Not much of that the last two weeks. The city is tearing up my street, both streets on my corner. The crew port-o-potty adorns my terrace garden bed. From 6:45 a.am to 6:00 p.m., 6 days a week—scrapers scrape, diggers dig and hit stuff in the ground, pounders, earth movers, buriers of huge pieces of metal and all of it beeps mercilessly when they back up. I complained to whoever listened and grumped to myself often for days. Then I stopped insisting that my daily round remain the same and got out of the house as much as possible. After awhile the persistence to hold fast to my daily round and the desire to escape as much as possible settled into some middle space—I stopped complaining and reclaimed the house when I needed it, mindful of my tolerance. I needed to open windows and turn on fans and welcome (almost) the road dust. I started greeting the crew outside my windows and they’ve been helpful making some space for me to get my car out of the driveway and out of my street. I am on the verge of baking them muffins.
Through it all, I note my desire for quiet, so palpable I could hold it in one hand. I wondered if I had lost my city girl status, but construction noise in front of your house is not city noise. Still, I do savor mornings and evenings on my deck or back porch in relative silence. I edit the garden in holy quiet or with ear buds and podcasts. All of this is not new or surprising. David and I always lived a rather quiet life although I considered myself the noisy and noise tolerant member of our partnership. Perhaps not as much as I thought. Perhaps it is the summing up of slight changes over a long time and great distance.
We are here at home for four weeks before summer traveling and during that month we have quick jaunt to NYC and a visit from Cheshire and Justin. Distractions from my fractured daily round will be welcomed. My list of to-dos grows as it always does before traveling. I am looking to be gentle with myself. Construction noise has kept me out of the garden. That garden with its weeds and an intense need to be mulched is suffering. I mean, the weeds are thriving. They make rude gestures at me when I stare at them intently from inside. Julia’s participation in the Penguin Project show is picking up. Rehearsals are three times a week now and in another week it will be more. School ends on June 9 and before we leave, she needs to see the dentist and our Chicago cognitive therapist. I had a meeting with her case manager at school to figure out appropriate summer work for us to carry. From the 10th grade reading list, I’ve picked Fahrenheit 451 to begin the summer reading. He also suggested specific math workbooks and we will be diligent.
Today, we start our holiday Monday, on the porch with breakfast—Julia is listening to some pop music on her iPad, the across the street neighbor is putting on a new deck on the front of their house and the ubiquitous generator hums. And I am just about ready to put on my garden shoes, spray myself with mosquito repellent and clean a back garden bed. This morning there is nothing quiet about outside but I’ve found a small space deep inside to drink in the quiet I need. And I must be satisfied with what I’ve found for today.