Thursday, November 15, 2012


It starts early –about 5:30 a.m. It’s only a slight disturbance, but it awakens me. I can hear voices, motors running quietly. They’re waiting patiently for 7:00, which seems to be the hour when we agree that noise is fair. And at 7:00, they begin to make noise.

As the crow flies, the work is just across the street from us. They’re whittling away at the hillside, dozing the earth and rock to the bottom and loading it into six trucks or so which carry that earth someplace south of here and then return to do it again.

And it’s noisy – very noisy. And it’s not just the noise. It’s the unexpected crash and bang, the incessant back-up beeper, the unnerving sound of big motors revving and ebbing, the scraping of big blades against the ground – all of it right “next door,” as it were. Nellie doesn’t like loud crashes and bangs. Neither do I. It makes us nervous.

As a human, I understand the noise and tolerate it. I tune it out and go about my business, but at some point I find myself ready to climb the wall, and when I analyze why I feel that way, I realize I’ve had enough of this noise invading my home -- and my quietude – and my ability to concentrate. There’s no turning it off. The only way to escape it during work hours is to leave.

We wonder what they’re doing anyway. Is there a plan in this process? Are they eroding the stability of that hillside? Are we going to leave it scarred and ugly? You might think they know what they’re doing, but certain hillsides in this community have been eroded and are not stable. The Elks’ Club sits on one of those.

And then – about 3:00 p.m. – suddenly all is quiet again. At first, I don’t notice. “What’s wrong – what’s missing?” I ask myself. Then I realize that they’ve stopped working and once again peace is restored to the neighborhood. But – they’ll be back. It will start again – quietly – at 5:30 tomorrow morning. First, the voices, then the motors . . . 

[All of these pictures were taken from our front porch at the town house. Although we call it town, this area is really a rural housing development. The first picture shows the area in question before the work began. The other pictures show what's happening now. Although this isn't a beautiful area -- a desert-type landscape -- the hillside can be beautiful when it reflects the sun, especially morning and evening.] KW


drMolly, the BeanQueen said...

Oh I am sorry you must endure this - I do not like that sort of thing either. Have courage - you will survive the upheaval, I know.

Hallie said...

So odd. I wonder what they're doing.

Chris said...

Oh my goodness! How long will they be about this? Until the whole hill is gone?? The noise, the noise!! At least they quit at three instead of five. Small consolation, I know.

Leah said...

That's not a happy situation. When is the world going to replace those awful awful back up beepers. Why doesn't someone invent a system where a truck is brought to a halt when an object or person is in danger of being hit?

Kathy said...

You know how it is with back-up beepers. We have them to save us from ourselves.

And there's one thing about it -- at least I can see what's going on instead of just hearing a drone and wondering where it's coming from.