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April 2019

My Neighbor’s Leaves

Last fall, my neighbor’s leaves from four oak trees blew out of his yard, across the street and straight into my yard as they do every year. They swirled around my house and coated my lawn, blew down the hill, around my garage and dog pen, crowded under every shrub and mulched my garden beds. A “gift” from a man who mows his lawn three times a week.

First, I thought I’d knock on his door and ask him to come rake them up. Then I thought I’d fill some large leaf bags (courtesy of Julian and the City of Scranton) and would ask him to dispose of them. (No leaf pick-up here. It’s “country.”) Then I asked a county road crew who was out trimming trees along utility lines if they would put up snow fence in my neighbor’s yard. They said I had to call the boss. Then I asked the guy in charge, “What would you do?” He said, “Run over ‘m with a mower.” I said, “I’d like to but I can’t do that. I’d get arrested!” Hours later I realized he meant the leaves!

Last week or so, I saw tips of daffodils and a few tulips breaking through the matted leaves. I had to help them! From one 10 x 12-foot bed I raked three bulging tarp-loads of oak leaves and dumped them on my brush pile down in the back near the corn field.

When I finished I swear that the yellowed suffocating daffodil leaves had become green and even grew an inch while I raked.

There are still lots of leaves caught in the centers of perennials and shrubs, plus more garden beds and areas where they settled. I decided to leave my neighbor alone. I feel now thankful for the leaves in the garden beds that protected the plants all this frigid winter. And it’s good to see the bulbs springing up green and happy.

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