"He's mowing his lawn again?

What? Does he, like, cut it everyday?"

Tania, my 8 year old daughter, commenting on our neighbour yet again mowing his lawn.

He is retired. He has been for a while, but this year he has become obsessive about all manner of yard work. It may be a consequence of his suffering a heart attack earlier this year.

Sofia says she has seen him mowing the lawn twice a day (morning and evening).


Barbara said…
Mowing the grass would be about the last thing I would think of doing in retirement. Your neighbor is a man in need of a hobby!
I had a heart attack last year and I haven't mowed my lawn once! Does that make me behind or more of an oddity?!!!
Richard said…
barbara: well, he walks his dog, mows his lawn, cleans his pools, waters his lawn. He seems to have become more compulsive since his heart attack, he was not so obsessive last year (mind you, his lawn still looked better).

MOI: I don't know. I could launch into a discussion of epigenetics (but not today, except briefly).

Epigenetics is the study of changes to your genetic expression (DNA). Normally, we are led to believe that our DNA is our destiny. However, researchers have shown that DNA does not have to influence us. You can read here about how researchers at Duke University got mice who were genetically predisposed to be fat and yellow, to give birth to slim, brown mice (who have the same genetic predisposition, but it seems to be turned off) by simply feeding them more vitamins.

Perhaps the heart attack (or his quitting smoking) has changed his behaviour in a similar way.
Coffee fairy said…
I think he needs someone to talk to, a buddy, a friend...
b said…
Ah, this sounds like my father. :)
Richard said…
coffee fairy: he does have his wife, his kids live nearby in town, as do his grandkids. He (though mostly his wife) take the grandkids (2 of them) to school, pick them up and babysit them.

breal: lots of people seem to have some sort of obsessive-compulsive behaviour. I find it wierd.
b said…
Actually, I think my father just needs a purpose. He is a type A personality and in retirement, he has lost that sense of purpose and importance that he had in his highly-involved corporate career. So, he monitors the weather and when summer hits, he goes crazy on the yard. He claims to be bored most of the time and has no hobbies or desire to cultivate any. So, the lawn gets mowed a lot and the yard looks pretty great.
Anonymous said…
Suggest to him that if he's really bored he could mow your lawn too.
Richard said…
breal: My dad is similar. He is very good at make work projects.

anonymous: that is a pretty good idea.
That's it then! I'm taking more vitamins so maybe I'll be able to eat more when I go out to all these lunches in retirement! But it's probably too late for me, so alas, I must curb my inner-sometimes outer-glutton, order the healthy meal and take the wretched insulin!

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