Ahh, autumn in New England. Beautiful hues of orange, yellow and red. Millions of people flock to the mountains during peak season to ooh and aww over the ever changing leaves, a patchwork of beauty across the countryside. Once the beauty is gone though, homeowners of New England are stuck behind, raking the sea of crunchy brown foliage that blankets their yards.
It's so much fun to rake and bag, rake and bag. Getting splinters from wooden rakes, blisters on your hands scratches on your arms and a lower back ache. If I could pick a nice day, I'd prefer it during the week, I'm sure I could get much more done without needing to stop ever 2.5 seconds to help someone out, yell at them to get away from the road or shoo them out of the house (today I was smart and locked all the doors behind us). At least it would be quieter. But beggars can't be choosers and I had to take the nice day when I could get it.
Today was a balmy 67 degree here so I figured it would be a great day to go out and rake and bag leaves. I fed the girls lunch and we headed out. I told them I didn't care what they did as long as they stayed in the yard and didn't fight. They said they wanted to help. So we dragged three rakes and a bag of plastic trash bags to the front of the house and proceeded to start raking. Not 60 seconds later, Moe declared she was done. Not content to play on the swings, because ours apparently aren't good enough, or climb the jungle gym, the decided to gather acorns and smash them with rocks until they accidentally smashed their thumbs.
While I was trying to get as much done as I could, it was quite apparent that they couldn't occupy themselves. I got requests to go watch TV, for candy and to go play with the girls next door (which I allowed until she left). There were pleas of hunger. I told them they could grab an apple or banana. Did you say candy they asked? NO! I finally got them occupied in the back and working along when I had to call them to bring me a shovel. I was about to grab a huge handful of leaves when I saw it. A dead mouse next to the pile. Seriously, I don't own cats, why do I keep finding dead rodents in my yard? At least this one still had it's head. This brought their curiosity where they had to watch me scoop it up and toss it into the road. Is it still dead they asked? Yup.
Then I was told "we're bored". Go play I said. "No, there's nothing to do they replied. Can we paint?" No. So while I went back to work, they proceeded to hit a tree with the rake. Then they hula hooped. Then they pretended to be witches riding the rakes around the yard and pulling leaves back into the area I already raked AND dragging the neighbors leaves into our yard. Because of course I didn't have enough leaves of our own to rake.
"Can we go to the park" they asked. "Why do you have to do this today?" they whined. (Um because I'd rather do this today while it's warm then when it's cold or wet). "Can we have candy?" they pleaded. "Are you almost done?" they asked.
And finally, I stopped, I finished all of the side area and half of the front. I can work on more tomorrow. Girls grab a rake and help me put them away. "Awww, do we have to go inside?" they asked.
So you decide, did I torture them by making them spend a beautiful day outside?