Replacing the Buzz

In my years as a student, life-traveler, and otherwise nomadic type, I’ve moved more times than I care to remember. As some of you more elderly geezers (like myself) might recall, in the old days, everything went on the move.

“Everything” included large things like refrigerators, washers, and dryers. These days, real estate agencies have come up with a nifty term that alleviates all that backbreaking exertion. The term is “convey.” Nowadays, refrigerators, washers, and dryers all “convey.” This, of course, is a brief but fancy way of saying, “If you buy this house, you’re also buying the appliances (‘cause we’re not lugging these babies up and down any more staircases).

“We were still young and virile.”

When I was young, moving was a matter of a couple pickup trucks, a case of beer, and a few college buddies. Of course, all the move entailed back then was a sofa, a bed, and a few clothes (and the appliances we took with us because they had not yet invented the term, convey). Toting those fridges up and down flights of steps didn’t matter as much in those days because we were still young and virile (or maybe, just stupid).

My lovely Bride and I just moved into a newly built home. We had to buy all new appliances because, supernaturally, our old ones conveyed. My spouse and I quickly noticed that the new appliances no longer have that annoying buzz when the process (i.e., drying cycle) is over. These days when the fridge is left open, the drying is finished, or the washer is doing anything at all, they play music.

Now, instead of that heavy, droning buzz, we hear the light, tinkling lilt of a chime-like instrument going off somewhere in our new domicile. One went off in a far-off room last evening and someone said, “What’s that noise?” Half deaf as I am, I didn’t hear a thing, but I began to explore. Sure enough, when I trod up the basement stairs to the kitchen, I discovered the refrigerator door slightly ajar.

“Slow Dancing in a Burning Room”

I have no real beef with this transition to the melodic from the intrusive, startling alarm of days gone by. Still, in the future, I’d like to have a choice of something other than the glockenspiel these appliances seem to play these days. An acoustic guitar performing Slow Dancing in a Burning Room might be nice.

Someone made the following comment concerning the changeover from the disturbing to the dainty. “Today’s little snowflakes can’t take the buzz.” That person might have a valid point. Not to cast aspersions upon the current generation, but sometimes we need a rude awakening in our lives. Maybe those annoying alarms on our appliances were healthy precursors that helped prepare us for some of the more weighty tribulations that tend to interrupt our daily quietude—you know, things like accidents, tragedies, and even death.

I don’t mean to be morbid, but maybe those lousy buzzing noises were good things in the end. At least I could hear them.

[Dave Zuchelli is a graduate of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and is currently pastor of Smith Chapel in Great Falls, VA.]

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