October 23, 2011 : Stephanie Skinner

October 23, 2011 : Stephanie Skinner

Today I decided to tape the Bears game and watch it later (well maybe, depending on how the first half goes).  Today could be the last of those fleeting, sun-shining, cool in the morning, warm in the middle, heat on at night kind of days.  In late October, the chance that it lands on a weekend? Next to impossible.  I had other plans for today, but sometimes in life, as in football, you’ve got to go for it.

So in that spirit the kids and I began our yearly fall yard cleanup ritual.  I hear that in the suburbs this process may take a few days and involve paying a neighbor kid.  In the city, my yard is approximately 30x25, so it should take about an hour. That is, unless you are being helped by two very small people whose idea of helping is different than yours.  My husband is out of town for work, so I am the only adult to supervise, which should slow things down dramatically.  Normally I’d be tearing my hair out, but today that doesn’t bother me; I relish a reason to stay outside as long as possible.

First up, get all the summer yard toys cleaned up and into the garage.  This is perhaps the most traumatic of all chores.  The very idea that the water table won’t reappear until May (maybe) was heartbreaking.   And so on it went, every toy I try to put away was met with “Hey, that’s my favorite ____ toy (insert golf, baseball, basketball, ride-on, etc.)”.  I acquiesce and mow and trim around them, just like it’s July.  Only this time of year the shadows are all wrong.  I can no longer tell what time it is by looking at the sun on the yard.

Finally, everything is done except the toys.  The wails subside when I remind them of the spider webs we bought for the front fence. The toys are quickly dropped.  I put them away and reflect for a moment on how much I still need to do today. No matter, after the spider webs are done we’ll walk to the park.  I will leave no hour of sunshine left behind.

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About the author: Stephanie Skinner is a wife, mother, lover of all things fall, and in her spare time she’s a program manager at Energy BBDO.  Her twitter handle is @sdskinner

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