Three Days of Mystery

For almost three days, my husband and I have been going crazy. There has been a mystery at our house that’s completely taken over our lives.

The other morning at 6 a.m., my husband Dale was in the driveway putting his things in the car to go to work. He came back in to get one last cup of coffee for the road, and I asked him if there was a firetruck in front of our house. He said no, left for work and I thought no more about it.

Well off and on (mostly on) all day I kept hearing this really loud siren. It was a wind-up siren followed by three loud beeps. Every time I heard it I ran outside to see where it was coming from. I saw cars going up the street and people leaving for work, but no apparent sign of a firetruck.

After several hours of it, I thought it must be someone’s alarm either on their car or in their house. All day I just kept thinking how stupid it would be to have that kind of alarm. I ran from my front yard to my back a million times because I couldn’t tell if it was coming from out front or from the block behind me. In the house it echoed and bounced off walls so I couldn’t tell the direction it came from.

When Dale came home, it continued throughout the entire night. It woke us with a start several times. The next day we walked the neighborhood looking at everyone strangely and looking at all the cars to see if perhaps it was a motion detector being set off every time a car went by. We asked our neighbors and they said no, they hadn’t heard it. Now we were on day three and going crazy.

We ran like fools trying to chase down this sound. Now mind you, this wasn’t a soft noise. It sounded like a firetruck in your driveway kind of noise. After two days and two nights of it, we had gone mad.

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On the third morning I told Dale that I didn’t know, didn’t care, was not going to use up one more brain cell trying to figure out the mystery. I tried very hard to ignore it, but some things you just can’t. I was about to call the police and ask for their help. This had gone on at intervals of from every 5 to 15 minutes the entire time.

Over and over we had the same conversations, “Which way is it coming from? Did you hear it from upstairs? Could you hear it from the street? Did you see anyone leaving? Do you think it’s on the block behind us?” In the street it sounded like you had your hand on the truck, it was that loud. By this time we thought that the both of us must be crazy because no one else heard it.

We sat in our recliners totally stumped and half mad that we were living in this nightmare and couldn’t get out of it.

All of the sudden, Dale jumped up and ran across the room. He opened the cupboard under the wet bar and pulled out a toy fire truck. This truck hasn’t been looked at or played with in about three years. Dale pushed each of the 4 sound buttons and none of them had the right sound effect. We were immediately stumped and disappointed that we had not found the culprit.

Dale made sure the switch was flipped to off and just set it on top of the wet bar. As we sat in disbelief at our inability to track the noise, we sat shaking or heads. A few minutes of silence were followed by “SIREN…beep beep beep” a random noise, not one of the four programmed noise effects on the toy. He took out the batteries.

We were driven to the brink of madness. Besides being easily amused, apparently, we are just as easily confused.

Gail Earl is a member of the writing class at Norwalk Senior Center.

Complete Opposites

Growing up with my sister Gloria was tough. I always thought she was prettier than me.

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We were complete opposites in appearances and personalities. She had long straight black hair, she was dark complected with dark colored eyes. Whereas I had long wavy brown hair, I was light complected with hazel colored eyes. Surprisingly we had the same father.

She was carefree most of her life as I tended to be a worry wart. She was very outspoken where I could be shy. I just recall wanting to be like her and look like her too.

Strangely, our mother used to dress us alike as if we were twins. I remember these dresses we had with flower prints on them. I had a yellow one and my sister Gloria had a blue one. They were dresses above the knee with baby doll sleeves. They had the cutest tiniest purse attached to the shoulder with a small chain connected to it. We either wore our hair down or we would wear pigtails with the hair hanging over the front of our shoulders.

As we approached our teen years, being fourteen and fifteen years old, we started wearing dresses called sizzzlers. It was the seventies! These were mini dresses with matching panties with various prints on them. They were made of silk material and the dress had a little flare to it, and as we walked these dresses swayed as if they were dancing to a beat. They were the coolest piece of clothing we had ever had. I guess you could say we sizzled!

To top it off, we wore knee high boots. We called them Go-Go boots. Remember the song “these boots are made for walking”? These boots were extremely fashionable back then. To really top it off, we had the most stylish hair-do of them all: the Farrah Fawcett hair-do! We all remember that hair-do right? We were young girls exploring our youth and being very fashionable.

Years later, Gloria met a guy named Freddie. She never married him but they became common law partners, being together for 25 years. They had two children, Lorraine and Raymond. She was a fine little housewife, maintaining household chores, involved in her children’s school activities, and cooking meals that could make your mouth water. (Her oozing red chicken mole was the best meal she ever cooked. So tender yet so spicy.)

On the other hand, I was the complete opposite. I was a party girl enjoying the single life, going out to nightclubs, drinking alcohol and meeting various men, and Gloria often worried about me.

Although we were complete opposites, we did have one major thing in common and that was we both were big fans of the “I Love Lucy” sitcom. When we’d talk on the phone, we’d laugh and laugh reiterating what episode was the funniest and we could never decide what our favorite episode was. Ah, the memories!

Sadly, my sister had been in an abusive relationship with Freddie for years. One day she just up and left him. My family and I were in complete shock.

Just about the time she was about to end her volatile relationship with Freddie, I was starting a life with Robert (my ex-husband). I had been married to Robert for a few years, then our lives took a complete 180.

She was then living a single life -- going out, drinking alcohol and meeting various men, while I was married, raising children tending to household chores, school activities and so on. Then I got the feeling of worrying about her. Ironically, years later in my life, I would come to realize that I, too, was in an abusive relationship. We were amazed of what opposite lives we were leading, and with that, it gave us a clear understanding that no matter how different we were and what we didn’t have in common, there was one thing that we never lost sight of, and that was we loved each other dearly.

In reflecting on my memories of my sister Gloria, and myself, and writing this piece, I realized, it’s not that I thought that she was prettier than me, I just simply thought that she was pretty! And even more so, that we were both pretty!