The First Cut is the Sweetest

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I heard my first spring lawnmower yesterday. I know it’s not yet spring but that didn’t stop one of my neighbours…the guy with the best looking lawn…from firing it up and, thus, officially launching the 2010 grass cutting season. There are few sounds that seem to soothe my soul like the sound of a distant lawnmower on a fine day. It’s right up there on the satisfaction scale with the mournful wail of a train whistle when you’re drowsily snug as a bug in bed. I love the lawnmower sound even though I know it means I will very soon have to follow suit. There’s a domino effect to living in a cul-de-sac. You don’t want to be the last one to get the Christmas lights down…and you don’t want to be sitting around with shaggy turf.

The lawnmower sound is forever embedded in some cathartic corner of my brain. I am a hard-wired baby boomer antennae…a child of the post war suburban bulge. There are three distinct sounds that can instantly transport me back to those carefree Howdy Doody days of yore. The first is the school bell. We have an elementary school within earshot of our home. Every time I hear the buzzer I feel the slightest distant angst about being late for class. My wife tells me that she still has anxiety-filled dreams about cramming for university exams. My anticipation goes back a little further.

[picapp align=”left” wrap=”false” link=”term=ice+cream+van&iid=5318948″ src=”e/a/5/2/Ice_Cream_Van_49a4.jpg?adImageId=10618525&imageId=5318948″ width=”234″ height=”185″ /]The second sound that triggers a reaction is any jingle played by the ice cream van. The kids in my neighbourhood used to call the guy who drove it the Yummy Man. And we would scream his name. IT’S THE YUMMY MAN…THE YUMMY MAN!!!  There was always an Olympian-styled dash to the street once the jingle reached your ears. Hot summer days and Creamsicles by the curb…oh God, how I wish life could ever be that singularly satisfying again!

And the third sound is the aforementioned lawnmower. The whir of the mower accompanied by that saturated scent of freshly sliced grass just drifting on the breeze….all of it still makes me want to kick off my shoes, lie on my back and stare into the big blue spaces between the clouds where the best days of spring still live.

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2 Responses to “The First Cut is the Sweetest”

  1. Dave

    You left out two that are right up there with the lawnmower and train whistle. The first is the sound of the bell of the Sharpening Guy, he still comes around occasionaly and I still run around the house looking in vain for something,anything that needs sharpening. I always fail but I am always ready to run around the next time the bell sounds. The other sound that gets the memory juices flowing is the sound your friend makes when his underwear is fully coming over his head and down over his eyes after a very excellent Wedgie has been completed, awww the memories, of course that one could just be me and not really universal and since you are now half a continent away I just don’t hear it very often, anymore.

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