Do you hear what I hear?


Was headed to bed last night, and I heard a dog bark. Give me some way of wagering on it, and my bet would be the dog was outside my bedroom window.

Now, in fairness, the television was on. Could have been a dog in the show. But I didn’t see any dog on the screen, and there was a dog barking.

Eventually I wandered into the kitchen and used the door out onto the deck into the backyard. I had lights on… and a flashlight in my hand. The dog I heard didn’t sound too happy… and there have been reports of coyotes in the area… and…


I did my good Samaritan deed and checked things out. I have no clue what I would have done if there actually had been a dog outside (never mind what I might have done barefoot in my pajamas across a freshly mowed and slightly wet lawn if there actually had been a dog outside). Still… good deed… gold star on the calendar for the day.

How often do you hear things?

When we moved into our current home, it was amazing how unfamiliar we were with the sounds generated. Which parts of the floor might creak… the direction of the wind… the way cars sound driving along the main road. It took months to adjust to the heating and cooling provided by central air. (Terry and I have never had it in another house, and honestly, we might still be getting used to the noises from that system.)

Of course, the reality is, I get misled by sounds far more often than I probably would admit unless giving it some thought…

A short time ago there was a commercial that played in a somewhat frequent rotation on at least two of the stations I regularly have playing in the background during the day while I write. Commercial has a phone ringing. And there is this perfect timing and placement associated with the noise that I end up reaching for my cell phone EVERY time to see if I’m being called, even though the ringing isn’t even close to the ring tone I use.

Then there are the sounds of my own design.

Wind chimes in the yard is a good one. There are others. Once I scared myself with the television. (Ok… story…)

Have you ever paused a show? Our DirecTV will hold such a pause going back for about ninety minutes. I was doing some assorted things around the house and got a call. I paused the show, answered my phone, and kicked back into my chores when the call ended. Some eighty-nine minutes and fifty-five seconds later, I walk into the living room carrying some things. Suddenly, and without action on my part, the television snaps out of pause and begins to play from where I had left it. Yup. That got me.

Lately I’ve been working on a few unexpected projects. Sealing up gaps around the deck and shed. Trying to figure out why my hummingbird feeders are getting broken and tossed to the ground overnight. Sounds in the backyard have been kicking me into investigative action as I look for any and all potential culprits.

So… yeah… a dog outside gets my attention.

The trouble is, every so often I cannot figure out the source of the sounds. It’s not a ringing in the ears that concerns me. But when there is no dog on the television and no dog in the yard… well… you do the math. It’s one thing to joke about hearing voices. Another thing entirely to hear voices.

The past few days, a chipmunk has been scurrying around our driveway. Out and about and under cars and never really being sighted leaving the driveway. (What sounds do chipmunks make?) There are dozens of different types of birds in the yard and brush and trees around our house, calling and chirping and whatever else birds do. And I’m still waiting for a squirrel to slip up and get caught attacking those feeders.

(Won’t the surprise be on me some evening if I find a racoon barking on the railing of the deck while getting a fix of sugar water.)

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