House Music

We’ve lived in a fair number of houses. Two of them were full of musical instruments. No, not the piano. Not the flute my husband tried to play but never got his embouchure quite right. Not the guitar, the cornet, or the drums, all of which made their way into our basements and bedrooms via the children.

No, these two houses had their own magical instruments.

The first one had a giant boiler in the basement. It needed constant care and feeding. Sort of like an opera diva. But when it worked, its sounds were wonderful.

It would start at 5:00 a.m. Drums and cymbals clanging up through the radiators, each with its own pitch and tone. Followed by the operatic hissing and screeching as the heat rose through the pipes.

Those were among the most beautiful sounds I’ve ever heard. We always stayed in bed until the concert was over. That sweet house was telling us that it was ready for us and when we arose we’d be warm, welcomed and loved.

Our current house has a different set of instruments. They’re the tin flashings on the three chimneys. Oh, the music they make in the rain.

It always starts with a few gentle pings on one chimney. The orchestra tuning up for the main event. The score can get pretty tough, depending on the wind, the rain, the thunder and lightening. The conductor has her hands full. It’s fun, loud, and free!

Some many years ago, a writer said that when the thunder and lightning come your way, it’s your job to curl up in a corner, listen carefully and enjoy nature at its most dynamic and musical. Try it next time. You’ll be glad you did. I’m betting on it.



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