Wow. The strangest thing happened tonight. I heard sirens. I was out with some friends celebrating one of the women’s birthdays with dinner. Just as we were leaving, the silence of our perfect night was slashed with the sound of sirens. Fire trucks and ambulances came out of no where and everywhere all at the same time. Immediately my heart jumped into my throat since my boys were home alone, but reason overtook emotion and I knew that they were safe and these emergency vehicles were remaining in the area not headed into the outskirts of town where my house is located. Still, the sirens were so strange to hear. Weird. If you don’t live around here, you don’t understand. You hear nothing here. Absolutely, totally nothing. The occasional car that you can literally hear coming a mile away and going the same distance; the far-off dog barking at something or nothing. But you don’t hear sirens, you don’t hear planes, helicopters, traffic, horns honking, music blaring from car stereos. None of that. You just don’t hear it. And you cherish that you don’t hear it at first and then you take it for granted. I now expect the silence. The same way that I used to take the incessant traffic noise from the highway where I used to live, and the 24-hour-a-day air traffic noise and the horns and the music and the general noise associated with living so close to each other and used to tune that out. It became background noise. Now when I am back there to visit, it sounds so loud, so noisy, so unusual. But when I lived there it was so normal and so background that on September 11th and 12th, 2001 when no planes were flying, the absence of that noise was deafening and scary. It sounded just like the sirens tonight. Weird, out of place. Tonight for a split second when I heard those sirens, it was like an invisible line pulling me backward through time and space to the old world where that sound was normal. No one would have flinched in the old world at the sound of the sirens, no one would have jumped like they did tonight wondering who we knew that tragedy had befallen, perhaps because in the old world they didn’t care, but most probably because they didn’t know those people and never would. It didn’t affect people because it wasn’t them and they were indifferent to the sirens because it was not the noise of tragedy or injury or disaster to them. It was just old world noise like any other day and they ignore it. Know what? I don’t like the old world anymore.
CHICKEN UPDATE: Well, the chickens have not had a couple good days. It has been raining buckets, and guess what, chicken’s don’t like rain. At least our chickens. Finally this afternoon, the weather broke, still cold and damp but not raining. They carefully came out, one by one, and ultimately left us with 1/2 dozen eggs. Chickens should like tomorrow, it is supposed to be sunny…or at least not rain.