The Problem With Quiet
I sat in my comfy chair watching a show on television. The sun set, leaving a colorful imprint on the sky. The inky darkness of night soon took over and I could see the moon peaking through the tree branches of the big oak in our backyard.
But, something wasn’t right. It was too quiet.
My husband had a dinner meeting so I was home alone. I think it was the first time I was completely alone in our house for the last thirteen years. It was a few days after we said goodbye to our corgi, Higgins.
Normally, I wouldn’t mind being at home with just Higgins. I would hear the tip-tapping of his claws on the wood floor as he followed me around the house. The funny noises he made when he was dreaming made me giggle. His “harumph” spurred me to get him a treat, take him outside to potty or simply give him some attention.
But, Higgins is gone and the house is quiet again. Too quiet.
The Noisy Years
The last time my house was this quiet was April 9, 1989, the day before our son was born. That was the beginning of our noisy household. He woke us up every morning with a cry, he was quite vocal. The crying turned into babbling and talking then, another little cry joined the cacophony. The background playlist—compliments of Barney, Lambchop, Sesame Street and an endless stream of Disney movies.
Sibling rivalry soon set in and the sounds changed. Occasionally, there were raised voices, slammed doors and, one time, the crashing of a broken window. But, there was much laughter too.
There were sounds of children playing, family gatherings and holiday celebrations.
Our house was full of musical sounds as well—our daughter on the piano and our son on the electric guitar. Sometimes his bandmates would join him for a practice session. For a brief period of time, he had a drum set. Not gonna lie — it was a happy day when we sold that.
The sounds of video games filled the house for a few years when our son had friends over to play. My husband and I would retreat to our room for some peace and quiet.
When he went to college, things got quieter. While he experienced his first two years of college, our daughter was in her final two (busy) years of high school. But, Higgins was always there. He barked whenever the door opened or closed. He barked at the jets and thunderstorms. We had to confine him to his room during football games because he got so worked up. For some strange reason, you could not say “Roll Tide” without him going ballistic. Silly dog.
Our house has been fairly quiet the past ten years. The three of us, me, my husband and Higgins had our own routine. Things would get lively over the holidays or when someone came home for a visit, but, for the most part, relatively quiet.
But now, with Higgins gone, it’s too quiet.
What’s So Good About Quiet?
I am determined not to remain gloomy so here are a few positive things about my very quiet empty nest:
- I can concentrate and focus on my Bible Study better
- Uninterrupted sleep
- Good for reading and writing
- Good for thinking and remembering
- Good atmosphere for prayer
Perhaps, one day, we’ll get another dog to break the silence, but, for now, we will accept it and maybe even find ways to enjoy it.
How about you? Have you experienced the death of a pet or children going off to college? Have you been left with a too-quiet house? What are some of the ways you coped?