From time to time I recall a short story I read, probably from the late 50s, about the earth after atomic disaster. A few survivors are leaving the city seeking escape even though they know the radiation clouds will cover everything.
They eventually crest a hill to discover a small town where they hear the sounds of people mowing their lawns and basically living in harmony, even though they too know death is coming.
I believe the intent of the story was to explore what life is really about, cataclysm coming or not. At least that's how I remember it.