Friday, April 15, 2005

It doesn't get any better...or worse

It's 78 degrees out here. It's spring, the birds are singing, and I sit here on my back porch. Our house is on a loop with the back porch facing a small valley full of trees, birds and bumble bees.

The dogwoods are in bloom; they carry snow white flowers about three inches across. The hardwoods have some leaves on them now and they flutter, ever so gently, in the light breeze. Ruth has set up several potted plants on the back porch to give a little foreground color to my panoramic view of the backyard. The houses across the small valley are masked by the trees and foliage within the half-acre of our property. Some days I curse the maintenance of our lawn and trees, but today it couldn't be better.

I have a couple of books here I'm reading and the wireless notebook is propped up by my journal. A little reading diversion, and some technology can keep me entertained here for days. It's all good. Where's the wine and cheese? It's perfect...

But wait, oh no, the guy across the way has decided to start up his airplane-turbine mower. The thing whines and echoes across our little valley. I swear, the trees quiver when he yanks the crank. I even think I saw some geese scatter like buckshot when he pulled the starter, and little bunnies ran for cover when they heard the noise.

"HEY, shut that thing off and keep it down over there! Can't you see you're frightening the little animals?" Oh, THAT'S nice. Look, he's wearing ear protectors. He can't hear me.

The woman next door is now yelling over the noise at her neighbor across the street: "Hey, where have you been? Welcome back! How's the wife?" I can't hear the replies, I don't even what to know.

Another neighbor has decided that he should also get a head start on the weekend and has started his weed whacker. Man those things are noisy, sounds like he's running it right next to my ear. And another neighbor has now started his blower. Why is he using that noisy blower, whatever happened to quite brooms? GIVE ME A BREAK PEOPLE!

So, it appears, as each of my neighbors come home from work, they start up their mowers, blowers, and whackers. I can count five different machines running right now. They have begun their noise just since I've started writing this. They must have had those things in their passenger seats when they drove up their driveways!

Now I can't hear the birds anymore and the jazz from my notebook has been snuffed out. I'm going back inside where it's safe.

Errriiiicccc, can you shut off that vacuum?!

(For additional quiet moments, check out Lunchtime Peace.)

The inability to stay quiet is one of the conspicuous failings of mankind. -Walter Bagehot, 1870


Jacq said...

Hi Dave,

I love this post. I felt that way when I lived in the suburbs although it sounds like you have a little more space between you and the neighbors than I did then. I used to wish that there was a lawnmowing day so that they would get it all over with at once rather than hearing a constant drone everyday. Not to mention that rude neighbor who insisted on starting at 7am on the weekends.

Now I live in a rural area on my grandfathers old farm. The graveyard is across the road (those neighbors are very quiet) but it is the kind with flat headstones so it looks like a lovely green field with trees in the background. In fact it was part of the farm when my mother was little and my grandparents are buried on the hill where their house used to be.

My aunt is my neighbor on one side and my parents are down the field.

Deer wander through the yard as well as the occasional racoon (don't buy a composter with latches, they are very smart).

Your post made me want to drop over for a cup of tea or better yet that glass of wine you mentioned.