Somewhere Between the Noise and Calm

Last time we met on this page I shared the joyful remnants of summer, expressing my delight through the meditative Mary Oliver poem, Mindful. Jay and I, enjoying the sounds of birds at the feeders with a backdrop of peaceful sound from our backyard stream were finding everyday delight in restful, contemplative simple pleasures.

And then…

The noise rolled in.


October 2nd the work crews with their heavy equipment and accompanying noise clattered in for the remainder of the month. It’s a large water project, and that’s about all I know.

When the work is completed we won’t miss the added chaos, but the one who will be the most relieved will be our poor dog, Zena.

A small metal sign posted on the wall by our back door reads,

Agenda for the day:

Let dog in–Let dog out–Let dog in–Let dog out

And so it goes! In–then out, pace for a while, come back in, whimper and hang her head, back out the door…pitifully beg for a treat, and on it goes. Poor Zena is having a hard time with all the noise and commotion.

By the end of last week I also needed a break. So taking advantage of a beautiful day, we headed to Malibu, a city west of Los Angeles that stretches for more than 30 miles along the Pacific.

We couldn’t pass this spot without stopping for a fish taco, or two…or three…

This little seafood restaurant has been featured in countless television and film productions.

We just picked it for the view!

The sound of waves and a good walk on some sand is one of my favorite ways to shed accumulated stress of any sort. As we walked this beach we were keenly aware of our good fortune. ย Hurricane Michael was battering the east coast while we were safely enjoying coastal peace–very sobering.

One more photo?

The only sound was the surf. Sublime!

We did return to noise…but by then we were breathing lighter.

If you’re needing a good exhale, I hope you find your own peaceful place, with or without sand.

39 thoughts on “Somewhere Between the Noise and Calm

  1. First, good for you. Second, I understand street noise. For the first two years in our Garden District home, the entire neighborhood was under heavy street construction. When the construction stopped, the big trucks used our street for a cut through. Yes. We have a getaway place… the far eastern gulf coast of Florida. ๐Ÿ˜ข

    • Oh my goodness, Ray! Your “happy place” is so frequently threatened. Between “knowing” Floridians through my blogging experience and paying attention to what I’ve been reading about general sea rise and climate change/environmental issues, I really have my antennae and radar aimed at the eastern gulf coast. I have real concern. We all need our get-away places, though, and I hope Florida is hospitable for a long time to come! ๐Ÿ™‚

      • We used to go to Bay St. Louis which is across the border in Mississippi, but Katrina got that little place. With climate change, Iโ€™m pretty sure our children wonโ€™t be able to live in New Orleans for all their lives, not that they would want to. In many ways, Iโ€™d just like to move back home to Long Beach.

    • It’s really so good to hear from you Eric, and it has been a long time. I hope you will find a way to prioritize time for yourself to refresh and recharge. I am more and more convinced that our health and well-being requires that we create some unplugged time, and at least for me, I’ve realized even just a few hours can make the difference. I hope you are well…and take the steps to stay that way! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Construction noise that goes on day after day is a grind. Fortunately, a day at the beach was a great help โ€ฆ so don’t forget to use it more often during this period of noise. Zena will be appreciative!

    • Today the construction noise stopped around noon, so we must be near the end! Whew! There are a few little children in the neighborhood not yet school-age who have enjoyed watching all of the trucks, and seeing their delight has helped me with my own patience. Zena hasn’t found any of it entertaining. I am always eager to find an excuse to enjoy a little wave action. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Poor Zena. Did you take her along to enjoy the coast? I hate noise in my ‘hood. We had two neighbors completely redo their driveways. It involve excavating out the old and putting in layers of stuff for the new. One took a week and the other two days. We wished they would have synced up but at least it was only 7 days.

    • The current water project should be completed soon, but we then received notice that a home two doors north of us is about to undergo a massive remodel. Our street is very narrow, so this may be quite an inconvenience. I may need to get Zena some sedatives ๐Ÿ™‚ Unfortunately we didn’t take Zena with us. I admit I did feel a little guilty. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Wonderful way to spend the day
    Far away from the noise and confusion
    Remembering the peace in silence!

    Did Zena get a fish taco too??? When we traveled with the Great Danes (as kids), they always got a McD’s burger if we stopped there.

    Woof! . . . Gulp . . . Gone! (They had big mouths!)

    We may eat on a pier for lunch today ~ at the Anna Maria Oyster Bar. They are celebrating Lobster Mania with $15 lobsters and $5 for 2 fish tacos and a margarita! Ole!

    • You find the best places to eat, Nancy! We didn’t take Zena with us because she couldn’t be on the beaches, and actually isn’t a good car traveler either. Poor thing is a bit neurotic. But she got extra walks this week and I have spoiled her entirely with treats. I hadn’t previously thought of bringing food home for her, and now I feel badly! She would LOVE that! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • I think you’re so right about the definition of a dog! At times we have our hands full with her! My husband refers to the beach as my “happy place,” and it is! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Surprisingly I think I’ve almost adjusted to the construction noise at this point. I wouldn’t have thought it possible, but i realized today that I didn’t notice when it stopped and the crews went home. I think even Zena is little more mellow with it. I won’t have any trouble coming up with another excise for a beach day, though. It’s a nice escape when we can manage the time. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Sorry to hear about all the noise and disruption Debra but your Malibu restaurant looks like a good escape and the views are glorious. Malibu reminds me of the Rockford Files, a TV programme I used to watch many years ago which was set there.

  6. Don’t have to be a dog to not appreciate noise. We have had construction next door for about a near, and it has not been enjoyable. But at least it’s all done by now. At least you have the possibility to get away from it all and enjoy beautiful surroundings like Malibu.

  7. Now you need to understand the way this works Debra… The water contractors make lots of noise for a week or so and leave the highway patched after they’ve finished. 2 weeks later the telecoms company come in and dig the whole lot up again to lay new cables – more noise and disruption. Then when they’ve gone it’s the electricity company’s turn. And somewhere along the line they will damage the new water pipes and the water company will be back again… ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Sorry to see Zena stressed out – it’s funny how different animals and people react to changes in the noise level of their environment. Our Budgies never seemed phased at all by noise. I’m ok with noise due to work being done. And the Fire Brigade going past on Blues & Twos is fine – even when it’s sometimes several times a day. The North Circular Road is around 400yds north of us and was expanded into a 6-lane highway in the 1980’s They did quite a good job of screening it with high concrete walls such that even when traffic is heavy all we hear is a distant sound much like wave on a distant shore. There’s one noise that annoys me – the Thump-thump of a fool driver with a megawatt amplifier in his car ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Finally there’s one noise that I miss – back in the 1970’s / 80’s on a calm night with a high pressure region overhead I used to be able to hear the Deltic locomotives travelling north up the East Coast Mainline and sometimes the Peaks travelling up the Midland route, both nearly 3 miles away. Sadly they’re long since gone.

    Love your Malibu photos – looks lovely there ๐Ÿ™‚ Hampstead Heath or Hadley Wood are probably the closest places I might go when I need peace and time to think. The Coast is a long way from here! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  8. Your poor doggy! She will be so glad when the work is over, as I am sure you will be too! We have become quite noise sensitive since living out in the country and enjoy hearing the pleasant sounds of birds or deer, or the wind in the trees. The beach and the sound of waves is also very calming. Perhaps you can have another getaway soon Debra!

  9. Poor Zena (and poor you). Road work is both necessary and distracting, as well as noisy and disruptive. I’m glad you got to escape from the noise and probably dust, and to, as you eloquently put it “breathe lighter.”

    Your photos are lovely and what a great view!

  10. Always Love your Sharing! I can relate we have been having a few things very much need at our house but charlie and Samantha can hardly handle all the excitement! The beach looks lovely! and fish tacos sound good too! Love Debi

  11. Oh, poor Zena. I really feel for her – and you – and can empathize. We are experiencing similar noise! It seems that every town, including ours, between here and there is either experiencing road construction, or any number of infra-structure work. Our street is being repaired and, honestly, when it is done it will be much nice, so, I try not to complain, but, coupled with that is the never-ending home being built next door. It’s been four years since they clear cut the trees and two since they started building. Sigh. I envy you the sand and soft and tacos, Debra, but, not the up close noise.
    Today – we breathed a little lighter as we jumped ship and took a long walk around a little lake. The colors are starting to show and it was the most glorious autumnal day.
    Hugs, my friend.

    • I’ll bet the colors are getting really beautiful, Penny! We have a house two doors up about to “break ground” on a very ambitious remodel that I know further impede the progress towards quieting down, but I don’t think they’ll be at it for more than two years! I remember when they clear cut the trees and that alone was traumatic. We have to do the best we possibly can with adjustments, but some times it’s just hard, isn’t it! LOL! Hugs, Penny!

  12. This definitely had me sympathetic to the situation of losing birdsongs and peaceful, uninterrupted nature! So glad you had the ocean to relax and enjoy for an escape! ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Nothing like the sound, smell and feeling of the almighty Ocean…I hope Zena was able to accompany you for some serenity. City projects are winding down for us here, just as they get started for you. Hope they’re done quickly.

  14. This post really hit home. At one time two years ago, the house next to us, the one directly across the street, the one to the left of that one, and one two doors down on the right from that one, were all having major renovations at the same time! And not just inside, but ourside as well. Talk about noise! However the worst of it was, there were so many pickups and repair vehicles parked along our street, it was like a slalom course. It’s all over now and they all look beautiful, so in the end, I think the value of the neighborhood increased significantly. This area was developed in 1959 so all the homes have been renovated since. We did ours in 2009,

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