I’ve spent the good part of this nice, cold Sunday doing more of the yearly leaf cleanup and collection. I’ve got quite a number of Oak trees on my property as well as a Dogwood, a couple of Maples and a Black Walnut as well. They’ve been losing their leaves as they do every year and I’ve been raking them up and putting them on the edge of the property/curb for the first round of leaf collections that Montgomery County does every year. This year, as like last, we did it ourselves…or should I say more precisely, I mostly did it. The kids and Diana helped as well but the bulk of the work was done by me (mind you I haven’t even really gotten the leaf collection started in the back yard…this is pretty much just the front yard!).

Anyway, nearly all of my neighbors have a yard service (this year I fired the yard service when they tried to bill me for work that wasn’t done at all and I’ve been mowing the grass and doing everything else myself). I use a combination of a push reel mower as well as a Black & Decker electric mower (for when I’ve let the grass grow too high and the push reel mower just can’t cut it…literally). All my tools are either human powered or run on electricity (I hope to eventually work out a portable charging station with solar power so that I can truly do this using renewable energy). It just strikes me as odd that nearly all my neighbors use a yard service…as if actually doing the yard themselves is something that they just don’t do. I’ve got a couple of neighbors who have riding lawn mowers, but other than myself, my neighbor across the street, Charlie, and a couple of others I know in the neighborhood everyone else uses a lawn service.

I don’t have anything against a lawn service — we used to use one for years. But in today’s day and age, with oil being as expensive as it is (although obviously not as expensive as it was during the summer) and the concern over carbon emissions and your carbon footprint it amazes me that people don’t really care at all — at least in my neighborhood. Oh sure, they pay lip service to it, but when it comes down to making real changes in their lives to reduce their carbon footprint — well that’s another story. Just as I was finishing my yard work for the day I looked over at my neighbor’s yard two doors over. Their house used to be a carbon copy of mine — same exact model built in the same year. They recently had half of it torn down and put up a big new “A” frame style house. As I looked over I noticed that the father and the older son were talking with someone while standing around a brand new riding lawnmower. This riding lawnmower is huge– and I’m talking BIG — with three collectors in back. Point is, their yard is smaller than mine and yet they feel the need to go out and buy this thing rather than just use a rake. The older boy takes it for a spin and uses it to vacuum up the leaves (which they have less of) for the leaf collection this week. Hank Hill would be mighty proud. I just stood there shaking my head wondering what’s wrong with their rake?