Just pretend the freeway noise is a river

Some readers may recall that in my July column, I spoke about our move from just south of the Bob Hope Airport to the Glendale Rancho.

My search for an affordable horse property (an oxymoron akin to jumbo shrimp), took five years. On the day I first saw our future home, I was instantly transported to a state of rapture. The house was pink, or peach, or some such lovely color, and featured a white picket fence covered with flowering morning glory. The house where I grew up in Wisconsin had a fence covered with flowering morning glory in the exact same color. A therapist would say that something buried deep in my subconscious made a psychic connection that predisposed me to fall in love with this house.

I ran ahead of the Realtor, pulling my less enchanted husband along. I bypassed the house and headed straight for the backyard, as any horse person would do. We all know that the equine accommodations are the really important selling point.

Only one bathroom? We'll make do. Plumbing dating back to the 1930s, when the house was built? We'll learn that when one person is in the shower, no one else can use water. Square footage smaller by a full one-third than our current house? I never liked cleaning all those rooms anyway.

I took one look at the roomy wooden stable and even roomier turn-out and gasped, “If I can't have this house, I'll die.” The Realtor smiled. My husband did not. I explained to him later that the wonderful Realtor had been showing me property for so long that there was no hiding my feelings from her. She could see inside my soul.

Long story short, it took all of one weekend to buy it. I was assured by a horse-person/Realtor friend that the last thing we wanted to get involved in was a bidding war.

We sold our house in Burbank and in early October, we became residents of the Rancho. Our bedroom has a French door. On our very first lovely warm night, we left the door open. After a few minutes, my husband said “What's that noise? That constant rushing noise?”

I couldn't in good conscience say, “what noise?” One thing that a lot of people who live in the Rancho know is that we are bounded by a couple of freeways. So I said, “Remember that time up at Mammoth, when we were hiking to Rainbow Falls and I asked you if there was a freeway nearby and it turned out to be the river? Just pretend it's a river.”

In the morning, we woke up in the opening scene of “Apocalypse Now.” All that was missing was the soundtrack by the Doors. Yup, helicopters, checking out the morning rush-hour traffic on those nearby freeways. Which just goes to show, you can move, but you take your troubles with you no matter where you go.

JOAN KLENGLER is the author of a number of mysteries set in Los Angeles and in the California Delta. She lives in the Rancho section of Glendale with her husband, her paint horse Patch, and assorted critters. Email her at klengler@sbcglobal.net.

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