Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Mystery Solved

. . . . goulies and ghosties and long-leggedy beasties
And things that go bump in the night. . .

          We’re still adjusting to life here in the commune. After years and years and years of living in a house, we’re used to hearing water run and knowing who flushed. Now we have two floors above us, and in spite of having two feet of concrete between us and our neighbors, sound still manages to travel. 
          One night last week I woke at 3:30 a.m. to Mamie, usually the most silent dog on the planet, barking her head off. This was immediately followed by pounding feet running upstairs.  I made it to a front window just in time to see a car in front of the building, motor running, passenger door open, and a young woman sprinting toward it.
          Robbery? Family drama?
          The next morning I asked the woman on one side of us if she’d heard anything. Nope.
          I asked the woman two doors down if she’d heard anything. Nope.
          Later in the day I asked the neighbor next door if he’d heard anything. Nope. But as a year-round resident he’s also sort of the mayor of our building and has keys to many of our places so he can check to make sure we don’t come back to ugly surprises. Nobody had arrived yet at the units above us so he said he’d go upstairs and take a look.
          When I saw him the next day he said the doors had been locked and nothing looked disturbed.
          Huh. The next night I thought twice about leaving our window unlocked, but I slept soundly, undisturbed.  
          Days went by and the upstairs neighbors arrived, followed by their three granddaughters in the 7 to 13 age range. In person they look sedate enough, but once in their grandparents’ condo they must strap on hobnail boots and while away the hours moving furniture. The first night they were there I woke again to running footsteps at 3:30, but attributed it to the heavy-hoofed kids above us.
The soundproofing between units is excellent, but our concrete block and iron buildings carry percussive sounds so effectively they’d be perfect should we ever find ourselves duck-taped by evil-dooers and forced to tap out a cry for help in Morse code.
Yesterday we had our annual condo meeting, and after discussions about landscaping, building color, water bills, and non-working street lights, the grandfather from upstairs raised a tentative hand.
He asked, “Has anyone else heard running at 3 in the morning?”
He was answered by puzzled and affirmative head-noddings.
So, I thought, that latest pre-dawn clomping hadn’t come from his family after all. .
Then from in the back of the room someone called out, “Oh, that’s the paper delivery.”


  1. Ha ha. Glad it was the normal sounds of life. When you are new to an area, you cannot know if something is amiss as every sound it odd.

  2. How interesting. We've been apartment dwellers for 12 years. At first I was very concerned noise would be a problem. The only noise we hear is tiny feet. We never hear adults walking. A couple with a baby about 15 months old lived above us and we heard every step he made. We knew when he woke up in the morning, when he napped, and when he went to bed. When he ran it was even more fun. Out on the balcony he threw his toys down on us.

  3. Good grief! How big are your morning papers? :-)

    1. It's not the paper, but the feet delivering them. :0)

  4. How simple! At least the paper delivery could be a little sensitive about their delivery.

  5. Paper delivery! I would have never thought of that. Glad the mystery is solved and you can now sleep soundly knowing you are safe.

  6. Glad the mystery is solved. At 3:30 in the morning, every noise sounds scary, and I am usually awake around that time.

  7. Delivery at 3:00 a.m.?? Hope they pay that kid well!! -Jenn

  8. How weird! Why is your paper delivery person RUNNING? I mean, I could understand wanting to get her route done, but it's not THAT big of a crisis, is it?!

  9. Who knew! We have a UPS driver that sprints up the driveway with packages:)

    1. That I understand - UPS puts their drivers on a fiendishly strict timed schedule.


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