I walked out to the end of our driveway the other morning, as I always do, to bring in our daily newspaper(s) and was surprised to see this sign. "Men Working". Ok. Appreciate the Headzup. But I was curious because I saw no actual men working. Or women for that matter. Or giraffes or otters or any other creatures. I stood at the very end of the driveway, toes against the blacktop and looked all the way to the left and all the way to the right and, nope, nothin'.
For some reason, I'm not sure why, I assumed this meant roadwork of one kind or another. And since I saw no evidence of any kind of work, no trucks, no people, no equipment of any kind, I thought that it must be farther down the road around the corner that I cannot see. I shrugged and went back inside to get Tim's breakfast underway. And I began to go about my morning as per usual. Hum dilly hum. On the stroke of 8 am however, it began. And it was loud. It was Very Very Very Loud. It was the sort of loud that permeates your very bones. Not at all conducive to someone (in this case Tim) trying to work. He might be able to kind of block out the crashing, bashing some of the time but phone calls would have been a real challenge.
As I ran around the house closing windows (a shame on a beautiful day) I kept trying to see exactly what was making the gawdawful sound. It took awhile but eventually I came to realize that there was more than one thing going on. It was both behind us and beside us which is the same neighbor. Let me take a moment to explain.
The street behind us is a private road (excuse the heck outta me!) that ends at the house behind us. I mean literally the road comes to an actual halt at that house. It is a very narrow road with just a few houses, waterfront, on the bay. Very nice. Now as it so happens, we live almost on a corner, like about a half a lot to the actual stop sign. At some point, someone bought the property directly behind us (and remember the road ends at that house) and the lot next to us which kind of straddles the corner and turned it into one cattycorner property that goes front the road behind us to beside us. The main house is behind us, the guest house is beside us. And as it turns out, noisy stuff was happening in both places that day.
Behind us was something having to do with their pool. And the reason I know that is the Lucas Lagoons trucks that we saw. I don't know if you are familiar with Lucas Lagoons. There is a television show, "Insane Pools" which you may have seen, that centers around this company. It's a local (to us) company that builds these beautiful and very elaborate pools, patios and whatever else the client wants having to do with the general pool area. Because these "insane" pools are so incredibly complex, apparently, they require and insane amount of noise to build them. So that was part of the ear assault.
The other part of Project Noise I learned about when I was standing on the guest bed cleaning the overhead fan blades. (Yes occasionally I actually do clean things). While I balanced and sprayed and papertoweled alternately, I caught motion out the window from the corner of my eye. So I stopped what I was doing completely and saw several men standing on the roof of the guesthouse next door with large saws and ropes and other implements of destruction. Ahhhh! That is the other noise! They are tree trimming. Which also means wood chipping and sometimes stump grinding.
Wowza! No wonder we could barely hear ourselves think!
Oh well, if it's gotta be done, it's gotta be done. And perhaps it was good that both noisy things were being done on the same day. Get it over with and move on to peace and quiet once again.
The next day, as I again started my day walking out to get the newspaper I was bummed to see the Men Working sign again. I sighed and returned to the house and just went ahead and closed the windows ahead of time. I knew what was coming. AND I wasn't wrong. Once again, as soon as the hands of the clock struck 8 am the barrage of sound began. which means that despite the lovely weather outside, we were, one more time, inside with the AC on and the windows tightly closed, besieged by constant drone punctuated with occasion crashing, crunching, shouting sort of sounds.
During the afternoon of that second day, while I was ironing in the family room something caught my eye out the window that seemed to be on the corner of the house. So I went outside to check it out. It was tree debris. Lots and lots of branches and fronds and giant seed pods and other stuff, obviously cut from the neighbors trees that fell into our yard. Oh well, stuff happens. So I gathered it up into a pile knowing that our own lawn guys would pick it up on their next visit and take it away for us.
Out the front door was a different kind of tree debris which I addressed toward the end of both days. Dead leaves. Lots of them. Trapped in our courtyard and just waiting to cling to people's shoes so they could be tracked into the house. My favourite. These particular leaves came from Jacaranda trees. I happen to really love Jacaranda trees. We don't have any, but our neighbors do. And I can only assume that when the branches were trimmed and wind carried the very lightweight dead stuff through the air and deposited them into our courtyard where they were trapped by the courtyard walls to live forever and ever, amen, amen.
So I grabbed a broom and began to sweep. And sweep. And sweep. And...well you get the idea. The Jacaranda tree has small, narrow leaves so it takes a lot of them to be impactful visually. Here is just a small glimpse of the issue:
Most of our courtyard is pavered, but part of it is gravel. (And no, I have no idea why. The property came this way. I sept the pavers clean but gravel is another story. It's really hard to sweep gravel. I picked some up by hand, one little branch at a time, some parts were bigger gobs of it so I could use the dustpan to kind of handsweep the upper levels of the pile into the pan without getting too much of the gravel in there.
I did what I could and then walked away and left the rest for me to think about how to address.
Luckily for me our lawn guys came by on the 3rd day and in addition to their usual lawn type stuff, they noticed the dead leaves in the courtyard and blasted it with leaf blowers leaving the courtyard much as it was originally. Nice.
So there you go. The story of the Men At Work sign. Whether you wanted or needed to know it or not. Today, Blessedly, there is no horrible noise, the windows are once again wide open and peace again falls on our little island. Nice :)
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.