I love owning a home. Growing up with parents who appreciated and instilled in me a love of architecture, I could not wait for the day I started looking at homes to buy. My husband and I own a historic home and finally have our own little piece of land – the American Dream, yes. We purchased a 1.5 acre property because he grew up with land to mow, I did not. So he got the yard, I got the historic home. Good compromise. Well, our fabulous yard has about 20 walnut trees in various stages of maturation. We started picking up walnuts in late August. No problem. A few here, a few there….15 min later, the majority of the yard is picked up. Lately, school work took top priority and walnut duty moved to the bottom of the list. As a result, yesterday was designated “walnut day” after school. We filled six wheelbarrows full of walnuts/leaves/twigs. It was wonderful to be outside (after being in a windowless classroom for eight hours) on a brisk fall afternoon. The cat joined us and watched from a safe distance (as she has been hit by a walnut before) until she was bored and decided the birds in the back part of the yard were more intriguing. It was a cool 45 – 50 degrees and I figure this is good training for her so she can still go out in the winter for a few min each day. As long as it only happens once a year, I can handle picking up walnuts. It’s a good fall time tradition.