Cool weather reminds me…

Hello, hello!

So lately, and quite uncharacteristically, the weather here in good ole’ Kansas has been cool and pleasant.  I think we can all collectively share in my saying the words Kansas and pleasant in the same sentence!  That being said, I thought it would be fun to write about some of the things cool weather reminds me of.

Mostly, I get reminded of all the time I used to spend with my grandpa and my dad, raking leaves, bagging them, cleaning out flower beds, and the like.  My dad started a lawn mowing business back in the day, and after a while he enlisted my grandpa, who was retired and getting bored, to help him.  Not long after this, my dad decided he needed to give up the lawn mowing business and the inconsistent income to find a steadier paying job (he had three kids by this point, so who can blame him!), so my grandpa took over the business.

Then, the summer before I went into sixth grade, grandpa stopped by our house one July afternoon and asked me if I could help him.  It was a partnership that lasted until the summer before I entered my Junior year of highschool, when I took over the business from him, which was much smaller at this point.

During those years that Grandpa and I worked together, he would insist that I stop helping him when school started so that I could concentrate fully on school and not worry about trying to squeeze in all the lawns he had between when school got out and the sun went down.  The only exceptions he used to make were for a few lawns that were near my house.  One of them in particular had numerous sycamore trees in the yard.  Now, I have to say, sycamore trees are perhaps one of the nastiest to clean up after.  Bark and dusty leaves everywhere.  This was compounded by the delightful presence of several oak trees, which are the king of trees in terms of sheer number of the leaves they drop.

So come October, this lawn would literally be covered with leaves that came up over my ankles every week.  The lawn had a sidewalk that ran from the street up to the door, and so Grandpa would take one side, and I would take the other, and we would rake the front yard into two giant piles of leaves.  Afterwards, we would work together to stuff trash bags full of leaves, leaving them where they were until we were done.  Working from directly after school to well after the sun had set and it was nearly too dark to see, we would fill around twenty bags of leaves every week.

Usually, since we would both be mowing, talking very much was completely out of the question.  It surprised me, since Grandpa was normally one who could talk for hours on end, that when we were raking and bagging the leaves the silence we were accustomed to continued.  I can’t recall a single conversation that we had while raking the leaves, but at the same time, there was still a lot of communication going on.  From the view comments teaching me how Grandpa liked to do things, to the lighthearted comments when one or the other of us messed up and made a mistake, there’s something to be said for two people working side by side to get a job done.

Now, after Grandpa has gone, and I’ve long since given up the business, it’s cool weather like we’ve had recently that brings back those memories, and makes me almost wish I could go back and rake those leaves with him again.

until next time,

Jim

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