Our new house is surrounded by large wonderful hardwood trees. We have a large variety of oak trees with some sweet-gum, sassafras and quite a few chestnut trees. The trees are large and mature and will provide some great shade come next summer. They are just starting to change and drop there leaves. The chestnut trees also are dropping their nuts. We have hundreds of chestnuts scattered all over the ground. I am constantly driving over them when I come in and out of the driveway. They are scattered on the sidewalks and throughout the grass. The mower does not like them. They come flying out from under the mower at incredible speeds. They are amazing projectiles and after a few near misses I decided that we should pick them up prior to mowing. Genius! I know.
The kids were not as keen as I was on picking them up. Jack and Emma moaned and groaned. To make the complaining more tolerable, I offered to give them 1 cent per chestnut. I gave them each a box and let them go at it. They puttered about for several minutes and acted like finding a chestnut was possibly the hardest job I have ever given them. I thought I was really being generous. This was a great plan. I loose a few pieces of change and get my yard picked up. After all I could have just made it a chore. The chestnut pick-up only lasted through the front yard. Apparently, it is not mentally stimulating enough for either child. They left me boxes of chestnuts on the porch, to bored to even count their haul.
Never fear they did count. 785 chestnuts! In just the front yard alone! Never would I have guessed that there were that many. To top that I am sure they did not do a particularly thorough job. There are still more. The more amazing fact is that now they are all back on the ground! Let me explain. In order to count them they dumped them out of the boxes and assembled them into groups of 10. Practical, concise, and right in the middle of the driveway. Here is the kicker. I did not discover that they were all scattered onto the driveway until after I payed them. Then I had no leverage to make them pick them up again. After an afternoon of cajoling and praising their hard work, I was left to clean up the mess once again. Why am I not surprised? Not only that but I am out $7.85! It really was a great plan.