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Raking one million leaves equals dinner out

Hands-down, October's the prettiest month of all. But beauty comes with a price.

I'd spent several hours working in the yard before collapsing on the couch with just enough strength to make a single phone call. To a local library.

"May I speak to your research librarian, please?"

A woman came on the line, "How may I help you?"

I told her, "Can you find out for me how many leaves there are on a tree?"

The poor soul was speechless for a bit, then - after obviously stalling for time - she finally asked, "Why on earth do you want to know that?"

'Because," I told her, "I've been raking them, that's why. I want to know how many I've raked."

She muttered something about not knowing if trees had ever had their leaves counted. However, she promised to research the subject and call back.

An hour or so later, she did. "It depends upon the size and kind of each tree, of course, but it seems it's around 50,000 to 60,000."

Following a couple of cups of coffee, I mustered enough energy to exit the couch, face the leaves already down and eye those still hanging on for dear life, intending to dribble down clear through November.

I raked some more, thinking the number the librarian gave was too conservative for our yard. The windrowed pile along our property line was so high I couldn't see the street except from an upstairs window.

I dug out a hand-calculator, punched in 50,000 (then told myself, I'd better make that at least a 100,000 as these maples have twice as any other kind) - multiplied by 10 trees, equals… Good grief! No wonder I'm tired!

When my husband came home, he found me collapsed on the couch.

I lifted a few limp fingers to wave a greeting and feebly told him, "I've raked a million leaves today! I'm too exhausted to do anything about dinner except fry some liver and heat up leftovers."

Well, rather than eat liver and leftovers, he said, "Let's go to a restaurant."

As we headed out the drive, I thought it wise not to mention that I'd have had to go to the store to get liver anyway.

Sometimes we women have to be a little sneaky to get men to suggest we eat out

© Copyright 2012 by Isabel Torrey, a King City resident who's in her 41st year as a columnist.