By SUSAN TOBIAS, Pinch of Time
---- — I don’t know about you, but the older I get, the more I like “quiet” times.
On a recent drive to Malone, Toby and I noticed we didn’t have the country music playing like we usually do, and we liked the silence.
Suddenly it dawned on me that we were just two senior citizens, traveling along, admiring the scenery and greenery, chatting about this and that. It was really quite nice.
Lately, it seems like more and more “things” in our house click, buzz, ring or just make noises in general. One day we walked around and around the dining room and living room trying to figure out what that annoying “snap” was. We both heard it; seemed to be at regular intervals.
Toby happened to go out on the back deck and, lo and behold, there was the snap. Our canopy was moving just a little bit in the wind, enough to snap and be heard with the windows open. Solved that one.
I was watching television one night and, I confess, I mute the sound during the commercials. That was when I heard a “beep, beep, beep.” Now where can that be coming from, I thought. A walk around the kitchen didn’t reveal the source right away so I went back into the living room, and it started again.
I tried to ignore it, but the noise was beginning to annoy me. Up again and into the kitchen. I walked past my cell phone, charging on the counter. “Beep, beep, beep,” it sounded off. I picked it up, and the message read “Your cell phone is charged.” Well, how about that? I unplugged that thing and plopped it in my purse. Annoying or helpful? I’m not sure.
Those two experiences got me thinking about how much noise there is in our world today. In our home, the refrigerator beeps when the door isn’t shut tight. The “bug controllers” we plug into the outlets snap about every five seconds to scare off the crawlies (they really work). The washer buzzes when it’s off balance. The dryer chimes when the clothes are dry. The oven rings when it reaches the correct temperature I need for baking. The microwave keeps on beeping when it’s done until I “cancel” the chore I asked it to do. Where does it all end?
When I was a kid in the 1950s, all I can remember is the natural sound of chirping birds, singing crickets and buzzing bees. Are we really better off with all these beeping, ringing, chiming conveniences we have today? The answer to that question probably depends on how old you are.
One last thought, as always, please be kind to each other. The world needs more kindness.
Susan Tobias lives in Plattsburgh with her husband, Toby. She has been a Press-Republican newsroom employee since 1977. They enjoy traveling to Maine and Colorado, and in her spare time, Susan loves to research local history and genealogy. Reach her by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.