Thursday, October 25, 2012

Raking Leaves with Small Children

We enjoyed raking leaves as kids.  I can remember all of us getting in the backyard around this time of year with a rake.  We would first rake out some major roads (where we rode our bikes, and then we would each pick a spot for a house.  We would rake out walls.  Have kitchens and bedrooms, and leave an opening for doorways.  They looked like little floorplans made out of leaves, but when you added some lawn chairs and other assorted toys and items from the garage they morphed into amazing houses.  Each afternoon that we played outside, we would first have to reform the walls and move any leaves that had been scattered by the wind.  Eventually as it was getting too cold to play in our leaf villages, we would help Daddy rake all the leaves on a big tarp, and with several trips transport most of them to the dog pens to help insulate them as winter arrived.  The dogs always loved jumping and bouncing in the leaves as much as we did.
Apparently there is a big parade here the end of the month, on Monday infact, and they line everything up in our neighborhood to then go downtown.  They call it the Callithumpian parade, and from what I can gather it's primarily a Northeastern-Midwestern thing (which explains why I've never heard of it).  In the tradition of the early settlers who would treat any local odd ball, or anyone who had earned the town's redicule to a sernading of pots and pans and horns, and general racket.  It is usually accompanied by costume contest which is why they are popular at Halloween.  They are also popular for the Fourth of July, as a time to celebrate independence and ridicule the British.  I'm curous to see what all goes on here.
So, what does that have to do with raking leaves?  I'm glad you asked.  Yesterday, I decided to go ahead and rake the front yard, because Monday morning the city will come around and pick up everything that you rake into the road (weird I know, it not in your yard or bagged, everyone is just raking leaves in the road, and they are going EVERYWHERE).  Well the kids seemed to love the leaves as much as we did as kids.  They are too young to get the idea of a leaf village, and besides with the amount of wind we have here, it would be gone tomorrow.  However, they did love the idea of making a huge pile and then jumping in it.
Britt helped rake until he had a little pile going.  I kept raking and when he realized how much fun a bigger pile was he was grabbing handfulls and carrying them to the pile.  Ruth, bless her pea pickin little heart, tried but was losing almost all the leaves by the time she go to the pile.  Ruth would sit in the pile and rake them over her lap and be almost neck deep.  Nice to know that we don't have to worry about chiggers in the leaves here.  Britt would run and jump in them.  I tried to get a picture of him airbound with no luck.  Ruth would run, stop, and "jump" aka for her that means get one foot up to her knee, leave the other one firmly planted on the ground, and fall over into the pile.  Our neighbor Lilly who is about 6 months younger than Ruth came over to play a little too.

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