"Do You Like Your Present?"
.....On the balance, it beats pure-dee hell outta my past. As it turned out, that wasn't Tam's question; I stumbled home right past a very fine leaf vacuum sitting in the garage. Bright red it is, too -- I must'a been tired.
When I awoke, it was later Wednesday, I had a rare midweek day off, and there was rain and rumors of rain all around, but none on us yet. I threw clothes on, grabbed up the device (electrically-powered it is, even) and went vac-ing leaves.
Tam was out pretty quick to catch up and explain the collection bag has a strap and ought to be slung from it, lest it rip out upon the ground. The thing makes rapid work of piles of leaves, like nothing you ever saw, though it's not very fond of twigs or wet leaves.
It will also, I eventually discovered, inhale leaves off the flowerbeds. Great, right? Mostly. See, the collection bag is a coarse weave; this means that though the clever widget sucks up dirt, too, it then sprays it right back out, finely divided, all over you, the house, whatever. Mustn't waste dirt!
So, oh well, I vaccumed the outside wall of the house with my little shop-type vac, went inside and poured the contents of my neti pot through my sinuses twice (still a little muddy on the second potful!), went back out and cleaned out the gutters (manually, they were packed tight with leaves), then washed the clothes I was wearing twice; first time through, the rise water was deep charcoal gray.
But dang! --We've got more leaves up than ever before at this time of year, and quicker, too. I'm sold; I'll just have to rake the flowerbeds. It's good exercise, you know.