The sounds of not so silence

railroad tracks

BoyWonder’s beautiful fiance is a relative newcomer to rural living. Since they have settled into their beautiful country locale, we have delighted in seeing her new home through her eyes — and ears. 

As someone who grew up both “in town” and with a foot firmly planted on my grandparent’s respective rural farms, I feel I have a somewhat unique perspective. I am very aware that “the sounds of silence” is not an apt description for most rural areas. 

Sound on

Their first week in their “new” old home, Beautiful Fiance sent me a video via our phones with the caption “sound on!” When I played it, I could hear the VERY aggressive blowing of what was obviously a bullfrog. To be fair it was loud. It must have been lurking right outside their back door. 

BoyWonder relayed that she alerted him to “listen!” on more than one occasion. Being country born and raised, he immediately tensed for the sound of human invasion. Broken glass? A car in the drive? Some interloper begging to be dealt with, surely? 

Nope. Frogs. Also crickets and cicadas or, as my great-grandmother called them after her little sister, “Katydids.” They will always be “Katydids” to me. Living in the country, you learn that these little slices of nature’s wonder are extremely loud. 

Within a few days, BoyWonder was saying, “you’ll get used to that.” 

Country views

I have also been thrilled to receive a  beautiful video sent by them of distant lightning as a storm raged far across their fields. On their own land, the trees swayed with that perfect breeze that signals the cooling relief of rain. 

BoyWonder is a guy who has loved sitting on the porch watching it rain since way back. Seeing them now enjoy their own home’s gracious porch warms this mama’s heart. 

When Beautiful Fiance also calls to tell me how much she is enjoying sitting in the quiet privacy of their rural back porch, I am thrilled for her. She came from a lovely townhouse in a populated area. The ability to step outside and not have to make conversation — or wear real pants — can not be underestimated. 

Last night, I enjoyed supper and book club on the most beautiful porch in our county. No, it isn’t mine, but that of a dear friend. The porch overlooks miles of acreage as far as the eye can see. 

Throughout our visit, we rocked on various comfy porch perches and listened to the faint but distinct “beep” of a crowd gate used to keep cows moving along. 

Noisy neighbors

Dairy folks just nodded in understanding. The rest of you probably have no idea what I’m talking about. I just learned about this yesterday and only because those of us who were visitors had to ask. The farmers themselves probably don’t hear it any longer. 

Speaking of cows, they can be quite loud. If it’s not the bellowing, it’s the bells. I love them though. Coyotes in the distance are not only loud but send a definitive shiver down the spine of anyone protecting livestock. These are “country sounds” too. 

Mr. Wonderful notes the sounds of our farming neighbors’ irrigation pump — and when it sounds “off.” He notes that it may be needing a quick weld soon. He trades welding for farm fresh chickens — which we also enjoy hearing. It’s the circle of country life — and fine dining. 

GirlWonder also lives in a somewhat rural area. Directly behind her home, a train track runs. That was not pointed out by the management. Buyer beware I suppose. 

As a resident of a “railroad” town in my early years, I assured her she wouldn’t even hear it soon. She reports that I am basically correct. Eventually, the sounds become part of the soundtrack of daily life. 

Quiet is, of course, relative. If you come from a vibrant city locale, then country life might seem quiet. Once you join us, you will find that if you are looking for utter silence, you may be surprised. 


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