The Boring Word About Raking Leaves

March 21, 1990

When I told my kids last week I was attending a meeting on how to recycle leaves they looked at me as if I had lost my mind. I had to explain that some families actually rake their leaves, bag them and put them out for the garbage man.

To my sons, who feel they have done a great deal to mow the lawn twice a month, this was a totally new concept. They had seen neighbors rake their leaves. But usually they burned them and it was their conclusion the neighbors just liked to build fires.

There was a time years ago when we raked leaves. That was when the kids liked to jump in them or build houses out of them. When they were done the leaves were still on the lawn. Occasionally I did get some leaves dragged to the back lot where I guess they have turned into great topsoil if I ever want to take up gardening.

The idea at our house is we must learn to live with mother nature and if she wants her leaves on the ground during the winter then who are we to argue. (This is somewhat the same line of thinking that my kids use when they don’t want to wash the dishes in order to conserve water.) If I’m lucky, we will get one more grass cutting in after the leaves fall and they will be somewhat mulched for the winter. If not they will still be there come spring when we dig the lawn mower out and see if its going to run for another season.

I guess I should feel guilty that we don’t pay more attention to our lawn. On the other hand we are not contributing to the 18 percent of landfill space occupied by leaves. I’m going to remember that the next time I forget and drop an aluminum can in the garbage.