Homeowners and renters should use subtler lawn ornaments
By Naomi Ambrose, Staff Writer
Dear homeowners and renters. While I appreciated the lengths and breadths that you took to decorate your lawns with Halloween paraphernalia in preparation for your countdown, I’d like you to consider the feelings of walkers, joggers, and runners who would like to enjoy a peaceful moment of exercise in the neighbourhood—instead of a cemetery.
Last week, I went for a walk in my neighbourhood. The air was cool, and the sun was beginning to set. While I walked, I observed the beauty of the orange leaves on the trees and sidewalks and the green yards that lined the area. That scene was a beautiful reminder of the loveliness of fall and nature.
Suddenly the beauty and my serene thoughts were interrupted when I approached a lawn filled with several types of eerie decorations—some that ranged from ghosts and tombstones, to spider webs and skeletons.
While I support a homeowner’s or renter’s right to decorate their garden, I believe that they should exercise some discretion. If someone wants to jog in a cemetery or a haunted house, wouldn’t they go to a cemetery or a haunted house? Or perhaps exercisers and nature-loving enthusiasts just want to enjoy a moment of outdoor exercise without having to be reminded of Michael Myers or Freddy Krueger.
Apart from joggers and walkers, exuberant Halloween decorating homeowners and renters should be mindful of the young children who might be terrified and traumatized by their scary decorations. Imagine the reaction of a small child who’s enjoying a stroll in their neighbourhood—only to become terrified at the sight of a large pumpkin with flickering lights in its carved out, Jaws-like teeth and eyes. I sense the emergence of a long, intense cry. I also foresee parents who now have to spend additional time to comfort their crying child—as well as to educate their child about the scary nature of Halloween at an early age.
Let’s not forget about the person who might have recently had heart surgery who decided to take a walk as part of their rehabilitation. A recent former patient’s heart could start to beat rapidly and erratically as they start to feel frightened at the sight of the extravagant spooky lawn decorations.
Halloween 2019 is now a year away. Let’s start next year’s countdown with some empathy for our neighbours and children who want to enjoy the beauty of our neighbourhoods.