Wednesday, July 2, 2008


Last night, I met my friends Barb, Susan, and Brenda at the town pool for water aerobics class. I am pretty sure we exercise our jaws as much as we do any other body part that we are supposed to be working on. No matter - I am sure that some good is coming to my body because of it, and it is a very enjoyable way to spend an hour.

As we were in the pool last night, Barb stopped mid-water jog and cocked her head to the side. "Hear that?" she asked me. It took me a second, but I realized she was refering to a siren that could be heard faintly from the other side of town. I noticed that a few other ladies in the pool had also perked up at the sound of it and had their heads turned in the direction of it.

Before she brought it up to me, I hadn't even noticed the siren. We moved to Blue Mound last October, but before that , I lived in Decatur for fifteen years. I still spend a great deal of time there because of work. In a bigger town with thousands of people, lights and sirens just come with the territory and eventually just become part of the rhythm of the city. My office is less than half a block off one of the busiest streets in Decatur, and though it is not a huge town, it is still large enough that I hear at least ten sirens go by every day. Fire trucks, ambulances, police cars. . . . all sound their shrill warnings within a few hundred feet of my office every day. It didn't take long to grow accustomed to the sound and subsequently, tune it out. I have a large plate glass window that provides an excellent view of Eldorado Street, yet I rarely even glance up from my desk as they go by.

I recall that when I was growing up, if a fire truck or ambulance or police siren was heard, everyone was on the horn immediately, calling friends or relatives or neighbors to figure out what was going on. I remember a time when hearing a siren would make my heart race a little, because it was a sound heard so infrequently in a small town, and almost always meant trouble for someone you knew. Barb made the same point to me exactly. After she asked if I had heard it, I told her that I rarely even heard the sirens anymore after living and working in Decatur. She replied, "But here, there's a good chance that it has to do with someone you know."

Being fairly new to Blue Mound, we don't know a lot of people - - mainly just those we go to church with. As Maggie starts school this fall and we begin to become more involved in the community, I am sure that in no time, that we'll know a few more folks. Perhaps soon I will start noticing the sirens again.

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