Friday, June 30, 2017
Today I am sitting outside while an electrician is working in the house. We have begun the messy and inconveniencing journey of having upgrades done on the house. Today we are having the electrical outlets in the master bathroom relocated before we have the new custom cabinets installed. I do not mind working outside, in fact I rather like it! It is a bit windier than I would prefer but it sure makes for wonderful sounds as the wind blows through the different types of trees around me. The leafy trees sound much alike, but the ones that are the needle variety or similar sound different. There is a specific sound of the wind through pine trees. It is a sound I have always found comfort in.
When I was young, my godparents had a cabin in the mountains. My godfather built a small tree-house for his grand-kids and I to play in. Sometimes if I was the only kid up there - as I was an only child - I would climb up into the tree-house with a pack of sunflower seeds and a book to read. I would be surrounded by the sound of the breeze through the pine trees, as well as the chatter of squirrels, birds and other little critters. Those sounds were the only ones that compared to how I felt (still feel) about the sounds of the waves rolling in and out at the beach.
I grew up in the city - sort of - it was a city but a suburban city and not what would be considered a metropolis. I wasn't far from the crazy of the big city, but it certainly wasn't quiet where we lived. I was wishing walking distance to all three of the schools I attended, elementary, middle and high school as well as a park that opened into my small neighborhood. Yet, in the middle of all those was a major intersection. When we moved there in the early 1970's, the intersection was simple and had not become a 4-way signal. As the neighborhoods grew and the traffic to and from the high-school that touched one corner of the intersection increased, so did the motor vehicle accidents. Screeching breaks and crunching metal was a sound I became familiar with. Several times we, the other kids on my street and I, would run around the corner to see what happened. There were actually quite a few times that we assisted with people who were confused or only slightly injured as we knew the owner of the business on the opposite corner of the high-school. We would walk them up and ask Bill, the owner, for a chair and if we could use his phone (long before cell phones) to call someone for the person we were helping.
I now wonder how much of an impact and influence these experiences had in my investigations of traffic accidents, and several of my neighborhood friends going into first-responder jobs. Surely it either was part of the desire or we always had the instinct and running to the accidents were just in our nature. Obviously our childhood experiences can have a massive impact on us. They can drive us to do wonderful things or they can make us angry and bitter, often sending us into a darker more negative direction. It is such a tragedy how sometimes these negative experiences can be passed along generation to generation.