When it snows before leaf pickup, you get 'sneaved'

  • 'Sneave' is an ugly, messy mixture of snow and leaves. Thus, when it piles up along parkways, you've been "sneaved."

    'Sneave' is an ugly, messy mixture of snow and leaves. Thus, when it piles up along parkways, you've been "sneaved." Courtesy of Dave Heun

Updated 12/7/2018 6:56 AM

We were definitely "sneaved" in Geneva.

That's my new word to describe what happens when a blizzard hits the city before the leaf-sucker trucks could finish their rounds.


Sneave is an ugly, messy mixture of snow and leaves. Thus, when it piles up along parkways, you've been "sneaved."

Even though the leaf crews were going to try to get back at it this past week, I'm glad city officials acknowledged the program didn't work this year. With more serious problems for the city and state to tackle, I didn't want to sound like I was off base on this.

It's probably not the first year problems have unfolded with leaf pickup. Yes, weather is the major factor, but it might be time to consider how to outfox Mother Nature a bit.

I didn't pay much attention to this as a youngster, but it seems to me that leaves fall from trees based on weather conditions specific to each year. In other words, it might be problematic to establish a leaf pickup schedule too far in advance. Every year is different.

Last year, the leaves fell late in the fall season, so pickup seemed scheduled too early. This year, they came down with a vengeance early and pickup seemed late and could never catch up.

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What to do? Maybe alert residents that they should get leaves on their parkways as soon as possible after the first heavy drop because the trucks aren't going to wait long to get out. Give a general time frame, so no one can say they had no idea, but be flexible and quick to respond.

And if the leaves have a sudden and heavy drop, maybe have all-hands on deck to do the job, even on Saturdays.

We were lucky on our cul-de-sac. We had a mountain of leaves on our parkway that were cleared out a day or two before the winter storm hit. But it was the first pass-through on a schedule that said we should have been preparing for our second or third sweep.

As it is, plenty of leaves were left mixed in with frozen, or melting snow to create the dreaded sneave.

If we think outside the box a bit, maybe we can defeat sneave. And let's not forget that starting in December, residents can bag leaves without putting a sticker on the bag.

Some Dogtopia plans:

A Dogtopia dog day care/kennel business has submitted plans to the Geneva Plan Commission to take over the long-empty LaPetite Academy day care center at 2423 Fargo Boulevard in Geneva.


LaPetite went out of business about 10 years ago at that Randall Square site near Randall Court.

The property was becoming an eyesore and left a bad impression as the first business along that strip that also leads to TriCity Family Services and to the offices of oral surgeon Herb Stith and Lazzara Orthodontics.

Some warm socks:

Last year I wrote about St. Charles students Wyatt and Porter Snopko of Richmond School collecting socks during the holidays to donate to area homeless shelters.

The boys are at it again this year, collecting socks until Dec. 21 to deliver to residents of Lazarus House in St. Charles and Hesed House in Aurora.

This will mark the third year for their "Snopko Socks" drive, and they've collected and delivered more than 500 pairs each of the first two years.

Snug in their beds:

All types of wonderful things happen during the holidays, but you don't always hear about 88 children in the Fox Valley receiving a new bed.

It happened last week when the Salvation Army Tri-City Corps in St. Charles hosted its Christmas Family Party and Ashley HomeStore delivered the donated beds.

It came about through Ashley's "Hope to Dream" program and the Salvation Army's Adopt-A-Family holiday program.

Ashley's provides beds to less fortunate children across the U.S. and Canada. A portion of every mattress purchased in one of its 435 participating stores goes toward the beds for children in need.


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