Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

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May 2, 2013

FROM THE VALLEY: Things are picking up as we rake it in

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Several weeks ago, my wife and I started working in the back yard. The annual chore of picking up what winter has dismantled is as fun as root canal surgery. With numerous trees on the premises, the litter is always abundant. And nothing is as discouraging as spending a back-breaking day picking up twigs and branches and raking leaves only to have a 40 mile-an-hour gust of wind swing through and undo the whole shebang a day or two later. It’s never easy. (And it’s no fun telling my wife she has to go back outside and re-do it all over again. I’d like to help but we’ve got only one rake. Chill! I’m kidding … we’ve got 2 rakes … I think.)

It usually takes me about five hours to mow the lawn — the first four are spent trying to get the riding-mower started. Considering the fact that it’s a converted ‘57 Studebaker held together with “I Like Ike” bumper-stickers, I should come to expect that. But I can’t figure out why every time I grab the gas can to refuel ‘Ike,’ there’s never any gas left. I don’t know why. Like I said, it’s never easy.

One of the biggest problems are the pine cones — they are not only a pain, but dangerous. I remember my neighbor hitting one while cutting his lawn and it jettisoned right through one of his windows. Not good: my pine cone, his window, my wallet.

My dog, Maggie, loves it when we’re in the yard. She acts like a kid on a sugar-buzz jumping around like it’s all a game. She thinks every stick I pick up is something I’m going to throw so she can go fetch (not that she even remotely has that trick down.) She’s under the impression that I enjoy the work. Wrong.

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