began to produce fruit, it became a full-time job for the whole family to keep the orchard weed-free, sprayed, and most of all, PICKED.

That's when I came up with a unique way to harvest the pie cherries. 
I would pay a penny to each of our kids and their friends ... if they could talk them into it, for every cherry they picked off the trees while still leaving the pit hanging there on the stem!

... Don't laugh. It worked great. ... And except for the sticky arms that happened from the juice migrating from fingers to hands, to arms and beyond, it also saved a ton of time. 

... Absolutely no pitting necessary for the canning process!
♦ Hope you'll let me share YOUR stories and photos here at my residence "In a Nutshell." Email me at nutshellstories@gmail.com.