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Monday, 26 May 2014


When my granddaughter, Sylvie, was two, one of the things she commonly said was, "What's that noisy?" Any time she heard something unfamiliar, that was above the sound level that she was accustomed to, she asked about the 'noisy.' Our reaction to sound and noise is instinctive obviously. Just watch an infant startle to a noise. However, what we consider to be noisy can be very subjective. 

My friend, Lucy, dropped by recently and for one of the first days this year, the patio door was open. Children, out of school for the day, played in the yards adjacent to our property. The neighborhood is home to numerous dogs, some of whom we can name, others not. As we sat in the living room, a dog barked nearby and we could hear the children playing. This is spring and summer life at our home. My friend was taken with the noise.

Lucy lives in rural Prince Edward Island where the nearest neighbour is several fields away. Her house is at the end of a long driveway. The only dog she ever hears is her own. The rolling hills around her home, the farmland, trees and plants are a long way from the subdivision where I live. My neighborhood is noisy in comparison.

I remember our first visit with Rick's Aunt Marie in Mississauga, Ontario. She lives on the corner of Hurontario and Dundas, a great location but a busy intersection. At night, we slept, or tried to sleep with the window open, for the cool breeze to flow throughout the apartment. While Marie slept contentedly, we couldn't sleep for the first two nights, because of the traffic noise, all night. Eventually, we acclimatized, or sleep overcame us.

When Aunt Marie visited us, she noticed the quiet in the neighborhood; the absence of traffic that provided the almost 'white' noise that lulled her to sleep in Mississauga. It took several nights for her to be able to get to sleep with all the screaming quiet.

'Noisy' has a lot to do with your neighborhood and your perspective.

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