Archive for the ‘suburban living’ Category

Sounds of UnSilence   3 comments

Anyone who says the suburbs are quiet must live in the city. Even here, which falls on the country side of suburban, complete silence is rare. In fact incomplete silence is rare. I’m not talking about the pleasant sounds of birds, crickets, peepers, and cicadas. I’m talking about machines.

It doesn’t matter what time of year it is.

Fall?

leaf blower

 

Winter?

snow blower

Spring and Summer?

power mower

I grew up on city sounds, where the noise, other than honking  horns and sirens, is more of constant, a type of noise that one grows so accustomed to that it is no longer heard. As for sirens – up here we not only have the sirens sounding from ambulances, police cars, and fire engines, we have the air raid type siren that summons the volunteer firemen and EMTs.

And oh yes, then there’s the mother of all sirens, the ear-piercing Indian Point nuclear power plant alert siren that is tested regularly. These are mounted in strategic spots in every town within a wide radius of the plant, and take it from me, if you happen to be next to the one in the shopping center in Peekskill, if you survive a nuclear meltdown, you’ll do so with impaired hearing!

But back to the ubiquitous leaf blowers, I don’t think I ever saw one until I moved back to New York from California.  I do remember when I lived in San Jose, reading how Palo Alto wanted to outlaw leaf blowers, and wondering what the fuss was about. I guess that’s because my neighborhood had lots of shrubs but few trees. Someone down the street had a cluster of palm trees on their lawn, and everyone had a city-planted curb strip tree, but leaves they shed could easily be wept up with a broom.

Then I moved back to NY, (in the fall, wouldn’t ya  know!) and rented an apartment in a private house in Harrison, a town of massive trees. Being home all day until I found  a job, I was treated to the full effect of lawn blowers underneath my windows every Tuesday when the gardener made his rounds.

But I hadn’t seen anything . Those days were quiet compared to up here – where it seems everyone and his brother has a

chain saw

– the bigger and more macho the better. They run them in spring to clear away any trees who bit the dirt, or I guess I should say bit the snow (or vice versa) over the winter. Then they power them up again in summer and fall, to cut up those same logs to burn through the winter.

Oh, and did I mention

generator

Before I even open my eyes, I can tell if there’s been, as the utility company gently puts it, a power interruption over night. These little generators produce more noise than they do power!

But come once a year, I get my revenge when I power wash my deck each spring!

 

 

And tee hee, bonus! This week I hauled it out a second time to power wash the house. But I’m all done, and as soon as these babies dry, out they’ll be back in the shed –until next year.

 

 

Why?   2 comments

Now that the cold temperatures are here and I have no garden tales to tell, I’m finally getting around to a subject I’ve been mulling around for some time. It’s a topic that’s near and dear to my heart – shopping. However it’s not my heart strings that are being tugged, it’s my brain that’s being confounded. You see, one word rings over and over in my mind, and that word is Why?

It all began when I noticed big-time ground breaking on Route 6 right next to the entrance to Cortlandt Town Center last spring. Route 6 is our major shopping strip, and Cortlandt Town Center is our major shopping center. It’s not spectacular but  in addition to these establishments, it has what I need to get by.

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Months went by, and several buildings began to take shape –  boxy squat shapes. However there were no “coming soon” signs and since they were too small to be Trader Joe’s, the only establishment that would send me into ecstasy, I lost interest as summer brought me big and better things to look forward to.

When September rolled around, I decided to treat Mighty Mouse, my grey compact station wagon, to an oil change and maintenance service. After all, he’d been good to me all summer. The dealership is on Route 6 directly across from the mystery construction spot.

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As I settled into my seat in the waiting lounge, and accessed WiFi, I looked up and across the wide street and saw that the word was out. The mystery was over.

Revelation #1:

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But wait, isn’t this inside the shopping center:

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Revelation #2

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You mean this one inside isn’t enough?

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or this one either?

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And then there was revelation #3.

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Of course, just what the world needs, another Starbucks. Especially since tucked within  Barnes and Nobles is a nice cozy….

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Oh well, variety is the spice of life, I guess.

 

PS. I have since been informed that GNC and Vitamin Shoppe appeal to totally different markets: the body builders and jocks vs the health-conscious. Oh well, live and learn……. and shop!