Have you ever noticed how photos and stories about autumn leaf raking always seem to portray an idyllic setting with loving parents and their sweet little ones frolicking in a big pile of dried leaves?

It never seems to look like that at my house.

With multiple mature trees in my yard, leaves fall on my corner lot during much of October and deep into November. And we're talking a lot of leaves -- 30 leaf bags full during the average fall dropping. So instead of enjoying the autumn air getting in touch with nature, I find myself raking leaves most weekends -- every weekend -- until those darn silver maples finally drop their leaves during deer hunting season.

Don't get me wrong. I used to love tossing my small children into the big piles of leaves in the back yard and watching them laugh. Now those kids are nowhere to be found when leaves pile up at my doorstep, blown there by a swirling wind. 

I took a little pleasure last week when my adult son called and complained his muscles were sore from raking leaves in the yard of the home he bought last winter. Welcome to my world, buddy. 

Johnson can be reached at 715-833-9211 and gary.johnson@ecpc.com.