Living a mile from the Atlantic Ocean is a privilege I do not take for granted. I know how fortunate I am to be able to enjoy Act Three of my life taking walks or bike rides on the boardwalk - especially in the off-season - activities that are restorative and peaceful, a luxury not available to many.
Unfortunately, that peace is routinely assaulted by the cacophony of leaf blowers, and the onslaught is not confined to the autumn. Attempting to meditate in my car recently, my reverie was shattered when four landscapers spent fifteen minutes blowing natural detritus off of one lawn. Last year when one of my book clubs was conducting meetings outdoors as a Covid precaution, one meeting had to be concluded early because we couldn't hear one another over the infuriating buzzing.
To be clear: This annoyance is minor compared to the travails of people less fortunate than I. And I am not whining about the landscapers themselves, who, in many cases, are immigrants trying to make a living. What triggers me is the obliviousness of the owners of these homes, many of whom are conveniently and frequently not at home while the peace of neighborhoods is being decimated. Here - in one of the wealthiest states in the U.S. - these are often enough second homes. How would these absentee owners feel if they were sipping a morning coffee or an afternoon cocktail and I suddenly unleashed a racket that approximated leaf-blowing? What is your guess?
I'll close this rant with an acknowledgment and a hope. If I were able to afford a second home - or perhaps, a bigger and more lavish single home - maybe another blogger would be right this moment crabbing about my insensitivity, absentee owner or otherwise. But I hope instead that I would be more cognizant of the din that leaf blowers create and the impact that din has on others.