View From Here
By Katherine Veno
Everyday I am bombarded by noise. It is spring and here come the mowers, the
blowers, the trimmers, the chain saws, and I am awakened by them daily.
Preferring the sound of birds to the alarm of a gas engine, I began to think
about how quiet helps me and how noise hurts me.
I don’t like complete silence. Quiet is not silent. I just want an absence
of human generated noise. I want to hear the rain tapping against the leaves
and on the tin roof. I want to hear the chirps and songs of the birds.
When I walk beside the water I want to hear the waves lap against the shore.
In the shallow stream I want to be able to hear the gurgling of the small
waterfalls as the water rushes past.
I am lucky to be able to hear the chatter of squirrels, the purr of a cat,
the call of the hawk above. In the world of animals, quiet is essential to
the hunt. The predators must be able to hear the prey. The songbirds need to
be able to hear the other birds in order to find a mate and survive by
building a family and reproducing.
The Rocky Mountain National Park this past December brought me a special
gift of quiet. As I sat at a snow-covered picnic table and watched wildlife
in the falling snow, I could hear the rustle of dried leaves, the sounds of
birds and the wind. It was a break from man-made noise, but it was not
Now I look for a few moments of quiet every single day. Peaceful thoughts
nourish my soul and the quiet enriches my spirit.
The noisy world we inhabit becomes so commonplace that as a species we think
nothing about it. But it raises our blood pressure, causes depression,
nervousness, anxiety, stress, headaches, mood swings and hearing problems.
It is important to seek out a place that is quiet for our general well
As a writer I know the value of a quiet environment. When my world is full
of noise I can’t think of anything I want to say, much less write. From a
young age, when I made a playhouse in the hedges where I could go hide in
the shade on a busy summer day, I have sought solace in silence.
When things are quiet I can reflect upon my life and see where I might make
some changes for the better. I can grab a needle and thread and mend a
garment. I can pick up a book and read. There is bounty to be had in a quiet
day. It is a time of rest and renewal.
I want my home to reflect my laid-back personality and be relaxed as well.
As I continue to redesign and clear out what is no longer useful to me, I
see that by doing so I am creating quiet. I have nobody to impress, I want
comfort and a style that reflects me at this point in my life. I want a
Experts advise that clutter in our space makes our minds cluttered and
confused. Noise is clutter, so I am turning down the volume, seeking silence
and listening to soft sounds that I may miss in the din of everyday living.
I am letting go of things I never use, and things I don’t need. I am making
my world a quieter space so I can grow and expand my mind.
Focus for me these days is on a healthier way to eat. I am learning some new
things about myself. If the noise is so loud I cannot hear the song of a
single sparrow, I have to do my part to seek out a way to calm my mind and
So, I will walk by the water, walk into the woods, stop for a while, listen
to nothing, and see what I can really hear in a place of quiet.
By Emily Gail Lundy
Does anyone recall strongly the year 1971. It changed our life, made our
life fuller, and we shall always remember the almost thirty-years of
inhabitance and hope; our children always do, too.
We changed jobs in June, 1971, and headed from west to east, with trees,
fishing waters, and best of all, closer to perfect grandparents who would be
closer, living in a nearby community. In 1971, everyone was watching for the
new lake, Cedar Creek, to fill. We wondered what changes would come?
What about a 300 percent increase in school children in three years.
I had been teaching in a community college in Big Spring, drew out my
retirement with some relate company to TRS, and my husband became the first
principal for the new junior school about to form.
We had a baby, not quite one, two other children, a truckload of furniture,
and I drove a Buick Wildcat filled with flowers, ivies, my mom, and my
3-year old daughter. The air-conditioning went out, Mom held the youngest
with his feet in cool water, and he cried all the way back, thus beginning a
six-year habit that would take me under. Our plans were that I would be a
First, there was no place to live. A school secretary had a farmhouse on Gun
Barrel Lane for storage, and we found a furnished mobile home in town with
no air conditioning to use, just floor fans. The children were outside all
the time any way bothering the neighbors, making friends, and finding
Meanwhile, it seemed my husband’s numerous siblings were many miles from us,
but one set of grandparents lived near Dixie Isle, below Eustace, managing
land TP&L would one day buy. The lake and fishing streams were near. The
males in my family would soon be in Paradise.
Granny and Pawpaw lived alone in a big farmhouse with a fireplace. The
youngest son was in Vietnam. Another son and family were in Arabia with an
American oil company. Someone was in Grand Prairie, two daughters and family
were out west, another daughter was around Fort Worth. Another brother had
gone with his family south, I think. I’m not too sure. But they all came in
one week for the crisis.
Papaw had finally gone to a throat specialist about lumps in his neck. He
would be undergoing cancer surgery. The last act he did before surgery was
to go out on the balcony and whistle. That be the last time for whistling
and other important acts like talking, but Pawpaw was one tough man. He had
already survived a rough childhood, made himself quit drinking and attend
church, come back from two bouts of TB plus one surgery and much more. He
never had to worry about being overweight.
The surgery went well, and he came home to heal. Then he had to go back for
more throat cutting, and this time nerves were severed, and he would not be
able to talk even with a special box. He mouthed his words, and some learned
to understand him. He could also stomp his foot!
It was spring, and most every afternoon possible, my husband and his boys
climbed into the old Scout and went to Granny and Pawpaw’s with visiting and
fishing on the mind. Of course, the boys liked running wild on rough land
with dogs chasing them or they were chasing dogs. Each soon had a BB fun.
It was a long time before my husband told me about his frequent visits to
his parents’ home. He figured his dad suffered some type of depression in a
world where he had always been the big talker and story-teller. He was
really worried his dad might take his life, a secret my husband kept to
himself. He was really worried about his mother, living far out and not
well-acquainted with the phone if one was available. He simply felt better
with his little visits and knew he had been absent from the area for ten
years at least. Home can be where the parents are, anywhere. Mine were in
Trinidad and enjoyed having weekend visits with some of our kids, especially
once we had four.
Papaw awoke one morning in another house his children had helped them get
and furnish where needed. This house had a semi basement (high windows to
see out) and was the last home for both parents, located in Kerens, almost
home for all the family, in some part. Papaw woke up one morning, asked the
time, and died. He was 80.
And that lake? It filled in beautifully. We at one time had a lot on Dixie
Isle, 120 feet on the water, but it had to go. We got over it.
Our eventual home was on Market Street, purchased unseen. Had we known I
would return to work, we might have tried to get something nice and quite
economical then, but we had a motto: never buy a house you think you could
We live in Trinidad now, on my paternal grandparents’ farmland as most of
Granddaddy’s children sold out for the city – Houston seemed to call their
Our homeplace has been resold several times, bricked now, really made into a
beauty. Location was a good asset for the house with pasture between the
loop for Highway 175. I’ll always miss the older one with its history of
being moved in and added to and all those clunkers parked around it. It
looked as though some kind of party was always going on. Was it?