“It’s when you sit listening to the front gate creak and dismiss the noise that you suddenly remember that you don’t have a front gate.”

The morning is downright cold. I hurried to get my newspapers from out front and ran across the street to get yesterday’s mail from my box. The house felt wonderfully warm when I got back inside and, even better, the coffee was ready. I took my time with the papers and even toasted an English muffin. It has been a fine morning.

When I was a kid, I hated walking to school on really cold mornings, especially cold, windy mornings. We were bundled and layered, but we still got cold. Our cheeks got red and sometimes even a bit chafed by the wind. On days like that, I was happy to get inside, to the cloak room.

My school was old and had an assortment of sounds, and we knew every sound. The radiators hissed. The wood floors creaked when any of us walked on them. Windows rattled in the wind. The nuns wore beads around their waists, what we thought of as an early warning system, and we could hear the clacking of the beads one against the other when the nuns got close. Sitting at our desks we were never really quiet. We didn’t dare talk, but we moved our feet under our desks and shuffled papers; we were always restless.

My house too has familiar sounds. The pine floors creak. Hot air blows out the floor registers in the winter and cold air blows out in the summer. Ice cubes drop into the container below the cubes and water runs to replace the fallen ice. Henry’s nails click on the kitchen’s tile floor. The coffee maker beeps when it’s done as does the microwave, but the microwave is persistent and keeps beeping until I open it. I find that annoying.

Henry is a barker, a howler at times. I’m glad for that mostly but not so glad when he barks at car doors or at trucks beeping as they back up. I always look out front regardless. The other day when he barked it was the UPS man leaving a package. Henry got a biscuit for his vigilance.

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10 Comments on ““It’s when you sit listening to the front gate creak and dismiss the noise that you suddenly remember that you don’t have a front gate.””

  1. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    My house has similar noises, the ice cube maker, the oil burner igniting and then the blower turning on several seconds later. On winter nights, when I hear the oil burner click on, I silently thank it for the warmth. I’m still not used to the ice maker noises though.
    My street has familiar noises, too. The neighbor at the end of the street has a big truck that can be a bit loud. When he goes to work each morning he drives very slowly down the street so as to make as little noise as possible. But he’s how I know it’s 6AM. My next door neighbor has a hound-type dog. She puts him outside in his pen three times a day. When I hear Rambo baying, I know it’s either 7AM, noon, or 5PM.
    Rocky and Piki Dog bark at everything. Their nails click on the wood floors. For little dogs, they can be quite thunderous as they run around the house. They have keepers on their dog tags which has silenced the jingling. When I first did that, I was astonished at how much a part of the daily background noise that jingling sound had been. While I would miss the barking and the rumble of 8 tiny legs, I definitely don’t miss the jangling of 6 metal tags.

    It’s sunny and cold up here.
    Enjoy the day.

    • katry Says:

      It also took me a bit to get used to the ice cubes falling. Henry barked the first couple of times but not any more.

      My neighbor keeps his landscaping trucks in the yard. Guys come early and trade their cars for the trucks, but I never hear that. It is in the late afternoon when the trucks return that I hear them being backed up into the driveway. Henry still barks at that.

      Rambo is a bit of a clock.

      Does one dog bark and start the other or do they bark on their own together? Henry barks at outside noises. He hears something, jumps off the couch and stands in the hall barking at the door. He has finally stopped barking at doorbells on TV.

      Have a great evening!

      • Caryn Says:

        Rocky makes little grumbling noises and sotto voce barks at things that only he can hear. Piki doesn’t respond to those. When the mail truck comes down the road they both run to the stair window and sing the song of their tribe to it as it passes. Sometimes Piki Dog will suddenly run shouting and barking to the door. If they both hear something at the same time, they charge off together, barking and snapping at each other to be first. Piki Dog also barks at the old Cook’s Country opening theme song because it has a noise that is supposed to be a church bell but sounds like a door bell. I think they’ve changed the theme song to eliminate that bell because now, when the show comes on Piki Dog stares at the tv in some confusion. There’s supposed to be a bell but there is no bell so he can’t run off barking to the door. I think he’s disappointed.

      • katry Says:

        Henry hears what I don’t. Half the time I jump from the suddenness of his bark.

        Other than a doorbell, Henry doesn’t even react to TV. He’ll look if he hears a bark but will just go back to sleep. He barks at UPS when it delivers packages. He no longer barks at the mailman’s vehicle.

        Henry’s barking is loud, really loud. I’d tell him to whisper if it did any good.

  2. Bob Cohen Says:

    Since this is the third night of Chanukah here’s a Bohemian Rapsody version of the holiday with subtitles.


  3. olof1 Says:

    Cold here too today and cold weather always make my cottage groan a bit. The radiators click when they turn on and off and I know that it is a really cold day when I don’t hear that sound 🙂

    Albin has calmed down with the barking if anyone drives by, even when he’s outside but if anyone would open the gate he reacts directly. He can also be deep in sleep but still wake up in a second if Teodor would scratch on the door, I am always amazed over how fast that happens 🙂 🙂

    Have a great day!


    • katry Says:

      The really cold weather is coming and will be here by Saturday but will not bring snow though other states will get lots of snow. I haven’t anywhere I have to go though I was going to get my Christmas tree.

      Henry has the loudest bark. I jump sometimes when he barks unexpectedly, but he is finally he getting better at distinguishing sounds.

      Have a great day!

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