Keep all the nature in
We really should entertain more, because it's the only thing that makes us do a proper top-to-bottom cleaning. (To be fair, a proper cleaning combined with top-to-bottom throwing of clutter into a room where guests won't see it.) We've suggested keeping the house clean by having friends over Sunday to hold Iron Chef: Battle Leftovers.
Mostly, we're cleaning up the inside, but the outside needed a little touchup too. (Apparently, Herself was right, and the patio furniture really won't put itself away. I thought there was a chance.) As I was giving the patio a sweep, I thought of folks like Hugh and John and Rob and all their leaf raking.
And I smirked a superior little smirk. You think differently about lawn care when there's 2 acres of lawn to think about. With just a little mental squinting, you're not a slob who won't rake, but an ecologically-minded landowner who "grasscycles." The way I see it, all those leaves came out of that exact dirt, so we may as well let them go back to it.
Your mileage may vary, of course, but it doesn't seem to hurt our lawn any to leave them there over winter. (Actually, the ditch down by the road gets a little smothered, but running over the leaves with the riding mower helps. The grass bounces back in about a week in the spring anyway.) I know that I could be raking all those leaves into a really impressive compost pile. Not having that black gold when spring comes around is perhaps my one regret, but I do well enough composting my other yard and kitchen waste.
My mom is probably reading this with great pride by now. I learned a deep respect for composting from my folks: a mix of fascination at the process and bemusement that people will actually sweep "waste" out of their yard, pay tax dollars to have it picked up, wait 6 months, and then go buy it back at a markup. (We had an article in the Dispatch about this recently; I didn't think the tone was sufficiently ironic. Face it: if this is you, you're at the bottom of that particular economic food chain.)
Part of it is that I don't have the fascination with the lawn that a good suburban boy is supposed to have. A big swath of green is just boring to me. We'd have a meadow if village code didn't get in the way. What actually fills me with wonder are the little postage stamp urban gardens of Dublin and London. With barely enough room to move a rake, these people have a riot of color to watch. Seems like a better payout for your effort to me.