Old push lawn mowers – The morning’s clacking sound of the metal blades, louder as they crossed the hot summer cement driveway, more muffled as they filled with the long dew-wet grass.
Playground swings – The metal chains’ shrieking protest as they rubbed against the links high above your head. A sound probably grating anywhere else, but when you were swaying forward and back it was one you knew was as essential to the experience as the occasional scuff of your sneaker against the dusty earth beneath.
Roller skates on a sidewalk - Not those plastic-wheeled late-comers, but the weighty all-metal skates that made just lifting your foot for the next stroke against the cement a challenge. Those wheels made a low rumble as they rolled over the sidewalk and a rhythmic ‘kak, kak’ as you crossed over each successive line.
Front seat conversation - The murmur of your parents' voices while you sat in the back seat, sleepy from whatever family event you've been on. You rarely followed the actual words as you looked out of the window next to you, your eyes only at the level where the door and glass meet.
Your mother's voice cutting through the warm twilight - You learned the various intonations of your distant parent's voice, from the first call, to that final, you'd-better-come-now call.
Finally, the soothing back and forth of the small metal fan propped on a chair at the foot of your bed - It might give a small 'eeek' each time it swung to the left, but you'd never oil it. Its small voice was just part of the nighttime orchestra of crickets and end-of-the-day bird calls, lulling you to sleep.