Mountain Musings


Autumn Leaves/Against The Wind


It’s that time of the year when we’re once again blessed with an overabundance of autumn leaves. “The falling leaves drift by my window, the falling leaves of red and gold. I see your lips, the summer kisses, the sunburned hands I used to hold.” (“Autumn Leaves” – Frank Sinatra – 1957)


It always annoys me when I see folks blowing the leaves down their driveway and into the street or into the neighbor’s yard. I wish someone would invent a leaf sucker, one that turns those little beauties into something usable like fireplace logs or fuel for the Mottmobile. I wonder if the Emporium has them?


You know, I haven’t been down to the Emporium since I bought the wife one of those 40 horsepower Behemoth vacuum cleaners. She only used it one time – well, it did suck the tiles right up off the kitchen floor…not to mention the cat.


In the meantime, I continue to rid my yard of those pesky autumn leaves the old-fashioned way, with a rake. I always hated raking leaves when I was a kid, but it was something dear old Dad insisted I do nearly every autumnal Saturday morning, when I was greeted at 8 a.m. sharp with “Up-and-at-‘em!” Growing up in the OC, we didn’t have pine needles and oak leaves, it was mostly eucalyptus and sycamore leaves. Nowadays, I don’t mind it so much, but still, I long for a leaf sucker.


A reader asked the other day if there’s really an alligator-filled moat encircling the stately Motley Manor. Well, yeah…what, you don’t believe me? Okay, so I exaggerated a little about the alligators. Would you believe piranhas? That’s what I thought. Well, how about snapping turtles? All right, OK, so it was my cat, but he’s been one mean kitty ever since we got him unstuck from the vacuum cleaner.


Soon, Old Man Winter will be upon us, and you can rest assured I’ll be complaining about having to shovel the all the dang snow out of the moat. I think I’ll head back down to the Emporium and check out one of those new turbo-charged 90 horsepower Behemoth snow blowers. I’ll have to remember to keep the cat inside the house, though.


Meanwhile, I still have all these dang leaves to contend with. Every time I turn around, there’s more. And wouldn’t ya know it, everytime I rake the leaves into little piles, the dang wind comes along and scatters them all over the yard. Sometimes I feel like I’m just running against the wind… Come to think of it, I’ve pretty much been runnin’ against the wind my entire life. “Against the wind, I’m still runnin’ against the wind… Well, I’m older now and I’m still runnin’ against the wind… still runnin’ against the wind….” (“Against The Wind” – Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band – 1980)


Keep it flyin’, Uncle Mott