Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Raking vs. Leaf Blowers

Fall is upon us. Soon all of those beautiful, colorful leaves will fall from their branches right on our yards. The annual task of leaf removal soon will begin. The big question on everyone's mind; Do I rake or do I finally purchase that leaf blower I saw at Lowes? It's an issue, I know because once you use a leaf blower, you never go back.

We stuck with raking leaves for years. We felt it was a tradition. A way to enjoy the fall sunshine in the same manner as our forbearers. Our children frolicked in the leaf piles as we stood leaning on our rakes with indulgent smiles on our faces. We raked together, my husband and me, getting exercise as we bagged leaves for hours on end. Are you thinking Norman Rockwell? You should be.

Than I saw an electric Toro leaf blower for around thirty dollars. I was excited it was electric, as I have an unreasonable fear of gas powered yard tools. I was thrilled it was only thirty dollars. It was cheap enough to give the product a try without a major investment. I bought it, over my husband's objection and his claims he would never abandon his rake. I rushed home, found an extension cord and found I needed to read the instructions before I could get the thing to work. You see, this was not just a leaf blower, this was a leaf eater also.

Yes my new toy not only blew the leaves to the curb, it vacuumed the leaves from my garden beds and window sills. I could not perform both functions at once since a bag needs to be attached for the tool to perform it's vacuuming function, but both functions could be done. I spent all day cleaning my yard, more than pleased with my new yard toy.

I kept the yard clear of leaves for most of that fall. The need for an extension cord was a nuisance but the Toro's ease of use more than compensated for this minor inconvenience. The children could still frolic in the leaves and I no longer needed to spend time on my knees cleaning leaves out of window sills. I even began to chant "Toro, Toro, Toro" after a hour of removing leaves, and my leaves were gone after an hour, instead of several hours as it had been before.

My husband tried standing forlornly in the yard with his rake in an effort to stop progress. This lasted only until the manly need to play with motorized yard tools overcame his sense of tradition. One day he asked to use the Toro. An hour later he came inside with a big grin, chanting, "Toro, Toro,Toro". The rakes went into the garage for the rest of fall.

Even if raking leaves is a tradition in your family, as it was in ours, nothing eases the task of lawn care as motorized yard tools. Stick to raking if you want, we are chanting, " Toro, Toro,Toro".

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