Sarah at Sarah and the Goon Squad wrote a post about her first experience with fall weather. She noted that when she didn't rake her leaves one week, her neighbor came and did it. And that reminded me of this story . . .
When I was a teenager, my dad remarried and we blended two families of three kids into one house (lots of stories for other posts). We moved into our new house at the beginning of the school year, just before the leaves started falling. Our parents thought - well, we have six kids living in this house, they'll rake and mow the lawn as part of their chores. (Yeah, maybe in a parallel universe where they actually had some semblance of control over the children in the house). Anyway, the leaves didn't get raked - for several weeks into the season.
Then one day a note appeared in our mailbox - type written, unsigned - that said: "The leaves from your lawn are blowing all over the neighborhood. Your neighbors spend lots of money maintaining their lawns. A pox on you for messing everything up." Or something like that. Clearly our neighbors weren't as neighborly as Sarah's neighbors!
So the next day my dad hired the landscapers that everyone else in the neighborhood used. (As I mentioned the last time I wrote about this story, it's entirely possible that it was the landscapers that left the note - excellent marketing technique, I might add). Nothing worked on my parents like a little neighborhood peer pressure.