I lived in the same house for most of my life.
I spent very close to 23 years in the same house, in the same small room. We live right next to a railroad track. Over the years, the sound of the trains crashing together to hook, the sound of the horn blowing, and the wheels on the track, became something incredibly familiar, reduced in sound, and almost soothing.
I remember lying awake at night and hearing the bass “tooooooot” outside my window, the orange light of the streetlight shining in, followed by a crash that sounded like low thunder, and the scraping of the wheels against the track and the “chug chug” of the engines. Sometimes they were passenger trains, sometimes freight trains, with old cars in need of painting and covered in graffiti.
There would be times that the train sounds would be so loud we’d have to close our front door in order to be able to hear the television or each other speak.
I would be mildly amused whenever a friend came to visit. They would suddenly jump at a sound, and instantly bewildered when I was not affected at all. The worst has been when Josh has been over, and he’s a light sleeper, and the bustle, crash and horns of the train are a vast contrast to the empty silence of the Napa Valley at night. I shrug and simply say, “I’m used to it.”
Now whenever I go to visit, the sounds remind me of an overall picture of my childhood, and living in my house, where now only my parents live.