October 28, 2015

Is There Any Escape from Noise? by Bruce Atchison

Finding quietude is such a rare experience in our world these days. Flatulent vehicles, blasting stereos, roaring jet planes: they all ruin our repose.

My professional writing career started out poorly. Those churlish next door neighbours assumed nobody would mind all those shrieking boys their son invited over. Neither should anybody dislike hearing their dogs barking each evening for hours on end. After all, everyone likes dogs, don't they? The same goes for loud music and clouds of barbecue smoke, right?

I found no escape from noise for those first four years. Believing that I could have more say over noise at a condo, I sold my house and bought one. What a huge mistake. The rumble of traffic and junky cars coming into the parking lot created tremors in the floor I could actually feel. Worse yet, a belligerent young man figured that he could tune up cars in the parking lot and nobody should complain about the racket. When I did, he became as incensed as my previous neighbours.

Fearing for my life, I moved to an adults-only high rise. That was a big mistake too. The suites were being sold as condos, prompting people to renovate them throughout the  day and long into the evening. One old man also used a storage space next to my bedroom daily as his carpentry shop. He gave the apartment manager many lame excuses when I complained but she ordered him to stop. Even so, renovating continued unabated.

Renting the main floor of a house became my third blunder. The neighbours ran a tow truck company out of their home. Diesel rumblings and their loud backyard music broke my concentration daily. Those owners also became enraged when I politely asked them to turn down the stereo volume

Our heavenly Father showed his compassion by delivering me from the noisy city to a quiet hamlet. It had everything I asked for. Radway had a grocery store, a drugstore, a post office, and my house was across the tracks. No nearby neighbours derailed my train of thought either.

I praise and thank the Lord daily for my miracle home. The money, the listing, and the right real estate lady providentially came together to rescue me from the torment of city noise. Living here is like a permanent writing retreat. What an awesome God we serve!


  1. Bruce, it almost sounds like the Lord used noise to gradually move you to the place he had planned out for you all along! What a convoluted journey to get from the big city to Radway. Love it!

  2. Love this clever line, "my house was across the tracks. No nearby neighbours derailed my train of thought either." Made me smile.

  3. The Lord clearly blessed you with your own little writing retreat...you now bless others with the fruits of your labor! Yes we do serve an awesome God!

  4. Anonymous4:55 am GMT-7

    A testimony of how our path He leads has twist and turns, yet it leads us to perfect dwellings!

  5. Bruce,
    I enjoy, and sometimes even crave quietness, so I identified with your post. I'm thankful for our home in the country. I've been told I have the perfect place for a writing retreat. Unlike you, however, I do have children and a husband, who have their own thoughts about noise. Thankfully, I'm the only one who enjoys getting up early in the morning. That's my retreat time :)

  6. I love the story of how God blessed you with your house in this quiet town. He knew exactly what you needed. Thanks for sharing this story with us Bruce.

  7. I can identify with your finding a place that is right for you. That's the way my husband Hank and I feel about the home we are in now compared to the first place we rented after selling our larger dream home that was getting too much to look after.

    I enjoy your sense of the absurd like, "Neither should anybody dislike hearing their dogs barking each evening for hours on end." I also appreciate your playfulness with language: "flatulent vehicles", and "diesel rumblings", plus, "I sold my house and bought one." Keep writing, Bruce.

  8. Bruce, you had me at "Is there any escape from noise?" And then suffering with you as you describe the noisy places was all worthwhile when I read your clever comment at the end, about the nearby railroad tracks and no one derailing your train of thought. You have given us hope, that one day others, too, will find that kind of quiet!


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