Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Yesterday morning I woke to see construction equipment on my neighborhood block. I did my usual bitchin' about the noise, the stink, and the interruptions to MY planned day. Obviously, to those who know me, I hadn't had my first cup of coffee. Before an hour was out, the jackhammering got to me. I went to find solace in my garden in the back yard but I could feel the vibrations all the way out there. I realized I had to go back inside and comfort the crazed felines because this type of noise was probably making them a little bit dramatic. Instead some of them were vying for window space so they could watch.
Max: So that big machine is making the house shake?
Buddy: Yeah! Ain't it cool? We're safe inside--trust me!
Cuddles: Like Mom would let anything happen to US...We kittens are SPECIAL.
Gabby: Like you're a kitten any more. Dad wouldn't let anything happen to you--but Mom is another story.
Harley: Oh cool! Look at that thingamajiggy thing!
Lacey: I wonder why humans feel the need to break things up? Ooooooooo another machine!
Ava: I wanna see--move over!
*groans and snarls as Ava forces her way to the front and center*
Like I said--no drama--just feline curiosity.
Then just before noon came the beep-beep-beep-beeeeeeep of the backup warning signals from the front-end loaders. I shut the windows and turned on the air conditioner but those things are loud. I mumbled through another cup of coffee, answered a few more phone calls. Then I realized I was looking at this situation from the wrong point of view. To figure things out, I took my camera and went outside to take some shots.
The jackhammer machine making the house shake, with its thunk-a-thunk-athunktatittat noise.
Picking up old sidewalk pieces...
Busting up the sidewalk in front of my house...I apologize for the poor quality of the shot--I had to take this from inside the house while I was on the phone to a student.
I needed to focus on the positive aspect of this neighborhood intrusion. What I was witnessing was a piece of reenacted history. Do you know what part of history I'm referring to?
You see those men down the street? I don't know any of them. Nonetheless this so-called intrusion into my life meant that each one of those men are working. That means they are making money. That means none of them will lose their homes or their families this week. And in today's economic crisis, that's a very positive aspect. At least this week, some small part of America is working and that helps our community and our country in many different ways.
And you see that trench? That means we are getting a new sidewalk that's been needed for decades. That will make my morning walks with my elderly-young neighbor safer for both of us. I won't worry about us tripping over broken, chunked-up sidewalks any more and she'll feel surer about walking to get her needs met. To top it off, they are putting in wheelchair ramps at every intersection--so the people who need to use wheelchairs or walkers can also have more freedom. Those ramps will help those who have joint or back problems because they will no longer have to try to maneuver over foot high curbs.
They're working on the street in front of my house as well. I believe repaving will begin next week. That means we are finally getting those potholes fix and the road will be brand new. I realized that means less wear and tear on our vehicles--especially right now when most of us simply can't afford it.
It's about to get political folks--skip on down if you wish.
This noise of this reconstruction of our neighborhood is the true sound of Freedom. It's not fighter jets and sonic booms and explosions and gunfire that rings Freedom's bell. It's this construction noise. The attitude of caring for our own people so they can simply walk about their neighborhood is the idea of Freedom that makes our country great. It's not how much we can hand out in dollars of aid across the oceans and seas...it's what we do here that keeps people working. It's building that sense of community so its members can enjoy their personal freedoms as well as their economic freedoms. This is what makes the United States of America great. This is why I'm proud to be an American citizen and truthfully, it's been a long time since I've felt this sense of patriotism.
America, the beautiful. Let Freedom Ring.