Wiesbaden’s leaves get sacked
WIESBADEN, Germany — With the school day winding down, Jodi Stevens was in a hurry to rake up the last of the piles of leaves in front of her home.
“When I was a kid,” the Air Force staff sergeant said, “I would always jump into the leaves while my mom raked.”
Stevens glanced over her shoulder, looking across Aukamm housing area in Wiesbaden, predominantly an Army community. No school bus yet.
“Now, I’m trying to get done before my kids come home,” she confessed, “so they don’t serve me the same fate as my mother.”
Stevens, a member of the 1st Air Support Operations Squadron, and her Army neighbors spent a good many hours this week raking and sacking autumn leaves. As is the case in other military communities across Europe, Wiesbaden sets aside a few days each fall — and in the spring, too — to clean up the environs.
In the Hainerberg housing area down the road, other Wiesbaden residents, as well as some maintenance workers, were also busy brushing the landscape.
“The place where you live, you want it to look good,” said Army Staff Sgt. Clifton Marshall of the 123rd Main Support Battalion in nearby Dexheim.
Marshall had been raking without a break for well over four hours. Except for a few wayward leaves, the large yard in front of his home looked pristine and green.
Several apartment buildings away, 4-year-old Aimee Duchanse was helping her mom with stuffing — a bag that is, not a bird. The half-filled brown, biodegradable sack was as tall as pint-size Aimee.
“We don’t mind the hard work, do we Aimee?” Sarah Duchanse inquired.
Normally a chatty child, Aimee responded with just an up-and-down nod, as if to say: “Well, mom, I do mind.”
But her nodding noggin was betrayed by a playful smile and bare hands smudged with nature’s colorful confetti.