When I was working for the Devils Lake Journal, one of the first articles I wrote was about the tight housing marketing in Devils Lake, inspired by my search at the time for housing. And a tight housing market is also what I encountered when trying to find a place to live in Brush, Colorado, a few months back. The housing market is tight here for some of the same reasons as Devils Lake was at the time, an influx of workers – in this case on the expansion of a freeway and a power plant. I was also under the gun to find a place quickly because I desperately wanted to get out of the windowless dungeon room I was renting in Denver and not wanting to have a 60 plus mile commute twice a day.
My soon to be new boss provided me with a list of rental property companies and I started dialing. What I found was that many places had a strict no-pet policy. I’ll never understand why property managers will allow a herd of unruly, destructive children to live in a place but not one quiet, clean, well mannered kitty cat such as my beloved now 15 year old kit kat Jenni! As I encountered one no-pets-allowed place after another, one rental company rep said “are you really set on bringing your cat with you?” I thought, excuse me, I’m going to abandon my 15-year old pet?! I don’t think so!
I finally found a pet friendly rental company and looked at a place, a one-bedroom duplex unit in a white stucco building. It had recently been renovated and I liked it immediately and rented it on the spot. What I didn’t consider at the time was what was happening outside the unit, as in the duplex being sandwiched between the busiest street in town and an even busier train track. I keep meaning to count how many trains go by each day, but it’s got to be at least 50, beginning at around 4 or 5 am. My fellow Brushians keep telling me “oh you don’t even hear the trains after awhile.” Well I guess I need to wait awhile longer, because I still hear them loud and clear! I think the train conductor is a noise sadist and takes glee in deciding exactly when to blare the train whistle and how often, knowing how personally annoying it is to folks.
On the plus side now that I have some new “stuff” in the form of living room furniture (yay) I’m not spending as much time in the bedroom in the back, which is closer to the trains. The tradeoff is that in the living room I am closer to the busy street noise. When I say busy, I mean extremely busy and loud! Brush is situated between several giant feedlots east of town and a large meat processing plant in Fort Morgan west of Brush. I do believe every single type of truck traveling between these two entities noisily rumbles by my house, many of them also omitting the pungent smell of livestock. At least the animals themselves don’t make any noise. Speaking of the animals, one day I pulled up alongside one of these noise maker trucks in Fort Morgan as it was getting ready to turn onto the road where the meat plant is located. I was eye to eye with the cows, who peered at me with their large, brown eyes that looked mournful to me, as if they were beseeching me to save them from their imminent fate. I felt a little guilty for a brief moment for being a carnivore.
However, I digress. Also adding to the noise mix are a variety of other trucks and vehicles tooling about town or traversing the state of Colorado, some of them diverted by the aforementioned freeway construction. One recent weekend for extra fun, biker rally traffic upped the noise level.
So much for quiet and peaceful small town life. Maybe I need to invest in a good pair of earplugs and nose plugs too.