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Friday, April 6, 2018

Smoke Gets In Your Eyes...By Gail Roughton

Take a Trip Down Home!
Yep, it's that time of year down home here in the country.  That time of year when smoke gets in your eyes. And ears, and nose, and mouth, in your hair, and on your clothes...well, you get the idea.  It's raking time for my yard, which also means it's time to burn those piles and piles of leaves.  I know a lot of folks do that in the fall, but if we did, we'd still have piles and piles of leaves come spring. See, our trees are stubborn, they hang onto a lot of their fall foliage until the young leaves of spring literally push them off the branches.  Or maybe they're just modest and don't like being naked. 

Whatever the reason--and a lot of our trees are water oaks and therefore technically entitled to hang onto their branches till at least mid-winter anyway--a three acre yard accumulates a lot of leaves. Our house is actually built in the middle of a fifty acre tract of land we long-ago christened "Fern Gully" in honor of the banks and banks of wild fern gracing our woods, but the yard proper's about three acres, even though hubby likes to wave his hand toward our gorgeous untamed woods and tease our grandson we've still got a lot of ground to cover. We've devised a system, and generally can manage to rake and burn about half of one-quarter of the total yard per day.  Consequently, it takes about eight days to completely finish with our yard. The finished product's worth it, though.  

Fall's a beautiful season here at Fern Gully, and in fact the cover of Country Justice is eerily akin to the paths criss-crossing our acreage. 

See?  Told you so.  But so is Spring, full of the smell of newly turned earth and the promise of burgeoning green.  It's time to say good-by to the thick carpet of golden brown, time to run around the bottom catching a softball and kicking a soccer ball without fear of disturbing unwelcome guests very similar in coloring to those leaves. I don't mean to sound inhospitable, mind you, but those slithery unwelcome guests are hard enough to see without the camouflage of a leaf carpet, let alone with one. It's time for the ground to ditch its heavy blanket and bask in the sun wearing nothing but short grass, wild flowers and new earth.  

Now if I can just survive the smell of a few more fires...we've still got the last quarter of the yard to go.  But if any reader wants a trip to the country without the work of keeping a country yard, stop in and visit a while at the Scales of Justice Cafe, located right across from the Courthouse and right next door to the Piggly Wiggly, all three of which are located squarely in the middle of the pages of Country Justice.

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