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A season of transition—and chores

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Greg Peck
November 5, 2013

November is not my favorite month. The weather turns cold, the average high dropping about one degree a day. Our colorful landscape turns dull and dreary, leaving piles of work to do in the yard. There can be no doubt—the fun of summer and early fall is behind us and winter will set in far too soon.

The only good things I can say for November are that it's only 30 days long and it includes Thanksgiving, a time to celebrate and feast with family and friends.

In the meantime, there's much work to do. I worked a night shift at The Gazette on Saturday, so Sunday and Monday made up my weekend. I spent all Sunday afternoon outdoors, raking those wet leaves off the lawn before they smothered the grass, then mowing and giving the yard a final trimming. I used the leaf blower to suck up leaves that had fallen in the landscaping rocks around our bushes. My wife and I teamed up on taking in the lawn furniture, the plant pots and hangers and garden decorations. We use a little pulley system to store much of this stuff in a garage attic.

On Monday, we hauled the hose reel back out of the basement so I could wash both our vehicles and give them a pre-winter waxing. I paused to gaze across the lawn, and it looked like I hadn't even raked. The two maples out front haven't dropped half their leaves yet. That means I'll be back out there, armed with a rake, this weekend. The Gazette on Saturday ran a map showing the days when the city of Janesville will be collecting loose leaves in the streets. The schedule runs Monday, Nov. 11, through Thursday, Nov. 21. Crews will hit our street a week from today, and I know many leaves will still remain on those twin maples.

That early collection day might require me to run the mower with a bagger at least one more time to collect the leaves yet to fall, rather than rake the entire lawn again. Then, of course, it will be time to winterize the mower and put it in the spot we now use to store the snowblower. I'll then get the blower gased up and make sure it runs, lest I get caught with a stubborn machine if that first snowfall is a big one. Of course, the gutters will need another cleaning before the snow flies, too.

I'm sure many homeowners can relate to all these late-fall chores. You can't just sit inside and watch football all weekend if you want to keep your place looking nice.

Greg Peck can be reached at (608) 755-8278 or gpeck@gazettextra.com. Or follow him on Twitter or Facebook.



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