Our drive is directly adjacent to The Deputy’s drive, with no fence or wall between the two (it’s that sort of a neighbourhood) so on occasion, The Girl may have wandered on to The Deputy’s drive, but generally we accept the little line between the well kept and frequently resurfaced tarmac, and the cracking, mossy, in need of repair tarmac, as the perimeter marker of each other’s estates.
So, imagine my surprise when I come home from the preschool run this lunchtime, turn in to the close, and discover The Deputy standing in the middle of my drive dressed astoundingly like a cheap imitation ghostbuster, in his brown boiler suit with an industrial sized leaf blower slung across his body, blowing away on my drive. Now, being as I am I smiled nicely and waited on the road while he scuttled around, dragging the seemingly endless flex of his blower off my drive. When I do finally manage to park my car on my drive I get out and look to say hello to The Deputy and await his explanation as to his presence blowing leaves on my driveway.
But The Deputy is nowhere to be seen. His bright orange flex is leading around to the far side of his house, and the deafening noise of the leaf blower still in action suggests he isn’t looking for conversation. Which is unusual. In fact this is the very first time in the 3 years we have lived here that we have both been outside and I have not been cornered for conversation. However, the relief of a clear run to my front door, at this point outweighs the suspicion.
Actually, I already know the explanation he will offer, as he has several times before been caught on our property, once before picking up the leaves on our drive his reason being:
“due to the prevailing wind being in a westerly direction”
Which is the direction of his house from ours. Hence, when we don’t keep on top of our dandelions it plays havoc with his lawn (yes, this was explained when he was asking me to weed our lawn “or at least just remove the heads before they go to seed.”).
But as it turns out the explanation wouldn’t work this time, as The Deputy was just blowing leaves, not sucking them up as he has done previously (and subsequently informed me with great pride of his actions). This time he was just blowing, blowing them away from HIS property and on to mine!! Hence him scampering off like a naughty school boy caught in the act when I arrived home.
Now, especially bearing in mind that we are lucky enough to be surrounded by trees on our estate, having leaves on the front lawn really doesn’t bother me. In fact it probably wouldn’t have even dawned on me what he was doing if he hadn’t avoided eye contact, blushed and hidden around the corner, but it matters to The Deputy. It really matters. This evening his lawn is impeccably clean.
Not a stray leaf in sight.
And all I can think about is quietly, under the cover of darkness, assisting the prevailing wind in its natural phenomenon of redistributing the leaves over that line on our drives. In fact I’m almost feeling childish enough to consider getting a rake out so that in the morning when The Deputy opens his curtains and surveys the street, he will find that not only has the pile of leaves he left on my drive been blown over on to his, but by some magical quirk of Mother Nature our lawn is leaf free.