Keeping ‘tomorrow’ and ‘five minutes’ loose keeps the peace

They’re gone, and I don’t know where they went.

I also don’t care where they went.

I assume whoever took them made sure they went to a good home.

I guess that’s the way it should be. Even though they weren’t my favorite, I at least would like to think they made it to a good home.

Let’s face it, leaves have feelings too.

For many years, I was the one who rounded up the leaves in our yard and made sure they got to a good home.

Well, not every year. One year, I tried to burn the leaves in our yard, which I suppose is the exact opposite of finding them a good home, unless you consider the large metal can where I put the ashes left after burning the leaves a good home. By the way, I put the ashes in the large metal can with the idea of eventually getting rid of them after a few weeks. But then things happened, and the next thing I knew it was July and one day I said, “Hey, I wonder what’s in this large metal can?”

Most of those years I would spend hours and hours raking the leaves and putting them into large trash bags. If I was lucky, I would get the leaves raked and bagged before we got our first snow storm and I would then take them to the landfill.

If I wasn’t lucky, the bags of leaves would get covered with snow and then spend the rest of the winter and most of the spring sitting along the fence in our backyard, which would prompt this conversation:

Wife: “When are you going to take those bags of leaves to the landfill?”

Me: “Tomorrow.”

Wife: “Well, all right, then.”

But then, a few years ago, I discovered that there are people who will come to your house, pick up your leaves and take them to a good home for you.

“Why didn’t somebody tell me about this?” I asked my wife when I found out that people will come to your home and pick up your leaves.

My wife looked at me for a second and then said the same thing she says whenever I ask a question like that: “I married a moron.”

This year, the people who come to our house to pick up our leaves were a little late. The early snow and wet weather threw off their schedule a bit.

The fact that they were a bit late didn’t bother me, but it sure bothered my wife.

“When are the leaf people coming?” my wife would ask.

“Tomorrow,” I would say.

“Well, all right then,” my wife would say.

My wife accepts it when I say “tomorrow” in the same way I accept it when she says “five minutes.”

My wife will call me and when I answer the phone she’ll say that she’ll be home in “five minutes,” and I will say, “Aren’t you in Kansas City?” and she will say, “Yes, I am,” and I will say, “Well, all right then.”

In both cases, my wife and I know that the other person is lying when they say “tomorrow” or “five minutes,” but we let the lie slide. The reason we do that is because I know that if I call my wife on her “five minutes” she’ll call me on my “tomorrow” and my wife knows if she calls me on my “tomorrow” I’ll call her on her “five minutes.”

It’s the marital equivalent of a nuclear deterrent.

But now the leaves are gone, and I don’t have to worry about my backyard for several months, unless we get a really bad snow and my wife asks me when I’m going to clear off our patio.

What do you think I’ll say?