Posted tagged ‘Leaf blower’

“I’m not making any plans. I’m just going to let the universe surprise me.”

April 18, 2015

Today smells like fresh earth. It smells like grass. The air is warm. The sun is bright. I keep going outside to the deck drawn by the warmth. Gracie has been out all morning mostly lying in the sun. Off in the distance is the sound of a leaf blower cleaning winter away. I think today is glorious.

The sun has made me energetic. I have completed and crossed off chores on the list for weeks. I am even getting closer to tackling the cabinet under the counter. I am curious as to what lies hidden there. I know there must be mice nests as I found some the last time I cleaned the cabinet, and I also found their cache of rice. I am on the hunt for a special baking pan long-lost in the Bermuda Triangle of my cabinet.

When I was young, I confronted noises. “Come out. Come out. I know you’re there,” I’d yell, but the last thing I wanted was for anyone or, even worse, for something to come out of the darkness. My bravery was bravado. I had this idea that by yelling I’d scare away whatever was making the noise. Nothing ever came after me. I figured I’d scared them or it. The older me knew better. Nothing was really there.

In the summer we could play outside even when it got dark. The street light rule was no longer in effect. We had to stay in the neighborhood, but our neighborhood was filled with wonderful places and so much to do. Hide and seek was even more fun in the dark. Sometimes we’d jump out at the seeker and scare him or her half to death. The more the seeker yelled in fright the more fun it was for us. Kids do have a bit of a sadistic streak.

Being a kid meant taking each day as it came. Saturday was the day filled with the most possibilities. We could go to the movies or ride our bikes or walk the tracks. We could catch grasshoppers in the field or watch the polliwogs in the swamp. We’d decide on Saturday morning. Planning is never a kid thing. Life is so much easier without a calendar waiting to be filled.

“This is a day youngsters can find the liberation they are seeking, by turning inwards, through prayer, and recognizing the temptations of greed, jealousy, lust etc.”

April 3, 2015

Last night the wind was ferocious. I went to bed early to read, but the sound of the wind grabbed my attention so many times I stopped to listen. It was easy to imagine myself in a house on a cliff overlooking the ocean while the wind whistled and howled around me. The house would be a huge old Victorian filled with dusty rooms and mystery. The French doors in my bedroom, with the prerequisite long white, billowing curtains, would face the ocean. When the doors blew open, as they usually do in mysterious houses, I’d stand on the small balcony looking out at the water while the curtains blew around me. I’d see the huge white caps pummeling the rocky shore. That was about as far as my imagination took me before I turned off the light and went to sleep. Later I was awakened by the sound of the rain.

The day is a dismal one, cloudy and damp, but it is warm, in the mid 40’s. Much of the snow disappeared with the rain except in my neighbor’s front yard. Underneath their trees a tract of snow remains. The huge plowed piles on the corner are just about gone, but my neighbor’s snow, still white, resists the warmth and the rain. I guess it is winter’s last gasp.

The morning birds are the first sounds of spring. The leaf blowers are the second. My neighbor’s deck is now being cleared of winter debris. It won’t take long. My deck, on the other hand, has leaves and branches fallen and blown from the pine trees which overhang it. Cleaning all that debris will take much longer. My backyard has some huge branches which broke off during the winter. In the no man’s land between my house and the next, a pine tree trunk has split in half. One half, leaning on the branches of other trees, will be sawed into pieces and hauled away. The other half will be left in the ground.

Good Friday has always been a no school day, but starting around the sixth grade, I had to sign up for an hour vigil at the church. I used to sneak in a book and would read the hour away. It always went fast.

“The key to a nice-looking lawn is a good mower. I recommend one who is muscular and shirtless!”

May 26, 2012

 

The sun is shining and the day is getting warmer. It was cloudy when I woke up and only 65°. It is supposed to get as high as 75° and be sunny all day, the same with tomorrow.

Well, I spend mega bucks at the garden shop yesterday and wrecked my back pulling the heavy cart. Luckily one of my former students works there and he dragged the cart to my car and filled the trunk and the back seat. For the vegetable garden, I bought cucumbers which should be enough to fill the rest of it. I bought cherry tomato pots for the deck, four or five different herbs, a hanging plant for the deck and four different flowers for the front garden. The only flowers I didn’t buy were the annuals for the clay pots which are all around the deck rail. I’ll get those later today or tomorrow after breakfast. That’ll finish the garden for this season, said she with tongue in cheek.

My neighbors are disappearing. I can no longer see down the row of houses to my friends’ house at the end of the street, and the neighbors on each side of me are almost completely hidden. My deck is again becoming my private refuge.

I finished my book. It was an odd book revolving around two sets of conjoined twins born 80 or so years apart, but I really liked it. Sometimes I don’t enjoy interspersed backward and forward trips in time, but this novelist did it well. As always, I’m sorry I finished the book. The joyful anticipation of sitting and reading it is gone.

This world is such a noisy place. I woke up this morning to the sound of the lawn mower at my neighbor’s house and a leaf blower on the next street. The leaf blowers are the worst. They are the noisiest of all garden machines and the worst spewers of pollution.

I miss the summer Saturday sounds of my childhood: the click clack of hand mowers, the scratching sounds of rakes and the swishing of brooms across sidewalks and driveways. Back then, there was something communal about mowing lawns. I remember my dad stopping to talk with our neighbor who was also mowing his lawn. My dad would lean on the long handle of his mower. They’d talk a while then they’d get back to the task at hand, mowing their lawns. I also remember my dad with his hand trimmer working on the bushes in our front yard. His trimmer looked like giant scissors. My dad always chopped the bushes too short, and my mother always complained.

When I used to mow my own lawn, I had a hand mower because back then my lawn was so small, just the front of the house. I also had hand trimmers. Now, I have a landscaper who has all the tools, the noisy tools. I do have to admit, though, my lawn and my yard have never looked better.

 

“Colors, like features, follow the changes of the emotions.”

May 14, 2012

My deck is now ready for summer. All the candles are in the trees and the furniture uncovered. I just need a warm day or two to get out to my favorite spot under the umbrella with book in hand. Right now it’s 65° which is considerably cooler than yesterday, and the sun which was so bright earlier this morning is popping in and out of the clouds. Gracie has had her morning run and is now in the midst of her morning nap. I have a few house chores to do then a bit of shopping, but I’m in no rush. I have the whole day ahead of me.

I like week days here on my street. The mowers are in the garages, the leaf blowers beside them, kids are in school and most parents are at work. I hear dogs barking, sometimes answering each other, sometimes just barking for the sake of it. Gracie, though, seldom joins the chorus of barkers. She mostly ignores them. They are familiar sounds and Gracie only acknowledges the barks of strangers.

I’m thinking of having my living room repainted. It is red right now, and I figure it will stay red, but there are some chipped spots which are driving me crazy. The bathroom too could use a make-over, and I might change that color. It’s pink now, a bright wear your sunglasses pink. A few years ago all the rooms but this one were repainted. They had been white for 25+ years, and I went with color, bright color, in all the rooms. I don’t even know why. I just know I wanted color and I still do.

My doctor once told me our systems change every seven years, nothing drastic, no extra toes or fingers or limbs but more subtle changes. According to him, that’s why my allergies and asthma developed. I would have preferred an extra toe, but I wasn’t given the choice. I wonder where in those seven-year cycles I might be now. I’d check my feet but that would be futile.