A Klutz Rakes Leaves: The Battle Of The Mantras

Out raking the leaves.

Half an acre lot sloping down into a ravine with a creek.

Maybe about 28 trees on it.

[Never doubt that trees beget leaves.] 

Getting tired. Getting bored.

Mind starts to offer mantras.

“I think I can… I think I can…”

Childhood wisdom gleaned from reading.

“When in doubt, don’t.”

Adult wisdom imparted by yoga teacher.

“Yes we can.”

Political slogan, uplifting.

“Be careful.”

Mom, always.

Then the deciding factor.

While raking on the hillside, giving it my all, I slipped and fell on my backside.

Just. Like. That.

Nothing hurt. Not even my ego.

I’m a klutz* after all.

But suddenly the angels sang and I knew which mantra to follow.



* Previously documented examples of my klutziness: 1) fell on face while carrying donation into Goodwill;  2) thrown off Segway while moving through cemetery;  and 3) during house party dropped ottoman on toe breaking toenail.

92 thoughts on “A Klutz Rakes Leaves: The Battle Of The Mantras

    • bobcabkings, we hire someone to go up on the roof to blow out the gutters. In fact, it was the fact that this guy had blown all the leaves into the bushes below that got me out there raking. I could never do the gutters and roof on my own. Be careful… as Mom would say.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I think the key word was “strategic.” My feeling is that you made a call to a service to round up those leaves or grabbed a leaf blower OR hopped on a riding mower and mulched them into smithereens.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I believe you got up, brushed yourself off and continued raking. You’re a blogger. We don’t give up easy when our posts aren’t recognized for their genius and we don’t give up when the leaves are a little slippery

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I see the cat’s already out of the bag regarding the mystery, but I know what I would do. If, while lying on my back, regaining my breath, I looked up and saw there were still leaves in the trees left to fall, I’d leave the rest for my husband to take care of with the mulching mower. If the majority of the leaves had fallen though I’d pull out our handy dandy leaf vac and pretend I am a ghostbuster (or better yet inform one of the boys that it was time they built some character). Either event, that rack will get sidelined for heavier artillery.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Allie P, my approach to removing the leaves, post-plop, was all of the above. I brought in the heavy artillery. Although I didn’t have the opportunity to allow a child to build some character, I feel that I am a more character-ful woman for having gone through this potential setback.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Janet, thank you for your support. You know me well. 😉 If the bathroom tile kerfuffle didn’t stop me from getting what I want, a slippery hillside doesn’t even have a chance of thwarting my plans. The leaves are gone.

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  4. I think you kept at it.

    Today, Sassy’s attitude adjustment will come in the form of a rake.

    Completely Unrelated: If someone doesn’t rake the driveway soon, I may not be able to distinguish the driveway from the yard.


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  5. ha ha had a good chuckle here AB. Your Mom had it most right – especially when I noted no 3 about dropping an ottoman on your toe and breaking toenail … that is not easy to do so if you’re going to have to do this, be careful … Glad that your ego wasn’t damaged. Keep intact and be careful. Sweeping is cool.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Susan, I swear I heard my mother’s voice floating through my mind as I sat there, unharmed, on the ground. I have a long history of not moving smoothly through life, but this is the first time I’ve been taken down by a garden rake. Thanks for stopping by to comment.

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  6. So glad you can laugh at yourself😂 At least you didn’t tear any tendons or try to cut off a finger this time! Smart use of the leaf blower. And I bet the yard looks marvelous!

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  7. I have to say I do love the “when in doubt, don’t” mantra for so many things – especially yoga. Or raking on a wet hillside. Or walking on an icy path. Or stepping over the dog on the stairs. (Definitely don’t do that last one.) I’m a bit of a klutz, myself.

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    • Kate, the yoga mantra has kept me safe in many situations, many times in my life. This was not one of those situations– obviously As a fellow klutz, I’m sure you understand! 😉


  8. You might consider yourself klutzy, but I’m impressed that you can manage the leaf-blower. I can barely lift the damn thing … so raking and sweeping it is for me.

    My OCD is a little challenged at this time of year seeing leaves all over the place. I want to ring some doorbells and beg them to clean up. Yesterday a lawn service did my next door neighbour’s yard, but left a mess on the road. I cringe every time I look outside. Even worse – some of that leaf debris is in front of my driveway. Grrrr.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joanne, I think that we have a small size leaf blower. It’s awkward, but I’m in no hurry with it so I can get the job done. Although I prefer to use a rake…

      I hate that leaf debris mulchy mess stuff that clogs up the bottom of the driveway, too. It looks awful, stains the concrete, and gets slippery with frost on it. There is no win-win with it.

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  9. It was the fates’ way of chiding us humans for trying to clean up nature’s mess. I’m sure there is some law of ecosystems that leaf raking violates…. some plant or animal species that suffers because of it. But enough of my unpopular views from the anti-raking faction….

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    • evilsquirrel13, my mother never had us rake the backyard of her property. We did the front yard, but she adhered to the idea that, like you said, it was better to leave nature alone when you can.


  10. I always say one reason we moved to this house is that palm trees don’t shed (and the 2 oaks in the front yard hold their leaves all winter then when spring arrives the drop the old leaves in about 48 hours and it’s done…hopefully that’s the week the yard guys show up…
    Hope you have thick gloves – I always got blisters when helping my dad rake on his backyard slope.

    Liked by 1 person

    • philmouse, there’s something to be said for palm trees! We have an oak that sheds in the spring. Wise trees. Unlike these showy maples and birch trees that have leaves that go bold, then fold. So to speak…

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Ally, that was quite the clever ruse you pulled off there, and all just so you could get a closer look at that one sycamore leaf in a pile of Oak leaves. Anyone else would have thought you were just being clumsy. You sneaky devil you! ‘O)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Margaret, yes, I’ve reconsidered my can-do attitude about raking on the hillside. Next year I will leave more leaves on the ground and definitely use the leaf blower all the time. I can be taught. 🙂


    • Kate, I was inspired to overcome by re-thinking how I was going to get those leaves off the grass and into the woods. Which is to say that I plugged in the leaf blower and went to work on them. No more rake, thank you very much.


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