doodle by andre: homicidal instincts?


A PPARENTLY HIS ENGLISH UPBRINGING didn’t prepare him for our American mania for mowing. Andre the now-Nebraskan doodler, who recently became a homeowner with a yard of his own to tame, seems to be feeling a little, shall we say, agitated. If I recall correctly, Robert Frost didn’t say, “Good weed whackers make good neighbors,” did he? Sigh. You? Any power tools got you buzzing mad?

  1. Susan says:

    I understand Andre’s situation. I have a neighbor that does this on Sunday’s around 5:30 am, my dogs wake me at that time, but mowing should not be allowed until 9am on Sunday’s. Make sure your wife had huge bag of cash for bail if the gun goes off.

  2. Right there with you my friend.

    Along with the mowing, we have the landscaping crews and their giant trucks and animated chatter. I think we are the only family on the block that mows their own lawn yet the trucks are always parked in front of my house. I look out the window furious and they are all smiling and laughing and that always softens me…and then tell myself an early run was just what I needed.

    1. margaret says:

      Welcome, Countess. Nice to see you here. And thanks, Susan, for helping Mrs. Andre w/the preparatory steps. Good thinking. :)

  3. Abby says:

    Fortunately, most of my neighbors wait until 9 on Saturdays, 11 on Sundays, to start mowing. But it is the leaf blowers I can’t stand. The occasional chain saw and/or stump grinder also set my teeth on edge, but sometimes ya gotta do what ya gotta do.

  4. chigal says:

    I wonder how they manage it in Ireland? Oh, to be rich and own one of these big Chicago neighborhood buildings with the mostly dead patches of lawn on the curb. I’d rip it out and put in something lovely. Our neighborhood’s mowing crews tend to use the giant lawnmowers you stand on, for each 10 x 30 foot strip of lawn with trees. Ridiculous. One windshield replacement, so far.

    Can’t complain about the noisy tree trimmers who spend all day deafening everyone, though. They’re finally providing a much needed service after years of neglect and falling limbs.

  5. andre says:

    I am tempted to scatter forget-me-not seeds on all the lawns whilst the neighbors sleep – then they would mow less often due to the pretty but mysterious flowers that have suddenly appeared.

  6. Erin says:

    I feel the same way except in my case it’s 5 p.m. Saturday evening … just when you’re sitting down to enjoy a cocktail on the patio. Without fail that’s when the retired neighbor (meaning um … he COULD do this another time) chooses to run his lawn mower. And I saw run his lawn mower because sometimes he’s not even cutting the grass with it. Sometimes he just uses it to haul around a garden cart and pick up sticks. I’m liking Andre’s forget-me-not idea.

  7. Tammy says:

    Oh my gosh, yes. There is a “lawn crew” that mows the guy next door’s lawn. Every.Saturday.morning. In the pouring rain, if it’s dead (I’m serious) in the winter, no matter what.

  8. andre's wife says:

    I would just like to point out that the Jordan household is as anti-gun as we are anti-mowing the yard early* in the mornings!

    *Erin, we had the same problem at the apartment from which we just moved!

  9. Donna says:

    For me, it is the blowers. Where do they think the debris goes? They blow and blow and blow, making an unholy racket and the first good wind from mother nature reverses the the wasted expenditure of gas. Get a broom. Grrrr.

  10. Leigh says:

    My husband would do that on Sundays if I didn’t threaten him, our closest neighbor is a church and I doubt they would appreciate it.

  11. april says:

    Is someone going to hit me if I say I love the sound of a mower? It’s the chainsaw and chipper that make my teeth rattle and nerve endings explode.

  12. Elizabeth says:

    Maybe Andre needs to become acquainted with the musing of the late great Mrs. Greenthumbs, Cassandra Danz. Her goal was to have no grass at all, just flowers. And, I think pretty much she achieved that in her home in Hudson. (Cassandra is no longer with us, but her garden is still there and flourishing.)

  13. Johanna says:

    I rented a house for a year before I bought my place. It had about 1/2 acre yard, and was surrounded by other houses with similar or slightly larger yard. My mower was in storage, but I’d brought along an old reel mower from a previous home, so I’d use that to mow. Now that’s a NICE sound! All my older neighbors would flock out and start telling story of “when I was a boy, I’d mow ten yards in a day” and so on. Then they’d turn back to their own yard, hop on their big ol’ riding mowers, and race me to finish.

    At present my own mower needs a part, and I’m kind of missing its sound as I watch the dogs’ legs disappear in the deepening grass.

  14. margaret says:

    Welcome to Andre’s Wife (who I positively *swear* had a name when they met and married, but oh, well); welcome also to Leigh (who will go straight to heaven for her kindness and consideration), and also to Donna (the wind here is so fierce that you could blow or sweep nonstop and not stay ahead of it, but sweeping you can at least retain your hearing into old age, I figure).

    Hope to see all of you again soon, and thank you.

  15. Nemaslug says:

    The noise of people mowing used to bother me when I was younger. Inconsiderate neighbours would start mowing before midday while I was still asleep!

    Since the arrival of children I no longer get to sleep. The sound of mowing generally passes me by in the sleep-deprived dream world I inhabit.

    Actually our neighbours are far enough away that their power tools are more of a background noise rather than an irritant. On the rare occasion I get to sit down outside, I find it rather nice to hear the distant sounds of a neighbour mowing their lawn.

    1. margaret says:

      Welcome, Nemaslug. Sorry about that sleep-deprivation; funny how it modifies one’s reaction to things. Next time I feel irritated by sounds I will think “background noise, rather than irritant.” Thanks.

  16. MiSchelle says:

    My dream is to get my neighbors to mow at the same time so I don’t have to listen to mowers all day! I have six neighbors within “earshot” of my place. It seems one finishes and 15 minutes later another starts. My friend loves the sound of a mower – she exclaims, “ah, the sounds of summer”. To me the sounds of summer are the birds chirping, leaves rustling, chipmunks chipping, and creek happily bubbling by. NOT the drone of a 2-stroke motor.

  17. Wendy says:

    It’s so reassuring to know I’m not the only one who goes absolutely over the edge at the sound of mowers! I LOVE MiSchelle’s idea of syncronized mowing. I try to enjoy my porch and garden as much during the week as possible because it’s quite then.

    But on the bright side, come mid-July and August, most of the neighbors’ yards are quiet because their grass has been burned to within an inch of its life! Lemonade on the porch anyone? :)

  18. Lolo says:

    Ah, the bliss and peace of living in the suburbs. Sigh. Weekends are a delightful awakening to the music of power mowers, trimmers, whackers, weeders and blowers, punctuated by the rhythmic barking, yapping, howling and baying of all the dogs left out in the yards and driveways.

    The price I pay for choosing not to live out in the boonies, I guess. I do like living close to markets and schools but oh, sometimes I regret my decision.

  19. CovingtonKat says:

    Ditto what Erin said! I wish there was some way to get all neighbors to agree to mow weekly at the same time (good fantasy, huh?!?). Our back neighbors have a huge lot…and are retired. Invariably, just as we sit down to enjoy a post work drink-and-how-was-your-day visit out on the deck, watching the birds at the feeders and bird baths, the mowing/weedwhacking begins. They are very nice people…but dang, if you’re lucky enough to be retired – can’t ya be considerate enough to do it DURING the day?!? Sigh…OK…I’m done……

    Margaret – your Open Garden pics (both before and after) were wonderful. I know how much work goes into getting ready for something like that – one of the rewards being you won’t have to bust your *ss as intensely out there for a while and can enjoy the fruits and flowers of your (and your wonderful helpers’) labors!

  20. Jan says:

    Funny, as I’m reading this I’m sitting in my office and one of those gigantic mowers Chigal talked about is mowing the little apron sized lawn outside the office window. Teeth grinding noise but it’s so nice to smell the clippings and then the robins always show up to see what the mower has turned up. Could shut the window but the office building air conditioning is miserable — worth the noise to have the fresh air.

  21. margaret says:

    Welcome, Wendy. I think it’s a quorum here: We are going to pass legislation that everyone in a neighborhood mow simultaneously or else. Hope to see you again (and hope you get some peace).

    @CovingtonKat: Thank you. And did you say *ss? :)

  22. andrea says:

    my sentiments exactly! fortunately, most crews around here wait till 8am before they start their engines, but one crew or another keeps the neighborhood buzzing on and off for the rest of the day. or, is that all the air conditioners running to drown out the mower/blower noise? guess i should just shut my windows and get back to my lawn elimination plans…

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