Susan's battle with leaves continues

Susan Manzke
Using a leaf blower, Susan manages to blow out some of the leaves trapped in the gutter.

There are gutters around my house, but only a small section that is easy to reach, that being around the second-floor upper deck.

I started to address this gutter myself, but after doing a small section, I asked my daughter Rebecca for her help.

There’s a corner above the deck that could be reached but only with a lot of stretching. When the leaves came loose, so did some gunk that was stuck in the corner gutter. This stuff needed some extra effort to get it out, and when it came, it sprayed up and over the sides of the gutter and all over Rebecca and me—I bet at that moment my daughter had second thoughts about helping.

The day we were working was one of the last beautiful fall days. We were out there because rain was on the way, which would gunk up all the leaves in the gutter.

My puppy, Stella, was outside watching us from in her fenced area below. When we switched the blower on she reacted, running in circles. Stella didn’t like the noise we were creating with the leaf blower. She hid behind a bush in the pen next to the house. She hid so well that I thought Stella had escaped—she and the cats hate when I pull out the vacuum in the house, too.

I went out the back door and called Stella, but she didn’t come to me. I looked for a place in the fence where she could have gotten out and worried about how I’d find my scared puppy—I never let her loose because the house is so close to the road. I feared she’d run across the road in her panic to get away from the noise.

To my relief, Stella came out of her hiding place, still in her pen. I think she wanted to make sure we were finished with that noisy blower before she exited her safe space. After that, I put her inside the house and hoped she didn’t chew up anything while Rebecca and I were working.

I thought we might be able to get to the front porch gutters next. This didn’t go so well. There’s no door to the deck above the front porch, so we tried a ladder.

Rebecca took a few steps up the ladder. Nope, too shaky. Working on the gutter from the ladder wasn’t going to work—we put the ladder back in the shed.

Daughter Rebecca tries to blow out leaves from the ground using Bob’s homemade gadget.

Next came out one of my late husband’s homemade gadgets. Near the returned ladder was a length of PVC pipe. In the past, Bob used it on the end of a leaf blower to clear out the gutter we were attempting to clean.

Bob’s gadget worked, but only blew out some of the leaves. Holding it up from the ground was too difficult for us.

We got what we could and returned all our gadgets to the shed. Now I’m looking for a professional to finish all my gutters.

Fall work isn’t easy. Hopefully, I’ll be able to hire someone who isn’t afraid of heights and has the machinery to lift him around my house to get all my gutters clean.

FYI: on Nov.r 15, I’ll be on Local 5 Live on WFRV TV Green Bay, between 9 and 10 am, talking about my new children’s picture book, All the Queen’s Crowns. If that station is out of your television area, you might be able to watch it online at later.

Also, if you are near Stevens Point, I will be doing a storytime reading of my book on Sat., Nov. 19, at 11 am, at Bound to Happen Books, 1008 Main Street, Stevens Point. I hope to see you there.

Susan Manzke, Sunnybook Farm, N8646 Miller Rd, Seymour, WI 54165;;;