I have to apologize for the lack of a column last week, but you see, I needed a vacation. And it wasn't that I needed a break from work, it was I needed to prepare for the future. I feel I have to be completely rested for the Thanksgiving holiday considering everything it brings with it.
I am sure it comes to no surprise to anyone that I am not a big fan of Thanksgiving. However, it isn't for the reasons you might think. Apparently I am the only American who doesn't like turkey. I've tried to like but frankly I would rather eat a piece of old cardboard than a piece of turkey. Because of this, I don't look forward to Thanksgiving. I understand there are other reasons to like Thanksgiving but I don't like the Dallas Cowboys either, so what's the point?
Then there is Black Friday. Again, I'm not a big fan. I have experienced the Black Friday tradition but I had to give it up after an old lady hit me with a cart not once, but twice trying to get me to move out of her way. No "excuse me," no "Are you OK?" as I wiped the blood from the gash in my arm that she caused (not a joke by the way) and no "move or I'll run you over." After getting the heck out of the store and stitching my arm up I vowed never to enter a store again on Black Friday. So far, so good.
But then there is Leaf Day. It is a tradition my wife and I started a few years ago after we purchased our home. Leaf Day is always the Saturday after Thanksgiving when my wife and I venture out into our yard and rake the leaves.
It sounds harmless, but then you don't know how I hate manual labor. As a matter of fact I hate all types of labor. Most of the yards in our neighbor sit nicely raked week after week while leaf after leaf falls into our yard. This doesn't bother me. I've never been one to succumb to peer pressure. Unfortunately though, I crumble like a cookie under wife pressure.
So out in the yard we go, me missing the start of the Missouri/Kansas football game. Immediately I realized it was going to be a long day as I walked into the pile of unraked leaves and they came up to my shins. It's funny, we only have one tree but it certainly is a popular one. So popular that all the leaves in the neighborhood want to congregate in our yard just to be near it.
A job I was hoping would be about 30 minutes now looked like it was going to take all afternoon. So my wife handed me the rake, but I would have none of it. I had a better idea.
My wife took the rake and out in the yard she goes, putting the leaves into nice piles while I go into the garage and knock the dust off of our leaf blower. Once it was ready to go I turned the bad boy on, hoping to shorten the workday but as luck would have it, the wind was blowing. I failed to calculate this when I spent the time dragging the leaf blower out. Unfortunately everything I blew into a pile came right back in my face.
Once again my wife tried handing me the rake. Nope. I had another idea that involved the lawn mower and creating piles of leaves. Twenty minutes later all the leaves my wife had in piles were now spread out all over the yard. Oops. When all was said and done I had missed the entire Missouri/Kansas game and my wife's hands ended up covered in blisters. Of course, all of this is better than what comes next: Christmas shopping. I think I need another vacation.