A stroll in the park was my usual contact with nature during World War II when I grew up in an 8th floor New York City apartment. My job each evening was to pull down the blackout shades in the hope that German, Italian, or Japanese bombers wouldn’t find us. My husband, Mike, spent the war years in a Washington apartment where the same nightly precautions were taken.
After I married, we lived in the suburbs. Neither Mike nor I knew anything about houses or yards. Our property was not perfectly maintained.
Our son, Rob, played with Wayne, the boy next door, generally at our house. But one day, when Rob returned from an afternoon at Wayne’s, he told us that when he’d accidentally brushed against their gleaming car in the garage, Wayne’s father had barked, “Don’t touch.”
Shortly afterwards, as Mike took a walk with daughter Ellen, our five-year old, he stopped to speak to Wayne’s Dad. They got to talking about dandelions or crabgrass or some other homeowner’s challenge.
Bored by this encounter, Ellen moved under a shade tree on the grassy sidewalk strip beside the road.
Without turning to look at Ellen, Wayne father announced, “You’re standing on my grass.”
Different strokes for different folks. What is your compulsion? As for me, I tend to knit while watching TV.