chainsaw_headerThe mood is dutiful. Not to be confused with doodiful… that’s something with a completely different mindset, position and paperwork. But dutiful, as it should be when one is performing one’s duties. In this instance, the duty concerned is the morning feeding of the fainting goats of Saw Farm.

Wendi, Fritz and little Spot all bleat eagerly in unharmonized tandem from their paddock at the bottom of the hill, adjacent to the house proper. They gather at the gate and sometimes pull partial faints at the excitement of breakfast. On occasion one will feign escape. Lowering horns and racing out the gate. Their freedom is short lived, and escape reneged once they realize the food is being dealt out inside the enclosure.

Rounding the carport corner. Starting down the hill. Feed in tow… in a little pot actually (like a deep pan, not mixed with ganja). When suddenly and without warning two song’s lyrics simultaneously come to mind.

The first by R Kelly: “I believe I can fly. I believe I can touch the sky. I think about it every night and day. Spread my wings and fly away…” Feet leaving the ground, I take flight. I’m airborne! I do believe I can fl…

Reality and Tom Petty kick in: “And I’m free… I’m free fallin’! Yeah, I’m free… free fallin’!” because I am. As arse overrides elbows, there’s a momentary glimpse of the perpetrator of my ill-fated flight lesson. The new downspout jutting jauntily from the side of the house.

When moving here, nigh 3 years gone by ago, the understanding was that the multiple flowerbed-flooding waterfalls produced by the 40 some-odd-year-old gutters weren’t going to cut it. Thus, money was saved from day one (gutters are f***ing expensive) to replace them. And now there they are, here we are, and the ground is coming up quickly.

As orchard and timothy grass pellets spill forth, filling the chill air, one cannot help but take note of the dead freshly cut grass. Yesterday twas decreed the, “last mow of the season”. Oft I ponder as to if others think of and perhaps even proclaim it this way as “the last mow”.

If not proclaimed or acknowledged, at least its significance should be noted. As it represents the stowing of lawn care implements. And a temporary reprieve from the need to endlessly ride or push about one’s yard till spring. If timed right, if you’re lucky, that last mow can serve two-fold- the grass gets cut and the leaves get raked.

Ah yes, the leaves of autumn. Their majestic coloring in full view… with the first upside of my current tumble. Each year we are treated to nature’s beauty. But this splendor is truly a dark optional optical illusion. For though we enjoy the natural fireworks display, they are dying.

We watch the ever-changing multicolored faces of death in awe. Then begrudgingly rake or mow them into piles. To be collected, left to rot, burn or for our kids to dive into. Author’s note: DO NOT let your kids jump into burning leaf piles. It will scatter them about and ONLY YOU can prevent forest fires… your kids might get hurt also.

Currently wishing I’d mowed that pile up where shoulder meets ground… ugh and ouch. Ah, but left to rot leaf-piles are reserved for the backyard. Out of sight and mind, not cluttering the view of our dead front lawn. Isn’t it odd that when it snows, we make snowmen, but when the leaves fall nobody ever makes a leaf guy? “Crispy the Leaf Guy… was a rotting autumn soul”- now there’s a fresh concept for a Rankin Bass classic.

End-over-end converts to side-to-side. Vertigo, nausea — little kids enjoy this? This would be a lot less painful had I let go of the pot.

I’d like to conclude with a “happy ending”. Something ironic about a pile of leaves cushioning the final landing. Nope. Rolled up onto my feet for a split second, hit the light pole at the bottom of the yard and crashed head-long into and through the fence. Once assessing my survival, the goats promptly escaped.

Still, there’s got to be some redeeming quality here. Some deep, psychological moral to bestow upon you, dear reader. The best I can do is — “When you fall, try to enjoy the trip.”

I welcome almost all questions, comments via FOCUS, or email me at [email protected].

Hope to hear from ya, until then try and stay focused! See ya.