Archive for July, 2009

Leaf Piles

Let me tell you a story, Internet. But be forewarned, this story does not have a happy ending.

It was the fall of 2005, or maybe it was the fall of 2006. The year is actually irrelevant because in all reality this same event occurred both in the fall of 2005 and the fall of 2006, but I digress. It was fall, and it was sometime between 2004 and 2007. The leaves had turned from rich greens to lovely shades of orange, red, yellow and brown (if the colour brown can ever be termed “lovely”).

I was sitting inside of my parents’ house, gazing out the window at our large maple tree, watching as the foliage slowly floated from the limbs of the tree down to the ground. Seeing that our lawn was completely covered in leafage, an idea struck me: A leaf pile.

A leaf pile was exactly what I needed. My plan was to rake all of the leaves on my lawn into a giant pile and then jump in them, perhaps even throwing some of them over my head and standing still as they rained down upon me. It would be magical.

It took hours to rake each and every last leaf into that pile, but I did it. And after I was done, I headed inside in search of a refreshing drink of water. I stood at the kitchen window and admired my leaf pile from afar. It was a sight to behold. It was the kind of leaf pile that minstrels wrote songs about, or at least it would have been had minstrels written songs about piles of leaves instead of courtly love.

And as I stood there, gazing at my pile of leaves, I heard the shouts of children in the distance.

I took several gulps of water while under the enchantment of my leaf pile, not really paying attention to anything around me. However, this soon changed when I saw the group of children the shouts belonged to slowly begin to make their way across my lawn, eyeing my leaf pile.

‘They would not dare,’ I thought to myself.

But they did dare, Internet. Boy, did they ever dare.

Two children, approximately five or six years in age (or maybe they were ten. I am not very good at determining ages), had abandoned their path on the road and run straight into my beloved pile of leaves. They immediately began to hop around and throw clumps of leaves into the air.

I felt an odd twitch develop somewhere in the vicinity of my right cheek. Those were my leaves they were jumping in. That should have been me dancing around under a rain of foliage. Those little kids were jerks. And why were they on my lawn any way? Who does that?

Full of rage, I ran to my front door, threw it open and made my way towards the children.

“Get out of my leaf pile!” I yelled at them. “Get out of my leaf pile right now!”

The children stopped their play. Their eyes were wide with shock. I did not care. ‘Let them be shocked,’ I thought.

“Why are you on my lawn? Why are you in my leaf pile? Who is going to rake these back up? Why are you still on my lawn? This is not okay!”

Perhaps I should have felt guilty as their eyes filled with tears, but, alas, I did not. Instead, their ocular moisture spurred me on.

“You do not run onto the lawns of strangers and destroy hours of their hard work. You are delinquents. I am going to have you arrested.”

Obviously, I knew my statement to be false, no one was going to arrest two kids for jumping in leaves. Regardless, the threat of jail time scared the children enough that they ran away as quickly as their little feet would carry them. At least I am assuming that it was as quickly as their little feet would carry them.

After they were out of sight, I approached the wreckage of my leaf pile. I could barely bring myself to look at it. Leaves were carelessly strewn everywhere. The magic was gone. Internet, if I were capable of tears (which I am not, being that I lack both tear ducts and a heart), I probably would have shed one right then and there.

I did not jump in a pile of leaves that year. I did not toss them over my head and spin around, arms wide open, as they floated in the air all around me. Instead, I received the nickname “Crazy Leaf Pile Lady.” It is a title I wear proudly. And each time those children walk past my house, I glare at them.



baby painted turtle

Up until a few weeks ago, I had a painted turtle that I kept in my pond. He was just a little guy. We had found him wandering along the steps, probably in search of a larger body of water, and decided to keep him for the time being in our 1,000+ gallon water monstrosity.


I decided to name him Keith Richards, as I imagined numerous people had probably found Keith Richards wandering around in a disoriented state much like we had discovered my beloved turtle. For two weeks, I visited the pond every day in search of Keith. I would eventually find him sunning himself on a floating log or rooting around in the various plants found within the pond. And in those two weeks, we became as close as a turtle and a person who stares at said turtle once a day for approximately three to four minutes could become. 

keith richards

That is why a little piece of my heart broke when, upon one of my daily visits to the pond, I was unable to locate Keith. He’d wandered out of my life just as he had wandered in. At least, I choose to believe that he wandered out. It sure is more pleasant to presume that he left our pond of his own accord rather than accept that there is a chance he was eaten by a larger animal or expired in some other unpleasant fashion.

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