April 28, 2005

On the eve of becoming homeless (as in no longer owning a house variety, not the living in the back seat of my car variety) I am struck by at least one positive thought.

This will be the first spring in several years I haven’t had to battle with Maple seeds. You know, those little one-bladed helicopter jobs that twirl their way to the ground every spring. These are great when you’re eight-years-old, but not as much fun when you come equipped with gutters. Or a pool.

With a gas-heated pool we were able to be open, up, and running in plenty of time for the yearly airborne invasion. Hundreds of new seeds every day. Thousands of them. And what the salesman didn’t tell you about your pool is that, among other things, it is a magnet for Maple seeds. They plug up the skimmer, and the pre-filter on the pump itself. For about two weeks it was a daily chore to fish several pounds of water-logged Maple progeny out of the pool and its plumbing.

Then about the time the assault from on high was finished, and the pool was really open for business; the gutters started sprouting. Yes - sprouting. Maple seed in water germinate quickly. One day your house looks well maintained and the next you’ve got TREES growing in the gutters. Out comes the extension ladder, the leaf blower, and a 100 feet of electric cord. Up to the roof you go for an hour or so of mucky fun.

But not this year. This year I am gutter-less, pool-less, house-less, and seedless.

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Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.