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Friday, November 9, 2007

Falling Leaves and Motorcycles

I have a great view out the window where I work at home. It's my view on the world. This time of year, the view is pretty spectacular as the final leaves continue to fall. Today, the leaves were falling rapidly and piling up on the grass. I decided that I needed to do a little raking.

I went out to the garage where my two motorcycle trikes are parked and moved the car out so I could get at the electric leaf blower. I told myself that I needed to be careful how I handled the blower. Two years ago, I developed a severe case of arthritis right after I used the leaf blower to clear the front yard. I just over-exerted myself and developed shoulder, knee, and hip problems that caused me no end of grief for the next 18 months. I had only recently got back near normal and I didn't need a relapse.

I hooked everything up and started on the side yard. I grasped the blower with both hands keeping my arms close to my body so as not to put extra pressure on my arms. I had my ear plugs in that I use when I ride my trike. I blew the leaves out to the street and then started on the main yard where I can see the beautiful tree through my window.

I had noticed that the local leaf machine operated by the township was out and about and quite possibly might be by to pick up my leaves if I could get them all to the street. But, I was in no way going to push myself to get the leaves out to the street. I got about half of the remaining leaves to the street when I heard the machine approaching. Then it came into sight and started sucking up my leaves. Well, I still had lots more to do and if I missed getting them all picked up, well, the leaves would just have to wait at the curb until another day. Of course, it was also possible that the two workmen would show me some mercy and make another run around the block.

When they got to the end of my street, they turned around and came down the other side of my street and stopped in front of my beautiful tree. The driver headed across the street toward me and said, "I'd be glad to come back in 30 minutes and pickup the rest of your leaves if you'll show me your trike." That took me by surprise.

"Sure," I said. "You wanna do it now." Then the other workman came over and the three of us headed across the yard toward the garage.

The guy said, "I've seen that trike every year when I'm out on the leaf pickup runs, but this is the first time you had the garage door open so I could get a good look."

"Well, let me tell you all about my trike," I said. "Actually there are two trikes in there."

Thus began a 20 minute break for the two workers as we talked motorcycles. Turns out he had a bad motorcycle accident in 1993 and hadn't ridden since. He had thought about converting his bike to a trike though. I gave him my complete trike story. I think I got him interested in going back into motorcycling. He'll probably tell this story to his wife tonight and she'll try to discourage him. She's done it before, he said.

After he had looked over both my trikes and got all his questions answered, he and his buddy returned to the truck and headed off down the street. That was my cue to get back to leaf blowing and finish getting my remaining leaves out to the street. Just as I finished, he returned and removed the remaining leaves.

The leaves continue to fall outside my window. It takes awhile for the tree to drop all its beauty and then stand naked against the sky waiting for the snow to start falling. Meanwhile, I'm sure I'll be out there raking a few more times trying to stay ahead of the steady downpour of leaves.

Winter is coming. My tree's beauty is fading fast. But, my trikes will be getting used during the winter. The Polar Bear Grand Tour will take care of that. But, maybe the tree and the falling leaves have helped at least one motorcyclist to dream again of getting his own bike back on the road. The leaves have done their job.

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