The officers make much more noise during the army's other use of our front yard. Starting this month, we were pleasantly woken on Saturday or Sunday 7AM to soldiers shouting at what sure looks like untrained reservists; overweight men that pantingly struggle to finish jogging the 0.8 mile lap around the parade ground. The officers' shouting adds a nice touch of testosterone to the otherwise not very impressive display of U.S. military superpower. I must admit I feel as much protected having these bases in our neighborhood as with having a 20 lb hairless dog with only a couple of blunt teeth left.
Speaking of Ruba, she is a much more frequent visitor of the parade grounds, doing her daily rituals there. And so are many other dogs, but owners around here are pretty good in scooping. So the green field makes a very nice and spacious front yard for us, and the view from our second floor living room is nice and spacious as well. Since two weeks, the dandelions are blooming by the thousands, dotting the green with bright pops of yellow.
These tiny plants are not impressed by the other noisy frequent visitors, the army of Mexicans employed by the local landscaping companies, which all happen to be in Italian immigrant hands ('Aldo Monsetti cares for your trees', 'Mario Pasquali for all your green needs', you get the picture). All summer and fall long they will drive us crazy with their lawn mowers and leave blowers. Because of the size of the front lawn, they typically need to make an early mowing start, say 6AM. The dandelions just lay low so their blooms don't get chopped off, and soon our front yard will be a parade ground once again, this time as backdrop for a silent (!) parade of dandelion parachute seeds, gently floating on the cool winds from Lake Michigan. There will be gazillions, so we can sleep sound and certain that next spring we'll have another army of dandelions.