January 12

Vain, I’m fatter than I want to be.

I raked leaves with my father today. They were wet underneath with all the rain of December and some of the rain of January. They were dry on top.

We raked them into a blanket which I bought at the nearly new store for 3.99. (That day, I bought the blanket and a filing cabinet, and I played a bunch of pianos, all of which were badly out of tune).

And put them into a wheelbarrow and wheeled them to the woods and lifted the woods so the leaves fell into the woods.

We took turns raking, pushing the wheelbarrow, and pausing to lean on the rake and look into the middle distance at the road and the neighbor stealing gravel from the road to put in her yard.

We tried not to get too much gravel on the blanket, because it was heavy enough, with all the wet leaves.

I caught a whiff of the smell of the leaves, and it was a good smell that reminded me of past Autumns, even though this is January. It reminded me of my Father and my sister and raking leaves into a pile and jumping into it.

We were finished before long, and my father and I went to the Rock store to buy a flagstone or two, for the top of the sidewalk where it meets the road.

The Rock store is usually open til 3, but today it closed at 12. Winter Hours.

My father had heard of a different rock store that someone told him about, so we went to look for it but found nothing.

I pulled my phone out of my pocket and did a search but found no rock store.

So we drove to a nursery and went in and my father either asked about rocks or looked at plants, I’m not sure which.

Then we got a hot dog with onions, chili, and slaw. We split a bag of fries. The crinkle cut kind.

At the hot dog place was a couple who had never been to the hot dog place. I asked where they were from, expecting an answer like New York or CT, given their accents, which I judged to be Northeastern. They were from Pinehurst, though.

My father and I came home and I went to work on some music. My father went to get the leaf blower.

He wasn’t finished. There were more leaves to get, to blow into a pile to be raked later.

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