Leaves and lava rocks make for a frustrating pairing

Those big beautiful trees, front and back yard, were a wonderful asset when we purchased our new home. Not only did they provide habitat for a multitude of birds and other small wildlife but provided us with shade, ever-changing, almost surreal, shadows — and the leaves! You can’t even imagine all the shades of shimmering green, those wonderful leaves! We moved in in early July of 2016 and as autumn crept in we would stand in awe as those leaves transformed, morphing daily into intense reds, yellows and oranges, what a magnificent sight! Then they started to fall ...

What a nightmare! In an instant we were buried in leaves! I had never owned a leaf blower in my life but now found myself in dire need of one. Wanting to be “earth friendly” I chose an electric one — because who doesn’t want to spend five minutes blowing leaves and the next 20 untangling the 100-foot cord?!? The previous owners had decided to landscape with those little red lava rocks — you know the ones — weighing slightly more than a feather. When I wasn’t untangling the cord I was blowing rocks from here to hell! My next discovery was that a couple of our stupid trees were maples. As a child we called the cute little seeds helicopters or whirlygigs — and what a delight they were! As a disgruntled, cord-untangling, lava rock-blowing adult, I renamed them. Those little @#!%&?ing things were fast stuck wherever they landed, especially in those #%&*@ing lava rocks!

It was daily torture for weeks on end. If I wasn’t blowing leaves and lava rocks (usually into a sudden headwind combined with a surprise downpour) I was raking leaves and lava rocks, bagging leaves and lava rocks and disposing of leaves and lava rocks! Two of those worthless trees held on to their leaves, slowly dropping just enough daily to drive me completely insane into December! I eyeballed my chainsaw on a daily basis. Then I noticed the gutters and the little maple trees taking hold ...

It is now fall of 2017. My sanity, you ask?

Mike Meyer

Baker City