Monday, November 05, 2007
Luddite Learns Leaf Form
Okay, so after years of refusing to even consider getting a leaf blower -- what, I can't use a rake? -- today I broke down and got one.
Here's my rationalization: I learned that the leaf-blower can be used to clean gutters. This is a nasty job when done by hand -- you have to glove up and dig the guck out. Top layer is nice, dry, crispy yellow and red leaves; middle layer is damp pine and fir needles. Bottom layer, is like something from the Precambrian Era, of a color and consistency between petroleum crude and road tar. Things live in it: Spiders, silverfish, trilobites ...
Mr. Leaf Blower, with his two hundred and thirty-five mile an hour tornado breath, blows the guck out like you wouldn't believe. What normally would take two hours by hand took half that and a lot less elbow grease.
Plus the roof itself was covered with autumn's bounty, and either I'd have to rake that or watch the next rains turn it into leaf mache, and hey, no problem for El Toro Viento.
For what it would cost to have one minimum-wage guy to come out to just clean the gutters one time, I got the leaf blower, did the gutters and the roof, and then cleared the sidewalks and deck and patio. And now I have the machine. On sale at Home Depot, 15% off, already paid for itself. Such a deal.
One I got was electric, so I'm not adding to the local pollution. It will, if I am so disposed, turn into a vacuum cleaner/leaf mulcher, by adding an attachment and bag, but I'm not there yet. What, I can't pick the leaves up and put them in the yard debris bin?
I wore sound suppressor headphones, to keep from going any deafer than I am. It was a lot easier than raking, and in a compulsive-Virgo way, most satisfying, watching the leaves dance and whirl to my magic air wand. (And watching my brave little girl dog Layla charging the nozzle, unperturbed by the hurricane laying her ears back ...)