“Life is too ironic to fully understand. It takes sadness to know what happiness is. Noise to appreciate silence. And absence to value presence.” -Unknown
“Silence is the sublime refuge of your divine. Silence exposes the highest potential for clarity. In silence there is a perfection which any toil injures. Silence is more than observation; it informs from non-observation. Only in stillness does the imperceivable become discernible. You will only find the profoundly inexpressible in profound silence.” —Bryant McGill
Waking up this morning, I had a plan. Thus far, that plan is at a standstill as I am still dealing with yesterday’s migraine. In turn, all I wanted was silence, in all its perfect glory. This, of course, is where the leaf blowers come in, and threaten to make me sicker.
After doing some mundane things earlier on in the day, the sound of three (I wish I were joking) leaf blowers on my property became unbearable. I was in the kitchen at the time doing some early prep for Sunday dinner, otherwise I might not have heard them in the back of the house, which is where I do most of my work.
I glanced out a window after a while because the noise was getting louder and closer, and there were no less than six people on my front lawn, three of whom had leaf blowers. I cannot tell you how annoyed I was, but I decided to let it go. If you can’t shoot people for being idiots, you might as well let them look like the idiots they truly are as they mind someone else’s business on a suburban street for all to see.
Yesterday my vile next door neighbor took it upon herself, as she does every Fall, to break out the leaf blower and blow every leaf off of her property onto mine. She blew them halfway to the middle of the front lawn, as if they magically got there on their own. Who does that, you ask? Someone not entirely sane.
She pretended she didn’t see me go to the mailbox before she started this nonsense, that I hadn’t answered a question when her husband stopped me to ask about my brother’s surgery, as he visited him in the hospital last week, and that she had not seen me Friday night when I came home from running errands. She was too busy gossiping, but believe me when I say her eyes are always on me and my business. As my brother would say “Don’t watch me, watch TV.”
Today, she did the same thing with the leaves, except this time she, her husband, and several other members of her family bagged the leaves up, because apparently they have nothing better to do on a Sunday morning. There are eighteen bags of leaves sitting at the end of my driveway, as if she did a good, neighborly thing out of some semblance of goodness that I can attest, does not exist. She put three bags in front of her driveway and the rest in front of mine, as if I am blind. She wants it to be obvious that she did it, but I’m smart enough to know her motives.
Don’t get me wrong, if this was a genuine move, I would be quite appreciative. I cannot afford to be an ungrateful bitch, and I’m not. However, she knew I was home. There were two cars in the driveway before she started and after she finished. There are several other houses on this street that could have used her brand of “assistance”. The neighbor next door lost her husband in April and is having a difficult time. I would think it would make a hell of a lot more sense to help her as she’s visibly struggling with such a severe loss, so believe me when I say this was far from genuine. If I were going to help someone, I would be doing the yard work for the other neighbor whose husband used to do to it for her and their family. That, at least, makes sense.
Here’s the issue, apart from my desperately needing quiet; This isn’t her house. If the leaves from my trees bother her, tough shit. They aren’t hurting anything or anyone, and there is no mandate in this township that says when or if you must bag up leaves or not. It is November, and it’s early November at that. The leaves can be bagged up for pick-up, if one chooses, well into mid-December. Generally the majority of mine get removed in early Spring because I’m not so OCD that it needs to be perfect. In fact, I’d prefer the chipmunks have leaves lying around in case they need them. Moreover, I have more important things to think about at the moment, and raking leaves is extremely low on the totem pole of thought. But hey, if she wants to waste over two hours, have at it. It will get colder, the wind will continue to blow, because hurricane season is not yet finished, and she’ll be back at it in a week or two weeks from now because both trees out front are FULL of leaves. They’re going to keep falling. It makes no sense to bag leaves up more than once, if one is going to do it at all.
Instead of treating me like a human-being that exists, she does this because the leaves bother her (God forbid a leaf get on her new car! The woman, I kid you not, threw a party to show her new car off to anyone and everyone, as if she hadn’t been driving a relatively new car before this. Did you just shake your head at the craziness of such a stunt? It’s very similar to driving around with the sale’s sticker on your car for months.), and what’s more, it bothers her that I do not say a word to her, not in English any way. I lack the ability to be polite to people once I’ve seen their true colors. I’m contemplating slipping a note under her husband’s windshield wiper when I go out tomorrow morning to thank him for bagging up the leaves, despite the fact that I know he wouldn’t do all that work on his own since he’s due for knee replacement surgery any day now. She thinks she’s being cute, but she has no idea who she’s screwing with. I should have taken video or photos, because if you’d seen the behavior as she barked orders at her minions, I mean family, you’d understand my reaction. I strongly suggest she see a doctor and get her medication adjusted.
Now that it is quieter, I am still hearing leaf blowers (and lawn mowers) throughout the neighborhood. It’s kind of like dogs that all bark in sync the second the mailman is on the street. If I knew where my ear plugs were, I might be able to quell some of the nausea the noise is inducing.
On the flip side, I LOVE preparing Sunday dinner, but since it’s just me (my brother won’t be eating solid food for quite some time and Case Study #2 is on his way to the airport.), I broke it up into three meals to prolong the culinary delights. I still have mushrooms to saute, some additional veggies to chop, and the centerpiece of it all to throw together. If I can get my stomach to settle down, dinner will be awesome and continue to be awesome for a few nights. 🙂
I have so many friends who don’t understand my love for cooking (My cousin once asked me how to make corn on the cob. I tried hard not to laugh as I explained the simplicity of it.), or who don’t cook at all, which is why I’m the one that feeds them when they visit, or when I visit them. Cooking is merely another art form I enjoy, it’s a skill set that not all people have. That doesn’t mean I don’t scoff when a friend of over 20 years happens to let me know that she’s learning how to cook for her husband. I had to explain that when cooking, you need to cleanse the palate in order to be able to taste what it is you are making and gauge the seasoning accordingly. When I received a giggly, moronic response, I rolled my eyes and have tried my level best to keep my mouth shut since. If you’re public with your stupidity, or you advertise it via social media, don’t expect me to pretend I didn’t just hear what you said. Don’t hand-feed the writer material!
And on that note my loves, I am off to the kitchen once more to put all of the finishing touches on one of my favorite meals. Buon appetito! 🙂
copyright © 2015 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
“If talk is cheap, then being silent is expensive. And many people it seems, can’t afford to buy into it.” ―Anthony Liccione