Suburban Epic

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On mid-summer day afternoons, I pass my opened window in my bedroom to hear a strange but unfortunately familiar sound. The sounds of loud, aggressive shouts followed by several curse words in a foreign language fill my bedroom as I become intrigued to what ruckus is going on outside. The only thing I can think of that can be remotely similar to the noise is someone playing squash in a tunnel. Suddenly, the noise is followed by a bitter smell, almost like gasoline. I finally look out my window and see Ingrid, my neighbour, eighty-six years old, and attempting to start her lawn mower, yet again! Others on the street offer to mow the lawn for her, that it is unnecessary for the octogenarian to put her body through so much stress. But Ingrid just turns around, swears under her breath and continues to groom the grass. Nobody on the street takes offense to her actions. We all understand that her protective exterior is harder that her soft interior, which she is never willing to admit, exists. Her husband passed away nearly 5 years ago and she is processing through the stages of grieving. Now she is on the stage of anger and self-dependency, which is unpleasant for us but is integral for her healing. Until she gets through her furious stage, my Thursday afternoons will always consist of being interrupted by Ingrid’s shouts and curse words as she does her own landscaping!

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