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Thursday, March 17, 2022

Can You Hear The Crab Over The Din?

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.        


  1. I understand your concerns, at times I feel the same way.But right now I'm thinking more about the poor Ukraninian people hearing the sounds of ballastic missiles, mortar fire, machine guns and explosions. I can't imagine the disruption to their lives.

    1. Peter; Good to see a grounding comment from you here. I purposefully opened my third paragraph reminding readers that this is trivial compared to what many others live with every day, i.e. it is a Middle-class American's "problem". But your comment augments the ballast I'd included in my post. The annoyance of leaf blowers vs. the situation in Ukraine are apples and elephants, obviously. Thanks for amplifying that.

  2. Pat,
    Rose and I enjoy taking walks around our development. In fact, since we both retired, it has become one of our favorite things to do. And although we don't live that close to the shore, driving down and walking on the boardwalk at Point Pleasant Beach, is a very close second to our walks at home. While I do at times find it distracting, the noises of leaf blowers, lawn mowers, etc are a sign of spring and summer and that makes it sound a little better.
    And then I read Mr. March's comments and cannot help but feel for everyone in the Ukraine and other war torn parts of the world and what they are experiencing, and it makes the sound of a leaf blower that much more comforting and so much less of annoyance. We all have our problems, but, as you put it, Apples and Elephants.
    Be well,

    1. "Anonymous" Bob; Three comments in one day, again; thanks for that. Although this crab is frequently annoyed by those leaf-blowers, your positive take, i.e. "...a sign of spring..." is refreshing. The crab may/may not remember that the next time he gets annoyed and then goes on a rant, but thanks for the ballast.