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