For some of you this blog post might be totally irrelevant because, let’s face it, “Doing leaves is not your thing!” For me it has been an ever increasing nightmare each October and November for the past 14 years.
The first year living in my home, I literally skipped outside, bags in hand and loved every bit of it. It was partly due to pride of ownership. Actually, the euphoria continued for at least 5 years. I loved the accomplishment of taking care of my yard and making sure it was always tip top.
But then came years 6-10, where the glow was gone. The task became a drudgery and I feared the first changing of the leaves because I knew what was to come. And by the way, I usually bag up to 55 leaf bags each year because I have two of the largest trees on my street. Ugh!!!! You don’t think of things like this when looking at homes. I contacted various yard service people who would come in and do the job and my estimates were anywhere from $300 to $350.
Those of you who know me, also know, why pay when you can do it yourself. LOL! And now being retired these past four, going on five years, I have learned to just pace myself. Raking leaves is my workout. It gets me up and moving.
Now I realize that some people choose to wait until all leaves are down. I choose to do a bit at a time. This process goes on for weeks, actually. I ride my riding mower once or twice a week and mulch my yard, thus cutting down on a lot of raking. But when I do get to the raking, it is quite an undertaking.
- My best purchase has been my rake hands/extenders. You can scoop up a lot of leaves with minimum effort and just toss them in the bag. Love these! But before any type of strenuous work, in gathering leaves, make sure
you stretch and keep your body limber.
- I have my trusted blower and vac that I also use on my driveway to gather my leaves. For many years, these have been my favorite tools. I love blowing my leaves in piles and then just vacuuming them up, to put in bags. But since I have discovered the extenders, I do not use the vacuum as often, thus cutting down on the back strain I sometimes feel, because the bag itself can become quite heavy.
- My rule of thumb is to work 45 minutes and sit for 15 minutes. This gives me a water break and time to catch my breath. I usually do this in 2-3 cycles. Seldom do I now work longer than 3 hours. Because as you know, in retirement, there is always tomorrow. Those leaves will only blow down the street. LOL!
- Gathering leaves is a workout in and of itself. Stay limber, when you feel pain and discomfort, listen to your body. Take it easy.
- If you can enlist a buddy, you have twice the manpower and can do the job in half the time. But friends seem to disappear at the oddest times, don’t you think?
- At the end of the day, take a hot bath, light the candles and let the suds (along with epsom salt) soothe your aches and renew you.
- And, or, if you are really feeling it, light a fire in the fire pit and have a glass of wine to top off a good day of working out.
- Finally shoot for that full 8 hours of sleep, because tomorrow will bring another round of leaves and another day of working out.
This has been my cycle. And it has worked for me. Find yours! If raking leaves is not your thing, or if you don’t have to deal with it, find a friend and help them! You will both benefit. I guarantee you will!