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Good noise, bad noise

Sleep mask, earplugs, white noise machine. These form the trio of implements used to attract sleep.

Truthfully, the sleep mask only recently came into play during our last beach visit, when the room I slept in flashed so bright at break of day that I thought I was the focus of some angelic visitation. It was the sun.

Back home, the plugs and machine are necessary shutters against traffic noise on my street, where everyone and his cousin Lemuel with his truck and trailer must report at 6 a.m.

Then there’s the industrious neighbor who chooses one or two days a week to rev the same small engine of a motorized item he’s been tinkering at for years. Methinks it will never be right, if he can help it.

The roofers are here “soft-brushing” moss, seed pods and leaf debris from Aunt Sophie’s bonnet (roof). I’m happy to have Auntie’s topknot and gutters cleaned. The maintenance crew arrived before these guys — mowing, blowing and scraping away more extraneous material.

On Tuesday, two capable handy-guys hammered, sawed and repurposed my tired deck into something usable again now that visitors may appear. My home is finally getting the makeover she deserves.

It’s been a loud and productive week. Some noise is favorable because of the end result. Other sounds, especially in a place normally overflowing with quietude, are most unwelcome.

Last weekend, Lane and I visited one of our favorite happy places so we could be happy. We weren’t unhappy before, but getting “Far from the Madding Crowd,” which I happen to be reading now, and consequently feeling Arcadian, seemed the right idea amid our noisy world. I know I have gargantuan nerve saying that, while lounging through life in the Rogue Valley, where all is mostly light traffic and pastoral bliss, but life pulses with relativity.

Simply put, I’m spoiled. We enjoyed tromping about in tick country, climbing on someone’s former foundation, and listening for birds and salivating cougars. On our return, we heard humming and figured it for a swarm of bees. I hoped to see this natural phenomenon. As we drew closer, we realized it had nothing whatsoever to do with nature. There was no delight at all in fresh discovery of some private scheme of the wilds. A couple had fashioned some sort of man-made worship scenario, with a garishly colored gazing ball situated on a small table and a droning drone overhead. I felt like asking, doesn’t authenticity satisfy? But we left — Lane curious, and I in a huff.

Other, pleasant noises have sounded recently. As I lie tapping out paragraphs from my sofa at night, when 5 o’clock risers have long since climbed in the sack, all was quiet but for regular cricket chirp keeping me company. I felt like a character in an episode of “The Waltons” — Peggy-Bob.

This week, I herald the seemingly tireless workman who does the deeds so far removed from the comfort zones of some of us. To Zach and Nick with GoodWork Handyman, who repaired the steps and replaced squishy wood on my deck, thereby making it solid for happy feet, a sincere “thank you.” You made it look easy, and I hope you enjoyed the chocolate chippers.

For Andrew, Martin and my faithful maintenance crew at Crater Landscape Management, you always manage to make the grounds look park-like. I will ply you with sweets again.

And to Brent and Avino with Evergreen Roofing, Aunt Sophie and I are thrilled with the result of your dedication. They worked for hours, risking life and limb on a mossy, steeply pitched roof with lots of nooks and corners. Their work clothes wore a testament to the toil. They must have been exhausted but were friendly as can be.

Brent said he’d enjoyed working on my house. They cleaned up the mess completely, and I made several trips outside afterward to admire their expertise.

A workman is worthy of his hire, and his noise. I was only sorry I had so few cookies left.

Peggy Dover is a grateful writer. Reach her at pcdover@hotmail.com.