The Pursuit of Happiness

hammockI spent the weekend attempting to do something that is rare for me to engage in… nothing.  Lori and I traveled to Georgia, hung our hammocks side by side on the porch, poured ourselves a cool drink and kicked back with books that we weren’t all that interested in reading.  It looked like it was going to be a beautiful, quiet day in the mountains and then… our neighbors woke up.

Old Billy down the creek had apparently acquired four more hound dogs… making it an even eight.  Ironically, we call Old Billy the Dog Whisperer.  I say ironically because he loves to train hunting dogs, but it involves very little whispering and a great deal of screaming and barking.  Today, he was apparently training a dog to imitate a seal.  “ARF, ARF, ARF!”  Ten minutes later, the hound was still at it.  I lowered my book and looked at Lori over the top of my glasses.  She looked back at me with her eyes crossed.  Right!  I got up and walked over to the end of the porch and was preparing to scream a neighborly “SHADDUPP!!!” when on the other side of the ridge I heard someone crank up a chain saw.  It revved up to a high-pitched scream and then stayed that way.  Well, at least I couldn’t hear the dog barking anymore.  I went back to my hammock and tried desperately to meditate the noise away.  But after ten minutes of brain scrambling noise I sat up.  “Oh for Pete’s sake… How big of a tree is he cutting down?”  Lori didn’t reply.  “Hey!” I hollered to her through cupped hands.  Nothing, she just kept reading.   I leaned towards her and then I noticed the headphones.  She was in her own little world listening to her IPod.  How dare she not be as upset as I was about the lack of peace and quiet!  But before the “sitcom” husband in me had the opportunity to try to make sure she was as irritated as I was, I heard my closest neighbor crank up a leaf blower.  This lady has been known to chase a single leaf down her 1,000 foot drive way. Continue reading