All quiet on the western front

I live in a suburb of Vancouver. I do not live right in the city, though I grew up there. I do live in a fairly urban area of said suburb, however, just a half-block off a four-lane main street. I like where I live, as I have walking access to just about everything I need: grocery store, gym, hairdresser, liquor store, ATM, several restaurants, my doctor’s office, pharmacy, lots of clothing and shoe shops. I live within walking distance of FIVE Starbucks, for heaven’s sake! That’s practically downtown-like, almost!

It can be a little noisy, though. The traffic on that main street is pretty constant, and even my side street can get pretty busy, as people often use it to dodge traffic. There are diesel buses that run on that street, and lots of delivery trucks. There is an ambulance station four or five blocks away, so I often hear sirens wailing at odd times. There used to be a truck rental place almost directly across the street from me, but that business has moved on, and now there is a small car lot in its place. That means double-decker car carrier trucks at various times, and I have learned that they need to keep running so that the deck hydraulics work and the cars can be loaded or unloaded. Apparently that car lot is a lucrative business.

So yes, a bit noisy. I’m used to it, though, even when the windows are open in the summer. Actually, even when I first moved here ten years ago, from the depths of a brand new suburban subdivision, I embraced the noise happily. It was great to be back in civilization, I felt, after years in a oh-so-quiet place where everyone kept to themselves and people lived at the back of their houses so you never saw anyone. I used to joke that every time a car drove down the street back there, I would run to the front window just to see another person! I mean, I did really like my house and yard and the neighbourhood, but it also took a lot more work to keep things up, plus young DD kept me busy. I’m much lazier than that now. And I’m likely not cut out for suburban living anyway.

So what I’m saying is that most urban noise is okay by me.

Even the construction noise from down the block is okay, though they’ve been taking up half the street for two weeks now. Really, how long does it take to dig up part of the street to hook up services for a new soon-to-be built building? It’s NOT two weeks, I know that. But they’ve still got their signs up and flaggers directing traffic and machinery all over the place – and they haven’t actually started construction yet. I recall the big sign that was erected there long before all this started, and it said that the lot had been rezoned for a multi-family dwelling. I think it’s going to be a small townhouse building, maybe four or five units, judging from the size of the lot.

Since the weather has been so nice, I often have my breakfast outside on my back patio, which, oddly enough, faces the street. I can see (and hear) a lot of what’s going on in my neighbourhood, as well as soak up a little sun before it gets too hot and burny. So, earlier this week, I was doing just that, when I became aware of a different noise. It was higher-pitched and pierced through the digger noises and the traffic noises. I knew it immediately.

Chainsaws. Apparently there was logging going on in the ‘hood.

Yep. At the end of my street, across that four-lane main street, there’s a large stand of evergreen trees along the street. For five years now, there has been a sign in front of them proclaiming that an intermediate care home for seniors would be opening there in the Fall of 2009. That never happened. But now maybe it was going to happen, as I could see a couple of workers in orange vests busily hefting chainsaws and cutting down some – not all! – of those evergreens. There was a bulldozer there and a big truck to collect all the wood, as well.

And that’s been going on all this week. Every morning I have woken up to the normal traffic noise mixed with the dulcet tones of construction and logging.

But this morning, I woke up feeling that there was a disturbance in the force. What was it?

No construction. No logging. It was relatively quiet.

I don’t know what’s going on exactly, but I’m anticipating that this is the calm before the storm. I think that very soon there will be two very noisy construction sites nearby.

But that’s okay. I can get used to almost any noise – and I’ll be back at work in two weeks anyway.


4 responses to “All quiet on the western front

  1. I hate the sound of chainsaws with a vengeance. Poor you.

    • It’s now a few days later and STILL quiet. I’m starting to wonder what they’re planning – might be very nasty! I’d almost welcome noisy chainsaws again.

  2. Enjoy the quiet while you can!