All the lawns are mowed on Wednesdays - Lois Greene Stone

            All the lawns are mowed on Wednesdays. Well, that’s what the card said from the Neighborhood Watch Association. Geez. I can’t even hire my own lawnmower service. What was I thinking moving into a ‘development’?  Obviously, I wasn’t thinking.
            I called the number on the card. “Yes, I’m new here. Yes, of course I’ll wait on hold.” Damn hold and piped in music and not even the genre I like. I poured a glass of iced tea while the speaker phone kept sending out the repeated beats someone thought was music.
            A voice. “Yes. Hello. What happens if it rains on Wednesdays. Does my lawn get cut next day? Yes? Really! No. And if there happens to be a couple of weeks of rainy Wednesdays, and the lawn gets very high I’m seriously not allowed to mow it?” I muttered ‘ridiculous.’ “Yes, I did sign a contract saying I no longer have any say in who plows my driveway in the winter, takes the trash to a town dump, can’t plant any flowers without permission, must not paint my house unless I use the colors of the community, can’t get a larger mailbox because it’ll ruin the look of the neighborhood. But isn’t the appearance of my lawn with shaggy grass going to alter the look?”
            The silence at the other end made me wonder if the person had hung up. “Excuse me? Are you there?” I spoke into my cell phone still set on speaker mode. “Hello, hello.”
            I redialed. Why ever was I talked into moving to this community? Neighbors don’t like ‘outsiders,’ and the cul-de-sac isn’t even labeled correctly. So will that little area get mowed on Wednesday, and will the trucks be here but won’t do that part of the street? Is this another definition of insanity?
            A voice.  “Yes. Hello.” I repeated my question. “How can I join the committee that sets up rules for the Association? I can’t because I’m new? When will I be old?” The phone went dead. I guess the voice thought I was being sarcastic. Was I? I wanted truly to find out. Community life isn’t communal life.
            I put my phone in the charger, went to the front window to look out at the lawn, and cried.

Lois Greene Stone, writer and poet, has been syndicated worldwide. Poetry and personal essays have been included in hard and softcover book anthologies.  Collections of her personal items/ photos/ memorabilia are in major museums including twelve different divisions of The Smithsonian.  The Smithsonian selected her photo to represent all teens from the 1950’s; a large showcase in its American History Museum features her photo. hand-designed clothing, and her costume sketches. ‘Girlhood’ exhibit opened October 2020 and is on tour as of January 2023.