I have some of the best neighbors in the world. Sometimes, for no reason at all, they like to point out things that I should be doing around my house to better keep up with the rest of the street. They are retired as is half the block. So, besides competing over who can get up earlier and play chase the leaf with the gas powered blowers at 6am every morning, they seem to also compete with each other for the yard of the month. My yard looks more like a candidate for a before photo. Harold was shaking his head while I was cutting my grass. You see my riding mower cutting deck is not level so one side of my cut is higher than the other and this just bugs the hell out of him. But of course being the old country boy he is, telling me about it would involve a rather long and lengthy explanation about the procedure on how to adjust the mower deck and Harold is convinced I would not get it. So once a year I let him adjust it for me. After which I let the air out of the tires on one side of the mower thus causing one side to be higher and the mover to cut lopsided again. A silent protest if you will. You know it’s not that I don’t like talking with Harold but glaciers move faster than he speaks. So I rolled up to him, stopped the mower and waited for him to speak. Much to my surprise he asked me about my gutters. Damn caught me off guard. So unlike Harold he only worries about grass and garden. This feels like the work of his better half Shirley. He said that he noticed that my gutters are filling up with leaves, and the leaves are starting to rot. He seemed rather dismayed and asked me why I didn’t just clean them out at the same time I raked the leaves in the fall, the way he did. Of course I had to hold back the obvious laughter since he was admonishing me just this past winter for not raking my leaves… but I digress, at this point I noted out of the corner of my vision that his wife Shirley was slowly working her way over to the two of us. I think she was interested in my response since very likely she hounded poor Harold until he felt compelled to ignore the man code and speak of these things with me. I could tell this pained him deeply but being retired and home all the time he would rather break the code knowing I would understand than to hear her nag him until he could catch me outside in the yard again. Who knows when that might be? One of the benefits of speaking to Harold is that you can think of an answer before he finishes. Good thing to cuz I was drawing a blank. But then like an epiphany as I looked around trying to think of something to say and there was my answer at the back corner of his lot. I told him those aren’t gutters. They’re actually part of an aerial composting system. The leaves are supposed to rot up there. He chuckled, satisfied, shook his head and walked away. Later on I seen him adding some grass clippings to the pile in the back corner of his lot, he was still smiling.