Do You Hear What I Hear? Life in a Rural-ish Suburban Neighborhood

I’m having morning coffee with my Company Girls friends today. Thanks for hosting, Rachel!

One thing I like best about our neighborhood, besides the great bicycling roads and even better neighbors, is the way it sounds.


Without the racket of traffic and industry, you can hear life going on. Any time we step outside we might hear…

Children playing, shrieking as they jump into swimming pools, calling dogs.

The neighbor’s dog and our little canine, woofing it up through the fence as they run back and forth.

Goats. Goats always sound cranky, a bunch of baritones and tenors interrupting and trying to upstage each other. Somebody nearby has sheep now. Sheep sound sort of like goats but more dignified.

An occasional horse.

Rarely, a donkey. (Even more rare, delightfully rare, is the sound of a police or fire siren passing along the farm road.)

Cows are pretty quiet but sometimes several of them moo in the evening. It might be feeding or milking time.

At night, sometimes, a coyote — or a whole mess of coyotes.

A small regional airport lies about three miles from us. I enjoy hearing little single-engine planes taking off or landing. Some of the planes that drag advertising banners use that airport. Once or twice a year, we are treated to a stunt airshow — at least, the parts of the show that are visible above the treetops from three miles away. One time an Osprey orbited around for two hours. I got NOTHING done that morning.

For me, one of the more compelling sounds is the Chinook military tandem-rotor helicopters that touch down at the airport from time to time. The dense, slow “thub-thub-thub” of a Chinook on approach sends me outside to look every time. I mean, those things block the sun.

Regular, commercial-type helicopters fly in and out from “our” airport, too. Somebody must give helicopter flying lessons there, as we often hear them doing “touch-and-go” takeoffs and landings. They don’t have as appealing a sound as, say, the playing children, but they don’t bother us at all.

Well…. except for night-flying lessons. Once in a while, around 11:30 at night (just as we are nodding off to sleep), a helicopter takes off and starts doing “touch-and-go” exercises. This may go on for half an hour or more, the engine sounding really loud in the quiet of the night. It never gets very far away. In fact, the pilot does a sort of square flight pattern that comes pretty close to our neighborhood before turning a corner and heading back toward the airport.

Yes, that’s one nuisance big enough to lose sleep over. Occasionally. But as near as I can figure, it’s easier to put up with night helicopter lessons than have to listen to car wrecks, gunshots, ambulances, police sirens….

Does your neighborhood have a sound of its own?

Thanks for reading,

About Jan C. Johnson

Welcome! If you like food, reading, laughing over life's little disasters, and maybe thinking about the bigger things of life, you have come to the right place. Besides blogging, I write humorous fiction, though real life tends to leave fictional humor in the shade. But I'm not a total goofball. No, really. I'm also working on a biography project. I live in North Texas with my husband, Brent. We enjoy bicycling, Mexican food, and traveling to visit our kids and grandkids.
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8 Responses to Do You Hear What I Hear? Life in a Rural-ish Suburban Neighborhood

  1. We live in a “quiet” subdivision… you hear the occasion car drive by and the kids out playing. Currently, though, they are adding another 40-50 lots to the backside {where we live} of the subdivision, so we have a LOT of construction traffic going in and out. Still… by the evening, the quiet has returned and all is still as we sleep.


    • Jan says:

      Hi, Ashley! Construction is kind of fun, and I like that sawdusty smell. Sounds like you’ll have lots of new neighbors before long. Thanks for stopping by!


  2. Jan,
    Our suburban area is kind of quiet, at least without hearing aids.
    It is very quiet when I go to bed. Something would have to shake the house or have bright lights for me to know what is going on.
    Love you


  3. Katharine says:

    Our move this year, has provided us with a much quieter neighborhood(thankgoodness) I love hear the train whistle at night it has such a haunting sound!


  4. joyceandnorm says:

    Night-flying lessons…sorry, don’t think I want to be your neighbor anytime soon. =p We leave relatively close to the freeway, so the news helicopters sometimes fly over this way after they get their footage of the traffic. Not a fun way to wake up. Our neighborhood is pretty quiet except for this teenager who owns a motor-scooter…I think he upgraded to a motorcycle this year. =\


    • Jan says:

      Hey, Joyce! I must say, I can’t understand why you wouldn’t leave your news choppers and move clear to Texas for the night flying lessons! 😀 I’m just guessing… the motorcycle is louder than the scooter? Some of the families around us have those utility ranch vehicles that their kids drive around the neighborhood, despite the things NOT being street-legal. At least they don’t gun the engines, and can’t drive them very fast. Thanks for visiting!


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