Yesterday was just one of those glorious fall days where the sun shone brightly all day but you never got hot. If I could bottle a day, I would have bottled yesterday so I could open it up on a sweltering hot Summer day or a depressingly gray Winter one. It was just that perfect. So we used it to get some much needed yard maintenance done.
I guess you know you are getting old when you look outside and think, "Hmmm. I really need to cut that lantana back before it all dies off. And the shrubs need a good trimming, too." And then you actually do it. I can remember when I was a teenager and we lived in a neighborhood called Forest Hills (yes - there were hills and trees - hence the name) and my mom would summon me to help in the front yard where there were endless resources of leaves. Piles and piles and bags and bags of leaves. And I remember thinking how crazy it seemed to actually care about them. I mean, they were dead, and the grass would soon be dead underneath them as well. So why bother with them? And I really didn't like to get dirty or sweat. And I remember watching my mom plant things in the flower bet or whatnot and she would have soil underneath her fingernails and all over her hands, and I just thought that was so disgusting. I never dreamed there would come a day where I would plant something without it being someone else's idea, much less get a rake out on my own accord and go to work with it. But as the years have passed and I have a home of my own, I find myself interested in things I never dreamed possible. And I have even learned to use a lawn mower and a blower.
So yesterday, I went to work in the front yard. I started in the drive way where we literally had a drift of leaves (definitely not a snow drift). They had all blown up to the back of the driveway and piled themselves up for me, so I bagged those first. And then I trimmed back all that had already been bitten by that first frost a couple of weeks ago. And while I was at it, the shrubs needed trimming a bit. And the beds needed to be cleaned out a little as they had piles of leaves at the base of every plant. I enjoyed myself. At one point, I stopped and thought, "What has become of me?" because I was really enjoying the rake and the leaves all too much. But I actually felt like I was doing something. Like I was working. And the day was just too pretty to be inside.
I love the fall. It is my favorite of all the seasons. All the colors of the trees. It still amazes me how each type of tree has its own color. It's as if God has told each leave what magnificent color it gets to be before it dies. The drive north up I-65 to Cullman for the tournament on Saturday was just breathtaking. All the leaves are at their peak right now, and then within a matter of weeks the trees will look bare and bleak. If only the trees could somehow just maintain their leaves all year. Like they could just change colors and then turn back to green in the spring. That would be awesome for multiple reasons. Then you would never look outside and just see that horrible gray everywhere, and then I wouldn't have a pool full of leaves for a month. Wouldn't that be nice?