(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.