Any new home will have its quirks, and a new 100-plus year old home will have plenty. We will have a complete modern alarm system soon, but at the moment, due to supply chain limbo, we have a combination of what was there and new parts.
And the legacy system is…interesting. Most notably: It starts beeping on the minute, every minute, three times per day. Those times are 8:00 a.m., 6:00 p.m., and 9:00 p.m. (Well, to be precise, according to my phone, 7:59 a.m., 5:59 p.m., and 8:59 p.m., but the system thinks it is on the hour). It is simple enough to turn it off when it starts beeping, but it does not appear to be a simple matter to turn off those 3x day alerts.
I have gone through various states of mind about this. At first I was confused — thinking the beeping was just random. Then, once I realized it was happening every day at the same times, I was incensed (9:00 p.m. is often less than 30 minutes after I have gotten the baby down and when the big kids are going to their beds and an every-minute-on-the-minute beeping is not exactly a welcome addition to that situation).
Of late, I have become more resigned. I view it as a way to mark the hours, much as the medieval monks had a certain schedule of chants and services. Lauds. Complines. Vespers. They provide structure to the day. By 8 a.m., the day should be ready to start (even on weekends). At 6 p.m. the workday is done and dinner should be in process. At 9 p.m. people should be drifting toward in-room quiet time if they are not actually asleep. I could be doing something else, but then I will hear the chime, and realize what time of day it is. Oh yes. It is 6 p.m. again. Time to go do my little ceremony of turning off the beeping. I usually get it before the third beep.
(Interestingly, the other two adults who might be in the house at some of those times are not nearly as bothered by a once-a-minute beep as me, nor are the kids. On the days when I have been out at one of those times, I will come home and occasionally find at, say, 6:15 p.m. that the beep is still happening every minute and everyone is just happily going about their lives.)
Anyway, there is no larger point of this little essay, though I’m sure we all have certain markers we put in the day. In the deepest days of lockdowns, this could actually be a coping strategy. Lunch precisely at noon, outside time at 4:00, dinner precisely at 6:30 to keep the day from being a complete wash of space, inviting existential angst.
As it is, I will be happy not to have the beeping soon. But I have made my peace with it (mostly) for now.