Kids are back in school, the air has gone from hot and humid to crisp and cool and the leaves have changed from green to enchanting shades of gold, orange and red. I love this time of year! Fall is when we spend our spare time in pumpkin patches, apple orchards and being warmed by the outdoor fire pit. And before long, the leaves start to pile up in the yard. So much for spare time!

TIME KILLER: As beautiful as they are when leaves begin to change, they inevitably turn a nasty brown and cover the ground like a blanket. Although the sound of them crunching under our feet goes hand in hand with this lovely time of year, so does the daunting chore of cleaning them up. Like most kids from back in the day, I remember my father handing me a rake and sending me out to make giant leaf piles. We’d pile, jump and rake until our arms felt the burn and ache of it all. I look forward to the day when our children are big enough to partake in the “character building” job that is fall leaf cleanup. But for now, the job falls on me and my new Black & Decker BV6000.

DO-IT-ALL TOOL: The new BV6000 is a three-in-one proposition. It’s a 12-AMP, 180 to 250 mph leaf/yard debris blower, vacuum and mulcher! The “50-percent quieter” blower converts (without tools) to a vacuum in seconds. Composters will love the BV6000’s 16:1 leaf-bag to mulch-bag mulching ratio, the included reusable bag (plus two disposable ones) and the high-impact metal fan that prevents clogging during mulching. Not looking to blow down your tomato plants? No problem. The BV6000 features two speed selections— one for light duty around gardens and flower- beds, and another for pesky matted leaves in the yard or driveway. Users will also appreciate the built-in cord retainer, which helps keep the extension cord in place for uninterrupted use.

With all of the time you’ll save by using the B&D BV6000, you’ll have plenty of spare time to enjoy family time by the fire while sipping a few warm glasses of apple cider. MSRP is $79.99. For more info, visit or call 800-231-9786 —Kelly L. Bosaz

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