Time to get ready for winter | PostIndependent.com

Time to get ready for winter

Common ground
Bill Kight

It’s that time of the year which preparing for winter becomes important if you want to be ready for the coming cold season and all the things it brings.

Offering a suggestion of how to get ready for the coming winter might be a good thing to do. If for no other reason than it keeps you from assaulting those overly-cheerful smiling people who tell you they can’t wait for the coming snow.

The first thing for me this time of year is getting the wood supply in, but since that has already been accomplished, it doesn’t count today.

The next thing on my list ” yes there has to be a list or I would forget what to do ” is raking leaves.

Now understand this is not a list of things to do which you enjoy or you really want to do. It’s to toughen you up for those long, dark days ahead. No whining or complaining allowed.

To be sure, leaf raking is nothing short of an exercise in futility. But it is this very fact which makes it necessary. Most things we do as humans have to be done over and over in a never-ending cycle … brushing your teeth, laundry, telling your kids to do or not do something, etc.

First, rake the leaves into a pile and soon out of nowhere the wind will pick up, scattering half of them back across the lawn. You take a deep breath and say, “I am a Zen master and nothing but an unsolvable koan riddle rattles me.”

Raking the leaves back into a pile, you try placing them into one of those huge black plastic bags advertised as being tougher than steel.

No matter how hard you try, whether you use the leaf rake or a shovel or your hands, half the leaves fall outside the bag. Curse words come to mind you’ve never even thought of uttering before now.

Looking up from your toil and labor to see the neighbor’s kid little Johnnie watching, you take a deep breath, work up a great big fake smile, wave to little Johnnie and mutter under your breath, “I am a Zen master and this is the koan riddle.”

About the time the bag is full, you think you think just one more double handful of leaves will fit. That’s when the unnoticed branch rips the tougher-than-steel plastic bag and the contents start spilling back onto the lawn.

No problem. Time to double-bag. You lift up the bag of leaves to slip the new bag under the bulging bundle and half the leaves fall out of the ripped bag.

One’s silent mind forms the words, “I am a Zen master. Anger does not rule me.”

Enough. You call it quits as you head back inside with an aching back, as 30 ugly bulging black bags seem to stare back at you.

Looking out the window, the wind pushes falling leaves where you worked.

“I am a Zen master…”

With 30 years of experience in federal land management agencies, Bill Kight, of Glenwood Springs, shares his stories with readers every other week.


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