Monday, December 3, 2007

I wish I had a million dollars. Hot dog!

(This line was actually said twice in It's a Wonderful Life. George Bailey says it as a kid, then as an adult, while playing with a lighter at Mr. Gower's store.) (Should Mr. Gower have curtailed a child playing with a lighter? Of course, he was so busy drinking and filling prescriptions at the same time.)

Yesterday I spent 96 hours raking the yard. We have at least nine oak trees in the front yard alone. I say "at least" because there is this whole Woodsy Owl part behind us, where we have seen actual deer that were alive and not someone's lawn ornament, and it is hard to count those trees over there.

So, it's safe to say we have nine in the front and seven million in the back. It is the mullet of trees: Business in the front, party in the back. I do not know why that phrase cracks me up so much, but it always does.

What I am trying to say is it's tree-y at our house. And we are responsible for yard maintenance. This is the first time in my life I have had to care for a lawn. In LA, lawn care was always part of the rent. Before that, I lived in apartments with no lawns. I did live with two women who owned their home in Seattle. What did we do? Did I just not help with the yard? That sounds like something I would have done in the '90s, yes.

So yesterday I slapped on my iPod and got to raking. And can I ask you, what in the name of God did we do before iPods? How did we go on the treadmill or fly or do unpleasant things like rake? Did we just have to face LIFE and have no SOUNDS as we did these tasks? How awful. Imagine how Ma Ingalls would have loved her an iPod during butter churning or sugaring off or hog butchering or whatever. Of course, she would have had to listen to Camptown Races or something, but still. Do-dah.

Turns out, the raking? Kind of an arduous task. The rector I work for told me I could come to his house and borrow his leaf blower instead, but I am morally opposed to them. At least I was until I raked for a solid hour and still had 98 pounds of leaves to go. At one point, this young kid walked by, and it was all I could do to stop myself from saying, "I'll give you 20 bucks to rake the rest of this dingity-dangity yard!"

But I did not. I persevered. And when I got up, sore and stiff today? The wind was blowing really hard, and our yard is completely covered in new leaves.

Oh, the do-dah day.


Auntie M said...

I do not own an IPOD.
Now there is a Birthday gift idea for ya but not sure I'd use it..

Stie: My Favorite Things said...

I should have thought of the I-pod while raking my own eleventy billion leaves. Stupid trees.

And yes, the "business in the front, party in the back" line CRACKS. ME. UP. like there's no tomorrow. Seriously roar every time I hear it. Or read it now, thanks to you.

SustainableStyle said...

Whenever I get some cool new piece of technology I always imagine taking it back to the Ingalls. This provided me HOURS of entertainment as a kid. I would wonder, if I could take just ONE thing back in time with me, to show Laura and her fam, what would it be? I'm STOKED that I'm not the only adult who still thinks about these things.

I am having the MOST FUN reading your blog by the way!

June Cutoff Cash said...

Thank you, Sustainable! I like yours, too. Is that your foot in your picture? Because if so, I have ankle envy.

Laura would have loved blogs, I think.

Bronwyn said...

Horrible. I love iPods. But like you, am opposed to leaf blowers. Somehow, in WI, although we had trees, the leaves always just blew away. I'm not sure how this happened. Maybe the neighbors got so annoyed they raked them up while I was at work/school? I dunno. But I raked many a yard in my youth, and did it for money too. And hated every minute of it.

Have you seen the mullet website? Brings tears to my eyes. Hilarious.

Anonymous said...

George is not playing with a lighter. It is a toy or game that used to be common in the old days, kind of like hitting the thing with a mallet at the fair in old movies to see how strong you were. You are too young to have been exposed to these things, but it wasn't a lighter.

RipeMango said...

For the first time ever I'm living in a house with a real life (in CA no less!). While house-hunting a couple of years ago, the husband insisted on a real yard.

He can't force me to do any yardwork, I'm simply too lazy. I wonder if he ever regrets his insistence for a "real yard"...

If he kicks the bucket ever, I'm moving to a condo!

Charlie said...

Party in the back... oh the do-dah day... you are such a crack up. Thanks for the laugh

The Hotfessional said...

We have 1.5 trees in the front (the .5 has, oh, about 27 leaves on it). And 4 trees in the back. Our problem? Neighbors with many more trees. And no fences.

Mr. Hot raked up 48 leaf bags full - and that doesn't count what he put in the neighbor's garden for compost - about another 20 bags.

I hears ya babe. Luckily, he's got strong arms. Me? I'm a really good bag-holder. ;-)

Becky said...

Attention all you people complaining about your trees: trees are great.

I wish we had some.

P.S. Ditto what Charlie said. :)

Tee said...

Darlin, raking leaves is a way of life in the south. :-) We always wait until all the leaves have fallen off the trees, then get out the leaf blower. It's faster and less painful on your body. Well, we do keep the leaves and acorns blown off the parking area, because I can't stand those smushed acorns all over the place and then you track them in the house.

Kellie said...

Never underestimate the power of a leaf blower, young North Carolinian.

I too only believed in The Rake. But after a long day in the yard, while neighbors laughed at the city girl using a substandard tool amongst all the oaks, I turned to the Dark Side: A Black and Decker Gas Powered Leaf blower.

I know you can't spend money now. But next year it will be money well spent!

Clara said...


I have seen that movie like 50 billion million bajillion times, and every time I see it, I think, "what the heck is that thing??" Now I know -- thanks!

sabrina duncan said...

I know I'm late to the party in the back, but MI Susan Harris did all of the yard work in said house. Now, in turn of events one might call karma, I have to do it all since Bosley does not typically do the work of the yard.