Leaves and the Old Way 2006 003


leaves and xmas 2006 003

Originally uploaded by sogsr.

We spent Saturday morning trucking these bags up to the Boro Hall for dumping(we recycle the bags). Overall 80 bags over the last few weeks.
The trips gave me time to reflect on how things change. The previous Saturday a truck of recent immigrants pulled up in front of our house. Six men exited, strapped on blowers and started on my neighbors lawn. Forty minutes later the lawn was cleared of leaves. As I have every year, I resolved to rake and bag my own leaves. Some savings financially, many hours spent but mainly I because it has become a tradition like my resolve to swim in the ocean in New England every Memorial Day weekend.
The bagging has been required for the past 5 years. Before that I either put them on a compost heat(which became too big) or dragged them across the street and dumped them on Boro owned land . That practice was banned and fines were threatened.
I got to thinking back to when I was a kid in first Hartford, Ct. and after that in Geneva Switzerland. This was before the time of political correctness and worry about the state of the environment.
I remember fall afternoons when my brother and I would help my dad rake leaves into piles. We would light a corner of the pile and slowly feed the pile into the flame. We would often feed too many leaves into the flame causing a large flare up. The leaf burning was always kept at some distance from the house. Part of the experience was diving into the piles of leaves as my father picked up the slack left by my brother and I. Mostly I remember the smell of the burning leaves. There were usually several neighbors burning leaves at the same time and the entire neighborhood was filled with the sweet and earthy smell. Nothing was rushed , always leisurely, a time for bonding. My Dad is gone, we are always rushed, we can’t burn but must bag and carry ,or hire illegals to do our work for us. I wish I could experience the old way again.

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1 Response to “Leaves and the Old Way 2006 003”


  1. 1 stephen o'grady December 17, 2006 at 7:57 pm

    There’s a lot to be said for working with your hands, not to mention preserving the old ways.

    On the other hand, Memorial Day swims gave me pneumonia and the leaves take forever to pick up.

    At least they’re not as bad as the damn hill.


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