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What's Your Raking Personality?

By: Jamie Seitz
When it's time to take care of fall leaves, Jamie's family is enlisted to help (whether they want to or not!) and everyone has their own approach.

Illustration of different characters raking leaves by Danielle Lowery

Who’s coming to rake leaves?

My neighborhood is filled with enormous old trees. The gorgeous 100-year-old walnuts, sycamores and maples are a big part of why we chose to live here. There is no better time to drive into our neighborhood than mid-October when the leaves are brilliant reds, yellows and oranges. Unless, of course, you’re driving through in the spring when all the redbuds and dogwoods are blooming. That’s quite magnificent too.

Enlisting help

But all those colorful leaves eventually fall into backyards and front yards and sidewalks and need to be raked up and bagged. We regularly enlist our four teens to help in this task (you can imagine how that goes).

For your reading enjoyment, I present you with all the personality types that show up to rake:

A) The one who is willing to help but needs a bathroom break within 6 minutes, and then takes 15 more bathroom breaks over the next hour.

B) The one who spends as much time raking as they do playing with the dogs, swinging on the swing and taking a rest on the patio.

C) The one who thinks efficiency is key. We are not here to have fun, speak, get distracted or anything else that might make this activity take any longer than it absolutely must.

D) The one who joins the chore 30 minutes late after a leisurely breakfast, and then wants to talk task management strategy.

E) The one who puts ear buds in, speaks to no one, prefers no one to look in their general direction or try to tell them where to rake next and will fight you if you attempt to do any of the above.

F) The one who didn’t hear you say the leaves on the patio needed to be raked, never heard that they had to bag the leaves too, and definitely didn’t hear you say you were doing the front and the backyard, and they are unhappy about all of it.

G) The one who needs the perfect play list for the task and stops no less than 52 times to change the music.

H) The one who tries to balance the rake on their fingertip, but it falls and almost takes out their sibling’s eye, so he has to try it just 10 more times.

I) The one who thinks they are getting out of it because their friends are gaming online and are expecting them to join any minute now.

J) The one who pulls a muscle in his back raking the ground too vigorously.

Oh, the joys of autumn yard work. For the record, I’m not saying there’s a right way to rake leaves, but of course it’s C.


Jamie truly enjoys all things autumn: trips to the apple orchard, mums, apple cider by the campfire, Friday night football games…and even raking leaves.


You Might Also Like:
How to Choose the Right Rake for the Job
Fall Garden Checklist
How to Use Leaf Mulch in the Garden

Published: Sept. 2, 2022
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