There’s a small but statistically significant number of people out there who think I’m a loud-mouth, a know-it-all, a contrarian. While there may be truth to all of these, I also know how to admit when I’m wrong, or when my views change.
Leaf blowers are a case in point. Long-time readers will remember my take on them some 20 years ago, which was, basically, that people who used then must be weak and lazy, that they must hate peace and quiet, and not care even a little bit about their energy consumption. In short, they were noisy, dastardly, planet-killers!
Sixty-one-year-old me is, however, beginning to appreciate the charms of the leaf blower. Recently, I tested a rechargeable model from Craftsman, the storied tool brand Stanley Black & Decker bought from Sears in 2017 for about $900 million. (Check out their V20 line, which you will find at Rona, Lowes, Reno Depo and Ace.)
I used it at the cottage, while the Man of the House (MOTH) and I were winterizing, on the same places I used to rake, including the thirty or so stone steps down to the lake. I don’t bag or burn the leaves at the cottage, btw – just push them onto a wooded hillside.
Last year I needed three ibuprofen and a day in bed after I’d done the chore. This year, using a Craftsman cordless blower, I powered through a layer of about four inches of wet, slightly frozen oak leaves on every step in less than half an hour (two charges). I blew another clearing to the bunkie, where we keep firewood.
Back in the city, we used it to tidy up the backyard. Again, many leaves get blown onto the garden, which we now barely touch (see 61 years of age, above). Here, I went ahead of MOTH to blow leaves into piles, which he then put them in recycling bins. It made doing the chore remarkably quick and easy, verging on pleasant.
I’d heard suggestions about using a blower to dust off a car or walkway, so I did give that a whirl after Toronto got its first ten centimetres of s-n-o-w. I am an ix-nay on that — as I can still wield a broom and a shovel pretty handily, and it’s good exercise – and a way to get outside.
The moral of the story? Perspective is sometimes everything. And that it’s okay to like your leaf blower, especially if you’re an Aging Oldster™ like me.