The obvious question is, what’s there to like about the third season of the year? Let’s see, it’s getting noticeably darker earlier and earlier each afternoon. The temperature is declining each week. And winter is just around the corner. Oh yeah, those are all negatives. Wait, there is a positive. The color of leaves is changing. It’s so pretty as you look across the countryside and see the leaves migrating from light greens to yellows, to various reds, and all of it ending in brown.

And then down. Which is when the trouble begins. Sure, the numerous hues are nice, but they only last for a few weeks on each tree. And then the trees gives up their dead for winter, leaving the mess for us homeowners to clean up. Leaves everywhere: across the lawn smothering the grass, stuck in the gardens and hedges, lodged in our gutters and downspouts, hiding out on our porches and in our garages.

Leaves don’t have the common courtesy to fall all at once. Oh no, it takes weeks for the little critters to descend to earth. Which means our clean-up chores go on seemingly forever. You know, raking or blowing them into piles, then loading them into garbage bags and trash cans to cart off to the local garden waste center.  

If one is smart about it, one can limit the size of the problem. Here is a fall survival tip. Rake, or better yet, use a leaf blower only on windy days. If you angle your work pattern just right, most of the leaves will take off and end up somewhere else in the neighborhood. It’s obviously not your fault, the wind screwed up your leaf removal program. Caution: do not just push them into the street. This is an obvious ploy, one easily spotted by your neighbors, to pass your leaf collection efforts off on them. And you run a high probability much of the detritus will end up back in your yard if the wind shifts.

So, what else could possibly suck about brown leaves and fall. How about those incredibly insensitive people down the street who choose to burn their leaf piles, so you may enjoy days of a smoke-filled yard and house. Isn’t it obvious to the lowlifes as the smoke drifts out of their yard, that it very well may be inundating yours. Their argument always is that they have a right to burn leaves, so it’s none of your dam business as you evacuate your home for the third day in a row and head to the town park to inhale smoke-free air.

Fall does have one saving grace. It’s not as bad as winter.