I must have looked like the biggest idiot yesterday. With the best of intentions to get those pesky leaves out of the backyard, I went outside all bundled up in my Lands End winter shoes and a nice pullover fleece sweatshirt. I told Sam that I was bound and determined to get them out of there so our pool area doesn't look so abandoned. He smiled and said "You know it's really cold and windy outside. It would probably be easier to wait until another day." Being the biggest procrastinator I have ever known, there was no way I was going to take advice from him on this. He was nice enough to shut the door when it slammed back open from the wind as I threw my body out into the artic blast that was moving in yesterday.
The instant I stepped out I wanted to go back in. My eyes were instantly watering and my fingers went numb before I took a step. However, I was committed to getting ALL those leaves out of there and not proving Sam right that it was not the day for this task. I started with securing two pool rafts that were laying out in the open. Next I picked up everything that has blown into our yard but not back out due to the fence. I took the chairs into the shed. By this time, every part of my body was numb and my face felt like hot lava followed by an ice tray had been thrown into it. But I refused to give Sam the satisfaction of winning. Don't think I didn't notice him checking on my progress from the warmth of the house with his shoulders heaving up and down.
After I had raked several piles of leaves off the pool decking and down the side of the hill, I went back for bags. They were only on the side of the house but as I made my way back I was greeted by a leaf shower as they blew back UP the hill where they came from. Thoroughly frustrated I considered grabbing the riding lawnmower and driving it right over those leaves to chomp them down to glitter. Then I considered the agony of sitting atop a huge pile of leaves with the lawnmower stuck. No matter how I played it in my head the ending was not good so I nixed that idea. I left the gates open hoping the wind would blow the leaves right out into the front yard. I imagined I would run out with this horrified look on my face as the leaves blew into all of the neighbor's yards and pretend I was upset it happened. The reality is the stupid leaves were too wet to blow much of anywhere except back where they started.
I got one bag filled as I struggled to keep it from tipping over in the wind. When it was full and tied up I walked it out front to the garage. On my way back I was again showered with leaves as the wind increased and then I noticed the area where I had just been working was exactly as it was before I started this adventure. This seemed like the perfect time to Sam to come out and report that the neighbor's sandbag weighted basketball hoop just blew over. Since it was now a matter of my personal safety I trudged back around the deck and into the house. As I passed Sam I told him if he knew what was good for him he would not let that smile on his face turn into a laugh. He chose instead to point out that the leaves I had raked had already returned. I chose that moment to beat him with a rake before making a really stiff drink. That was the hardest 30 minutes of work I have done lately.