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Neosho Daily News - Neosho, MO
  • RUSSELL HIVELY: Leaves and visitors from the North

  • My brother accompanied me on my walks along Wildcat Boulevard over the Thanksgiving holidays.
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  • My brother accompanied me on my walks along Wildcat Boulevard over the Thanksgiving holidays. He, my sister-in-law, and one of their daughters were here to help us celebrate Thanksgiving and our upcoming birthdays and anniversary.
    My brother thought it was quite “cool” to go on a walk one day in his short sleeves. Perhaps it was because he had called his son who reported it was snowing, windy, and 20 degrees back in North Dakota.
    Sadly, things were quite calm along Wildcat Boulevard on these walks. There were no beautiful purple skies, flocks of geese to count, or coyotes dashing through the high school outdoor laboratory.
    Our celebrations were quite calm. The most exciting was on the Friday night after Thanksgiving. That evening, we all had cleaned up and wore our pajamas for the festivities. (I guess a person is never too old for a pajama party). I received garlic stuffed olives for each year of my upcoming birthday. (That is more than one jar.) I like olives, so this was a treat.
    The night’s card playing, laughing, telling stories, and enjoying each other’s company was finished with the eating of a Dairy Queen birthday cake.
    Leaf removal has gone into gear at our home. Most of the leaves in our yard blow in huge piles on the east side of the house. I used the riding mower to reduce these gigantic drifts to much more manageable piles. They were raked and hauled to the compost pile by the back fence. In time the mulch and compost will be used on the garden and other places it is needed.
    As these leaves are meant to rot away, I try to wait until it has rained before raking. This perhaps seems strange to some, but wet leaves pack down and decay sooner.
    All this leaf raking also meant the gutters on the house have had to be cleaned. One Saturday my son and I worked together cleaning gutters and checking the roofs for leaks and other problems. When done, we were quite proud of our work.
    My son, however, discovered once again that nature is in charge. That afternoon, he was in his back yard and for some reason looked up as a single leaf blew off a large sycamore tree which stands on the back of his lot. This tree is at least 60 or 70 feet from the house.
    Still the single leaf blew off and tumbled and floated in the wind for a while until it dropped directly into the freshly cleaned gutter. My son laughed as he told this tale. He said the leaf did not bounce or tumble off the roof, but fell flat into the gutter. I hope it doesn’t stop up the downspout.
    Page 2 of 2 - Take a walk, enjoy your friends and relatives whenever you can (relish those moments together), overuse your signal lights, and see what you notice while passing along Wildcat Boulevard.
    Russell Hively writes a weekly column for the Daily News.

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