Monday, October 20, 2008

Leafblowers and Neighbors Who Hate You

What the hell happened to a good old-fashioned afternoon in the yard?

Leafblowers in a yard are like cell phones at a dinner table. Obnoxious.

And even when you think it is okay to use yours, I'll bet you have given nasty looks across the fence when your neighbor uses his while you are trying to have a barbecue and hold a conversation.

To see some guy out in his yard with headphones on, blowing his leaves into the street (or worse yet, his neighbor's yard) while the windows on the entire block vibrate with the reverb is the antithesis of the American childhood.

Doesn't anyone remember how much fun it was to jump in a pile of leaves?

People bitch that they are too fat. They bitch that they don't get any quality time with their kids. My advice? Go and buy a rake. Take your kids outside and actually spend some time with them. You will get a workout. The kids will exhaust themselves, and you will have a beautiful yard to boot.

Case in point:

Notice that Hubbie is using a broom? Yes, a freaking broom. We couldn't find our rake at first, but we were determined to get the job done.


LittleMan starting to get buried!!


Falling leaves!!


Sheer Joy!


A leafy blankey!


In less than two hours we bagged up six bags of leaves. The kids laughed until their cheeks glowed. The idea wasn't to have a leaf-free yard. It was to clean up and have fun doing it.

So here is the PSA from NATUI on this beautiful autumn Monday: Put away the leafblower. It doesn't matter how fast you get the job done, it is how you get it done and who helps you. There is something cathartic about the crunching sound of leaves. Give it a chance.

If nothing else, you won't piss off your neighbors by waking up their baby.


A Free Man said...

Leafblowers suck. I'm pretty sure that they're one of the indications of the imminent fall of Western culture.


Great autumn pics!

hollystar said...

awesome photos!!!

and i just saw something somewhere telling us how raking is super rad for your back and abs and burns loads of calories. i wish we had more of a yard to rake...

SSG said...

hey quality post, I love playing in leaves, great memories from when i was younger! And totally, leaf blowers- what's the point? what's wrong with yards being messy too? Man it's just so western... like escalators... and chewing gum...

RiverPoet said...

I think leaf blowers are one of the most obnoxious things on the planet. A broom is much preferred ;-)

I'm glad you had a good time with the leaves. I did a bit of raking yesterday myself, though our cascade of leaves has just begun. Our next door neighbor's willow tree will be dumping on us for months to come.

Peace - D

Not Afraid to Use It said...

@AFM: Um, the original title to this post was LeafBlowers and the Downfall of America.

Stay out of my head.

@Hollystar: Did you see how many leaves we had? You can borrow some of our yard.

@SSG: Exactly. At least if the leaves got sucked up and mulched instead of blown into the street I might get on board with that for mulching purposes.

@RiverPoet: At least the leaves are ours. I'd got a bit tweaky if I spent months raking up leaves from my neighbor's tree. Maybe you've solved the mystery why people buy leafblowers.

Jay said...

There's something very satisfying about using the most basic tools for any job, and it looks as if you and the children had a blast!

Me, I couldn't rake a yard without ending up crippled, and I'm sure there are many others like me, but ... leaf-blowers are obnoxious noisy things and certainly should be used with care and thoughtfulness.

When we had kids we raked leaves and had fun. It takes me right back to see those happy smiling faces!

Coal Miner's Granddaughter said...

Amen, sista! The leafblowers seem to come out in force when my three are trying to nap. Grrrr.... Awesome photos!

Carmi said...

I share your outrage. I can't understand how leaf blowers have become the ultimate suburban cleanup tool in less than a generation.

I remember experiences like the one you painted so beautifully here. Raking the leaves was an important milestone every autumn, and I can't imagine it would ever be the same with a freakin' jet powered monstrosity in my hands.

Maybe carbon footprint-shrinking will start with a mass disposal of these menaces to suburban peace.

Joe said...

So... are you saying that it's a bad idea to just run over them with a mulching lawn mower??? I really don't want to rake my yard.

too cold... brrrrrr.

Patois said...

Hear, hear, sister! Oh, how I wish we had the type of fall like I had as a kid in Virgina. That looks like loads of fun.

Baroness von B said...

As a adjunct to your PSA, I would like to commend you for actually DOING something about your leaves, rather than just leaving them around to blow into other people's yards, for them to take care of.

As for leaf-blowers, what lard-ass invented THEM? And more importantly, WHY? There are just some things that are meant to be done old-school and zen-like.

Gypsy said...

We don't really get a lot of leaves that fall, but what we do get are pine needles, and holy hell are they a pain in the ass without a leaf blower.

But it does look like the fam had a good time in the leaves!

K-Mom said...

You're absolutely right and your kids look like they're having a blast!

Toasty said...

You inspired me to tell Babu, "go get the rake and I'll do it... it's good exercise." Not sure to thank you for that or not... just kidding! The kids had a blast with us, laughing and playing in the leaves. And I told him NOT TO USE THE LEAFBLOWER AROUND THE KIDS! Too loud!
Just linked you on my latest post for a very different reason. Check it out: