Posted tagged ‘sounds’

“I dress and eat like a fifth-grader, basically. I like sandwiches and cereal and hooded sweatshirts.”

September 18, 2018

Logy is the first word of the day. A heavy wind blows, but the humidity is still oppressive. I’m sweating and Henry is panting. Neither one of us wants to move. Inert is the second word of the day. The air is so thick and muggy my granite countertop is damp to the touch. Rain is coming.

Yesterday I finished my errands then came home, got comfy and read all afternoon. I had one book left and finished it, an Obama-Biden mystery. I bought it out of curiosity. Biden is the narrator. It is his friend who has died under mysterious circumstances. The two of them, Obama and Biden, are sort of a Holmes-Watson duo. Biden is Watson.

I know every sound my house makes. The ice dropping into the bin, the creak of the floors, the rattle of the doors and the tapping of Henry’s claws on the wood floors are easy to identify. Usually I am in bed when I hear a sound I don’t recognize. I pause and listen. Most times I don’t hear the sound again so I go back to sleep. Gracie used to sleep through noises. Henry doesn’t. He barks and howls but stays on the bed so I don’t investigate. Last night I heard a crash then nothing. Henry didn’t move so I went back to sleep. This morning I found a picture had fallen. The sound was it hitting the floor. Why it fell is a mystery.

I’ve been into cereal lately. I just finished a box of Raisin Brand Crunch. Most times I added Maine’s wild blueberries. They are surprisingly good with cereal. I usually add bananas, but I think blueberries are now my favorite. When I went hunting those sweet blueberries, there were none at the store yesterday. I was bummed, but I bought cereal anyway and a couple of bananas. I think I might try blackberries next.

I can hear the leaves blowing in the wind. My room is really dark. The only light comes from the computer keyboard. I like dark days with lots of wind and rain. That’s just what I need to pull me from this funk. Come on rain!!

“Because once you’re afraid of one thing, you can get scared of a lot of stuff.”

August 3, 2017

The air is so humid it feels damp. The sky is gray. The slight breeze does nothing to clear the air. We are starting days of hot weather. I will be a hermit sitting in the cool house with doors and windows closed. The Sox game last night was rained out. There was thunder and lightning. It missed us.

My laundry is done, but the pile sits in the living room waiting to be brought upstairs. That’s progress to me and a check off the to-do list.

Ghost Shark is today’s unbelievable movie. The shark can appear in water, any water, including bathtubs and water coolers. It doesn’t eat the bodies. It is after all a ghost but it does lop off heads or cut the bodies in half. Even to me this is one strange movie.

Clowns don’t scare me, haven’t ever scared me, though the clown in Stephen King’s It is scary. I grew up with Clarabell. He honked instead off talked except he did say good-bye on the very last Howdy Doody show. Maybe it’s clown make-up which scares people or their bad taste in colorful clothes with ruffles. I guess clown shoes don’t help much either.

I admit the man with the hook scared me when I was a kid. My father told us the story with heightened drama, hand gestures and the occasional grabs of our knees which made us jump. When he and my mother once went grocery shopping, we were alone which was fine until we heard scratching on the screen and no other sounds. It scared us enough we hid under the bed probably the first spot a crazed killer would look, but we didn’t have the time to discuss the best hiding place in the house. We just ran. It was, of course, my father. He thought it was funny. We didn’t at least until we caught our breaths and our hearts stopped beating wildly in our chests.

I do like to be scared but not about real things. I never expect boogeymen in the bushes or that my house will be targeted by roving marauders. I keep my inside doors open. I have no window shades. The curtains stay open to the sun though not all windows even have curtains. If I hear a noise, I usually investigate, a little timidly but I go anyway. The other night the dog’s backyard lights were triggered. She was inside. I went out on the deck to check the yard but neither saw nor heard anything. I just shrugged at the mystery and went back inside the house. I left the inside door open.

The first place I ever lived alone was in Ghana. It took a bit of adjustment, but after a while I enjoyed being by myself. My house was right by the back gate which I sometimes had to climb over to get back into the school compound after hours. The watchman pretended not to hear me so he could stay by his bedding and his fire. My inside door was always open even then. My house was broken into one night. I was sleeping outside and slept through it all. Nothing much was stolen as I didn’t have much. My camera was found outside the house. You couldn’t buy film for it in Ghana so it was useless to the thief. I had very little money which was gone, but Peace Corps reimbursed us. I had my pocket picked at the train station and was the victim of an attempted purse snatching. Despite all of those, I was never afraid.

I have lived alone my entire time in this house. I haven’t ever heard scratching on the screen or eerie sounds at night. Gracie used to bark at sounds but doesn’t anymore unless there is a knock at the door or the bell is rung. So much for my watch dog.  Regardless, I feel perfectly safe.

“Be music always. Keep changing the keys, tones, pitch, and volume of each of the songs you create along your life’s journey and play on.”

July 10, 2017

Okay, a lady walks into a computer store, dead computer in hand. She waits while the technician tries a few things, but there are no easy fixes. She forks over $80.00 and leaves her computer for 3 to 5 days meaning the poor woman faces more time in iPad hell, but she is still a bit hopeful as she knows hope springs eternal. On the way out of the store a line of new computers are all connected and sitting in a row against the wall. She foolishly tries one. It’s magic she thinks. The computer is speedy, the touch needed is a delicate one and it has this changing sort of screen at the top of the keyboard. Wow, she thinks then calls over the guy and asks a few questions. There is still time to run, but she doesn’t. She stays and plays with the computer. In a short while, she walks out of the store with computer in hand, a new MacBook Pro with a 15 inch screen, Siri and all sorts of bells and whistles. The woman is smiling.

Today is a beautiful sunny day. It will be in the low 80’s, tolerable when there is no humidity. The breeze is ever so slight; only the leaves at the end of the branches move up and down. I have doors and windows open. Every now and then the chimes ring. It is the sweetest sound. It is the only sound now.

Earlier, the neighbor’s dog was barking for what seemed hours. Another neighbor had her landscaper mowing her lawn and cutting the front bushes. It was around 8 when the the mower started. I am against raucous noise in the morning.

On my school compound in Ghana the morning sounds at first were so different they woke me far too early, but soon enough they became part of my consciousness, and I didn’t hear them while I slept. Roosters were the first sounds I heard and the first sounds I learned to ignore. Next, I could hear the swish of hand held brooms made of stalks. My students were sweeping the whole compound including the dirt in front of my house. Afterwards, they lined up in front of two spigots to fill buckets with water for their baths.  I could hear the clicking of the buckets, the flowing water and the conversations in the line. By then, I was usually up and dressed and having my first cup of coffee while sitting outside on the small concrete porch in front of my house.

After a while, I took for granted those sounds, but I had stored them away in my memory drawers. When I went back to Ghana, to Bolga, the first morning sound I heard was a rooster. It woke me up, but I just smiled, turned over and went back to sleep.

 

“Sounds are three-dimensional, just like images. They come at you from every direction.”

June 23, 2015

Mother Nature is being deceptive. The morning is lovely with sun glinting through the leafy boughs of the trees I can see right outside my window. Patches of blue sky spread across the sky. The breeze is just right. Mother Nature, though, is toying with us. This afternoon and evening we’ll have thunder storms. The night will be chilly and damp.

Even as a kid I was never afraid of thunder or lightning. The louder and more dramatic the storm, the more I liked it. I remember how the house shook when thunder boomed right overhead. The jagged bolts of lightning brightened the sky. I remember clapping for the best in show.

My childhood was filled with sounds, and I have a few favorites. Roller-skates created wonderfully different sounds depending on the surfaces where I roller skated. In the street my wheels rolling on the sand made a grating sound, a harsh sound, and small pebbles were cause for a less than smooth ride. Tar was the best surface on which to skate. The sound was gentle, almost a humming, and the ride was smooth. The sidewalk had small inclines leading to the gutter and the street. We used to roll down those inclines which gave us the momentum to keep going without any effort, but it was tar to street which took a bit of skill. The peepers at the swamp at night made the best sounds. I used to imagine aliens were landing because that was what the song of the peepers sounded like to me. It was a strange whistling, like the sound a ship might make moving swiftly through the air. Grasshoppers sang in the field below my house, and when we walked through the field, the sound got louder almost as if in alarm. The grasshoppers would jump in front of us sometimes three or four at a time. Theirs was a pretty song.

I remember the sounds of kids playing in the backyards all over the neighborhood. I remember the sound of my mother’s voice when she yelled out the back door. Sometimes it was a warning to stay away from the lines of drying laundry while other times it was an invitation to come inside for dinner. In my neighborhood fathers never yelled out the back door. That was always the job for mothers.

“Home, the spot of earth supremely blest, A dearer, sweeter spot than all the rest”

May 1, 2012

Happy May Day!

I remember the May Day parades through the streets of Moscow. The news would show the marching  troops stepping in unison and missile after missile being hauled through the city, all meant as signs of Russia’s military might. I also remember May poles with brightly colored ribbons and flowers. I always preferred the flowers.

It’s raining. I’ve got music playing which helps dispel the darkness of the day. It’s cold at 47°. My heat went on this morning so the house must have been really cold. Gracie went out for only a minute. She is not a lover of rain. The birds were here earlier but have since disappeared. I suspect they’ve found shelter.

I know every sound my house makes. I know which floor boards creak. I know the sound of heat roaring into rooms through registers. Gracie’s dog door makes a crinkly sound, and I usually have to figure out if she’s coming or going. The ice cubes falling into the tray make a plunking sound. The other morning, though, it took me a moment to recognize the water flowing through the pipes. It was the outside irrigation system, a spring-summer thing, and I needed to jog my memory. Sometimes I hear a strange sound, and it takes a while to figure it out. I walk around the house trying to find it. One time it was a mouse in a cabinet. Another time it was a giant bug hitting the inside part of the screen. I let the bug out. The mouse got away.

In the summer, with the windows open, I recognize which dogs are barking and which kids are outside playing. I know whose lawn is being mowed. I hear car doors shutting, sometimes one but more often two, and I figure a neighbor is just leaving or just coming home. I recognize every neighbor’s car and wonder why a strange car goes down my street.

Home fills all my senses.