So I had thought – and I had written – that I expected to spend this past weekend at the Manse raking leaves and evergreen needles, because there were a lot of them. And because most of the people I surveyed said that leaving them on the lawn for the winter (even chopped up by a lawnmower) was not a good idea. The fact that the weather forecast was for rain all weekend made the prospect of The Big Rake even more dreary. And damp.
As Raymond and I arrived at the Manse in the wind and the rain late last Friday night, I thought glumly of what I was in for. No socializing, no relaxing, just a lot of raking and stashing damp leaves into lawn bags. Yuck.
Then, Saturday morning, came a surprise. I pulled up the blinds in the master bedroom (which faces onto the back yard) and thought, “Well, that’s odd. There seem to be a lot fewer fallen leaves on that lawn than when we were last here. I wonder … ”
When I got downstairs, Raymond confirmed it, and showed me the corner where a very thick blanket of evergreen needles had covered the lawn on our previous visit. Gone. All gone.
Magic? Nope, a great neighbour and friend, John Barry. John is the person who keeps our grass cut and has done other yard-maintenance work, but we’d never discussed the very arduous chore of raking all those leaves and needles.
Before we’d even had a chance to go and thank John, another neighbour, Chuck Steele, told us that John had raked everything up by hand (I had wondered if he had a leaf blower attached to his lawnmower, but no) and had taken away three truckloads of leaves and needles. So not only did he rake them all up, he got rid of them for us, which is huge.
And what did he charge me for this work? Let’s just say that to call the price reasonable would be putting it mildly.
But our good feelings about our neighbours didn’t end with John. We also managed to find out who was the mysterious person who had left a lovely bunch of deep-orange mums on our front porch (now happily planted in the front garden). That would be Jen and Ed Couperus, Ed being the neighbour who keeps an eye on the Manse generally for us and goes in and checks things as needed.
Jen and Ed; John and his wife, Anne; Chuck and his wife, Ruth; and there are so many more. We have great neighbours in Queensborough!