i am fascinated by certain things in the world. constellations, the smell of a brush fire, slow moving clouds, the taste of brisk winter mornings, and a bunch of other things.  at the top of that list, above all else, are trees.  

i don't know jack squat about them.  you know, what type of tree i'm looking at, why it grows here, or any of its other characteristics.  i just know that the design of the branches and the detail in the leaves and the root systems and the rings in the trunk and the way they sway and what they have seen through all of their days is incredibly cool to me.  

ne corner of lincolnway and university

here we are mid-november, and these incredible trees are losing all of their leaves.  this can only mean one thing - raking.  instead of supporting other organizations who are fundraising this time of year, i hire my boys to help me rake. they are increasingly more helpful each year, and definitely more fixated on the dolla dolla beel.  we got most of the yard raked up and bagged in about two hours.  the boys were pooped, and i was on my way there.  twenty bucks is twenty bucks, you know, but hard labor is tough in its own right.  

i shared some of my past work experiences with the boys.  i used to wait tables, make tacos, sell clothes, deliver mail, donate plasma, assemble coffee pots, deliver newspapers, and bake cinnamon rolls.  we talked about eventually finding a job that will pay your bills, take care of your family, and give you some funny money.  if you are fortunate enough to get good at something that you love, then you'll never work a day in your life.  i'm certainly not getting rich doing music professionally (contrary to popular belief), but still have a hard time believing that i'm able to make it on music alone. i'm thrilled that i get to help students open up their sound, refine big band passages, work on the glazounov concerto, arrange combo tunes, and talk about wayne shorter (i was kidding about the glazounov...)

i like being outside. i like teaching my kids about the value of a hard-earned buck.  i like trees and find honor in collecting their leaves.  however, no way do i want to cover my monthly expenses by raking leaves or shoveling snow or mowing lawns.  my lower back agrees.  

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