I have a childlike fascination with the leaf vacuum truck. A couple days ago I watched the truck inch its way along while the worker on foot swung the big tube across the leaf piles.
My yard man and I had raked or blown leaves to the curb—some over into the street, some still a few inches into the lawn. The truck made its tortoise-speed way along and the tube man sucked up the leaves—except for the ones on the grass!
I was disappointed; I sighed, and mentally added “Leaves” to my ever-growing list of Things To Do.
When the truck reached my driveway, I was ready to go about my indoor business (cleaning carpets). Then I heard the familiar “Backing Up!” signal; the driver backed to the place where Tube Man could make a second pass and suck up the leaves on the lawn. How about that?!
Later in the day I left to go to some appointments and was proud of the lovely clean-up all along my little street. Opposite me are several cars and trucks that have no garages to call their own, so they live on the street. Leaves collect around and under them. The Leaf Men had made a special effort to clear up around the vehicles. (Other years, I’ve seen some “lick and a promise” clean up.)
This year, I’m giving kudos to the municipal street department for their thorough attention to leaf removal.
My fascination with big machines is, I think, related to my joy in seeing order come out of chaos.
Growing up, I watched my dad create houses out of stacks of wood, kegs of nails, a few tools, and a noisy Skil-Saw that woke me up on Saturday mornings before I was ready. (Teenagers have always had trouble with Saturday mornings.)
But maybe it’s more than order out of chaos. Maybe it’s the beauty that comes through when people use their tools or equipment or instruments or their talents, their minds, their hands, their bodies. I’m not an athlete, but watching gymnasts go through their routines is breathtaking. And ice skaters. And dancers.
And I’m not particular—watching high school athletes go through their paces can be as thrilling as attending a pro game. Often, more so, because local athletes are kids we know, whose careers we follow.
As I write this, leaves are still falling. Rain and wind are doing their best to bring the last ones to the ground. In a few more days, leaf raking/blowing will be over for another season. The skitter of leaves across the patio will be a memory. Trees will show their bare branches against the sky. Squirrels and birds will raid the feeders. Autumn will be two-thirds of the way through her appointed time.
And just in case we think there might be a break—though why we’d think so remains a mystery—our little northeast corner of Indiana is expecting Accumulating Snow on Friday night and into Saturday. No one has hazarded a guess about the amount of accumulation. We’ll let that be a surprise.