As I speak, two men are stomping around on my roof. They’ve spent the afternoon tearing off the old (OLD) shingles, doing something with a compressor right outside my window, and sending vast quantities of stuff flying through the air to land with a crash. Now, most people would probably find this annoying, especially when trying to work. But I have a serious noise intolerance.
I grew up an only child, living several miles outside of my small town, on the Indian River in Florida. It was quiet. We didn’t have a tv in the living room, just a tiny old black and white in my room and a slightly larger color tv in my parents’ room. I rarely listened to music. Mostly I read and played all kinds of imaginary games outside. And went sailing – a very quiet sport except in a race.
My husband, one of 5 boys, always thought it was funny that I considered our kids loud. To me, having 3 kids running around was loud! Two of those are auditory learners, so as homeschoolers, we applied a lot of music, movies, books on tape, etc. Noise. I enjoy a movie or book on tape, but then I want quiet for awhile.
About seven years ago, we had to go to a convention in Las Vegas because several clients said, “We’ll talk at ICSC” to my husband. We’d avoided it for years, but had to go. By the time we left, I thought the plane was the epitome of silence, after days of non-stop, 24/7 noise. (If we ever have to go back, which I pray won’t happen, we’ll stay at the Four Seasons which has no casino, or on the “quiet side” of the Wynn!”) I was so stressed out that I actually got sick when we got back.
So it should come as no surprise to anyone that I work in the quiet. No music. No tv. No white noise. A bird chirps from time to time, and if it’s raining the sound on the skylights and from the creek are pretty loud, but that’s about it. Blissful, peaceful, nonstressful quiet. My husband, on the other hand, has a white noise machine in his office that is always on, and he will have the tv (usually on the Military Channel) or the radio on as well. Sometimes both, although he swears he doesn’t have the sound on both at the same time. He finds total quiet to be “deafening.”
As I have been sitting here for the last hour, jumping at every bang, and gritting my teeth in anticipation of darkness (for once I’m thanking God for how early it gets dark in the winter!), I was wondering about all of you. Do you like quiet? Soft music? Do you even hear the noises around you? Do you live in a city with constant noise, or the suburbs with the occasional car? Or the country with just nature and the wind…
Pray for me — now that the roof’s off, the shingles have to get put on. Fortunately (I think) we have a rainy day in the forecast tomorrow. On Sunday, I’ll have to head to Starbucks or Panera, I’m afraid. Constant hammering might be worse than this!