Sounds of Meeker: Daily Sounds | Rio Blanco Herald Times


MEEKER | Summer time means I am outside every day working in the yard where I hear the sounds of Meeker — the carillon, the fire department siren, air traffic, and lots of vehicles speeding up our dead end street, just to turn around like they couldn’t read the sign alerting them they were going nowhere. 

We have a standing joke with our neighbors that we will assess a fine to everyone who speeds the last block of the street and extra cost to those who turn around on our grass.

As a Meeker newcomer, I have long been curious about the routine of some sounds. Why does the siren sound at noon every day? Where do those bell tower hymns come from? And, why are those planes flying so low? Wrapping up this series is today’s article about common daily sounds heard around town. 

Saws, hammers, generators — we are a busy community when it comes to do-it-yourself repair and home projects. This summer of home sheltering seems to have given us extra time to work even harder on these jobs, to which the sounds attest. 

Yard maintenance is also sound intensive. Every day I hear mowers, weed trimmers, leaf blowers and folks working to make their yard beautiful. With another tough drought underway this summer, water sprinklers start early and continue late into the cooler hours.

Then there’s dogs barking, everywhere, especially on the path up China Wall. Don’t even start to think you could escape notice from our canine friends. Humans are under surveillance all the time.

Much to my surprise, although Meeker is not the countryside, apparently, we welcome animals of all kinds. I hear horses neighing, cattle stomping, chickens cackling, and sometimes one species hollering out to its friends or enemies. 

You can hear the ATVs roaring up and down the streets all over town. Some are piloted by old timers, some by children, and others by a mix of ages. I often wonder how many of them are obeying the speed limits because you sure can hear them coming and going.

Along Market Street/Highway 13, the trucks race along on their way somewhere else in a hurry. This summer it feels like they have lots of pent up frustration from the construction slowdown between Meeker and Rifle. Most don’t seem to be stopping to enjoy our sweet little town.

The UPS and Fed Ex trucks don’t waste any time making their endless stops, running here, there, and everywhere to deliver packages. I am grateful for their efficiency, because how would we survive without their service, especially this summer?

I have noticed an increased sound of many recreational vehicles, motorhomes and camping trailers this summer. These are the tourists we’re not sure if we want or don’t want during this COVID summer. Help our economy but don’t infect us please as you travel through “safe” Meeker.

Idling vehicles in front of the post office, grocery, or while folks chat in the middle of the street is a new sound to me. Coming from the big city where thefts of such situations were common and concerns about clean air prohibited this practice, I remain amazed that people leave their vehicles running and unattended.

Oops! Did I forget it is trash day? No worries, because the “beep! beep!” truck backup alerts give us plenty of time to get our trash barrel out on the street.

Commercial construction trucks, Meeker’s street sealing project and the huge school construction project remind us that business continues despite COVID concerns and folks are out there working hard to complete these jobs.

Thank you for reading this “Sounds of Meeker” series that concludes with this article. I am grateful to everyone who contributed to these stories and my education. Every topic could have led to more research, more interviews, and more articles, but it’s a wrap for now. 

Special to the Herald Times

Kaye Sullivan, a guest contributor to the HT, is a Meeker resident who has enjoyed writing her entire life including being editor of her Indiana high school newspaper. She, and husband, Jay, write and publish a monthly newsletter about his art activities plus have published many articles, educational materials, and blogs. “Putting words on paper helps me process my thoughts and feelings plus it is a way to give back to this community.” 

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