It is quiet again tonight. So quiet in fact, my ears ring after the cacophony of the day—computer servers buzzing or gyrating above my head (depends on the day), high school sports fans cheering, Rice Lake traffic, radio. And now, sitting at my kitchen counter—nothing. Not even crickets.

This wasn’t always so. In the heart of town, especially in summer, there is always some kind of noise—neighbor boys carrying on yesterday’s Nerf battle, leftover fireworks in August, the dog down the street, then the one across the backyard, then, well you know how it goes. The dog telephone messaging system takes at least 10 minutes. And that’s just for one message. Noble Avenue is an artery in the middle of the Rice Lake heartbeat and for 2 1/2 years I loved living smack in the middle of it.

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