Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Things My House Says...

"Roller SKATE!"
The door that leads to the tiny bathroom off my bedroom has a squeaky door.

When pushed open, the squeak very clearly says "Roller SKATE!" Emphasis is on the second word and it's loudest at 3 a.m.
Right outside that window is a very tall bush which shelters a bird that, every morning during the warmer months, screams "Jeter!" at the top of its lungs. Lured home early by the mild weather, the "Jeter Bird" is already in full swing, daily announcing his loyalty to the Yankee captain. While slightly disconcerting to a Mets fan, one cannot help but admire the bird's enthusiasm...and wonder if his feathers are blue and white pinstripes.
That bird loves me.
There is a cabinet door in the garage where Seth stores some of the tools he never uses to fix things that produces a three syllable squeak that says, "Throm-BO-sis." Thankfully, it's not the dreaded "deep vein thrombosis," but just the regular kind.

There's the whirl-hiss of the water softener, the whoosh of the oil burner when it kicks on, the rattle-rattle-ping of the closed flue in the chimney when it meets a gust of air and the creak-shudder when the wind hits the front of the house head on. Don't forget to factor in the hum of the fridge and the rattle of the loose change in the dryer, too.

There's the scrape-scrape when someone enters the side door downstairs, pushing it against the concrete flooring. That's one of my favorites because it signals that someone I love has arrived home. Often the scrape-scrape is followed by Charlie's whistling or Tom's singing and followed again by the slam of the inner door and the sound of big feet bounding up stairs.

There are the unexpected sounds like the chirp of a smoke detector when its battery starts to die or the startling pop-tinkle of a light bulb flaming out just as you turn on the lamp.

There are the sounds associated with the flip of a switch like the churn-rattle-swish of the dishwasher or the fuzzy burp of the TV when, with remote in hand, you press "power."

There are external sounds like the screech of bicycle brakes as neighborhood boys come to an abrupt stop in their mother's driveway or the soft murmurs of the lady urging her dog to hurry up and do his business as she walks him before work in the morning.

The mailbox says creak-squeak and the postal truck has a soft motor, while the sound of the UPS man throwing his truck into park makes me glance out the window every time to see if he's walking through the grass to bring me a package.

You can count on the excited trilling of the cats when they hear the can opener. They know they soon will enjoy an entree of wet food served on a paper plate.

There are the scary noises the house makes when no one else is home and those same noises, not so scary, when someone else is here with me.

There's music from someone's radio, the tumbling cascade of cereal filling a bowl when Seth gets up early and the soft snores of Buzzy as he dreams on the couch.

But there is no sweeter sound than the voice of someone on the other end of the phone after you've been trying to reach them for a while and have gone all nutty with worry.

It goes something like this:


  1. Nice. I like the hello part, too. Been there.

  2. I know all the sounds of my house. I have a drawer that says EEEEEEoooooooooh when I open it.

  3. My old house used to day a lot of things but now I live in a condo and it's new and much quieter. I don't miss the weird night noises but I like an older house better.

  4. Thanks, Bellanana. There's nothing like it...thanks for the comment!

  5. I have a talkative drawer, too, Anon! Thanks for stopping by today!

  6. I've only lived in older homes, Zazz...and they definitely do make all kinds of noises!

  7. I love the creaks and groans of an older house too... and the popsigh when you take the top off a bottle of bubbles... and the little squeak Yoshi makes at 2am, just before he comes for a snuggle under my chin... I do not like the fire alarm squawk of a fading battery... why does that only happen in the middle of the night? XXXOOO

  8. Here I was thinking my house was just noisy. Now I know there is a message, I will have to listen more carefully.


  9. Janet, I love "popsigh." That's exactly the sound it makes!And I'm sure just about any sound Yoshi makes is lovely....XXOO

  10. Not quite, Scott---it's "talking" to you!