The Lost Art of Raking

Gas powered leaf blowers are all the rage in my neighborhood. It’s easy to understand why people like them. Nobody thinks raking is fun, but there’s more to it than that; creating your own wind is almost godlike, even if it’s only a narrow gust that just hits your own lawn and driveway.

And what do you suppose the leaves make of these contraptions? I think they prefer being spirited away on the breeze instead of suffering a merciless manhandling at the end of a rake. That being the case, to the leaf blowing public I say exactly what a leaf might say: “Blow me.”

No, I’m not a big fan of the leaf blowers. One reason is that they are so godawful noisy. There is something about the high pitched whine of these things that’s really irksome, nothing like the low and throaty rumble of a lawnmower. And the lawn is cut just once a week; I have neighbors who get out the leaf blower every day — even twice a day, sometimes.

When did we become people who covet our lawns, treating them like an extension of the living room carpet. It’s October. A couple of leaves on your lawn is no big deal. Get over it.

Me? I have a date with my rake this weekend. It’s tedious, but there’s a simple pleasure in moving the leaves from one place to the other. It’s enjoyable, especially if you listen to a football game or music while working — and you can always turn up the volume in your headphones to drown out the leaf blowers.

8 responses to “The Lost Art of Raking

  1. A leaf carpeted lawn is a gateway to adventure. Such as providing raked “roadways” for kids to ride their bikes along, or the outline of a leaf house. And there’s nothing like making a huge pile to jump in.

  2. Chippies? Now that our pool is covered for the season, the little rascals are throwing a daily party in my back yard, nimbly scuttling across the pool cover along with their nutkin friends without a care in the world. My pool season count? Seven. Never squirrels though, only chippies (and moles).

    I agree about the rake if for no other reason than it’s some modest degree of exercise (depending on your yard size). However, I do covet those leaf-sucker/chopper vacuum doohickies which make the same irritating drone. Being able to consolidate all those leaves into one or two lawn and leaf bags would be better than having eight or ten out by the curb.

    • It’s complicated.

      The leaf blowers — and I didn’t get into this — are one of the big reasons that I want to move out of the suburbs. Generally speaking I want a little privacy, some peace and quiet, and some space surrounding my house. Ideally I’d be far enough from my neighbors that they wouldn’t be bothered by the noise I make, perhaps even noise from a leaf blower!

  3. With you 100% . . . leaf blowers are the most annoying, neighbor-unfriendly inventions since jet skis . . .

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