June / 2001
Kindred Spirits

Sound crazy
by: Teresa Bell Kindred

They say looks can be deceiving and sometimes so can noises. When I heard an unfamiliar sound coming from the back of my Jeep I immediately assumed the worst. I pulled over to the side of the road, opened the back of the Jeep, and dug around through an assortment of sports equipment. Beneath someone's left golf shoe I found a miniature toy motorcycle with its motor running. Thank goodness I looked before I went to the mechanic.
A similar incident happened last summer when my grandmother searched her house for three days for an elusive loudmouthed cricket. Before we called pest control I put on my Sherlock Holmes coat and went to investigate. Her cricket turned out to be a smoke detector with low batteries.
Unexpected and unexplained noises are the worst. One night I was alone, the house was silent, and I was working on a writing project when the computer emitted a clear, distinct knocking sound that scared the living daylights out of me. After my heart rate returned to normal, I clicked on a flashing light at the bottom of the screen. One of my whiz kids had downloaded an online communication system. The knock was to let them know one of their friends was online.
Noise can be a good thing, especially when it is soothing. I have an old-fashioned box fan near my bed and year-round I sleep with it turned on. My husband thinks I'm crazy.
"It's 10 degrees outside and you have a fan on!" he raves.
I'm not sure why it helps me sleep better, but it might be because I pretend I'm at the beach listening to the tide roll in. Or maybe it's because it keeps me from hearing other sounds, like the phone ringing, or the washer and dryer. All I know is that while some of us are addicted to noise while we're awake, like my music-loving teenagers, I'm addicted to fan noise while I slumber.
Sound crazy? Maybe. If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, why can't pleasant sounds be determined by the ear of the one who is listening?

Teresa Bell Kindred is a wife, mom, and teacher. Her latest book is Mom:PHD: Leadership Skills for Moms. Visit her online at www.teresakindred.com.