Monday, April 19, 2010

The case of the mysterious noise

I've always been a reader.

When I was a girl, I loved nothing better than to lose myself in words. I would read anything--magazines, newspapers, cereal boxes. I'd like to say that I kept myself busy reading Shakespeare and Jane Austen. But the truth is that my favorite things to read were girls' mystery books.

Oh! Nancy Drew! That titian-haired 16-year-old, with her loyal friends Bess and George, and her blue convertible! I would go anywhere with Nancy. And Trixie Belden! I loved Trixie. I pictured myself as a member of the Bob-Whites of the Glen. I wanted to hang out with Honey and Jim and the others. And Cherry Ames! Oh, my goodness--a beautiful girl who trains to be a nurse and solves mysteries along the way? Does it get any better than that? I could see myself in my white uniform and cap, chumming with Ann and Gwen, solving mysteries left and right. I positively reveled in the stories of friendship and mystery-solving.

I'm guessing that these early heroines of mine are the reason that I spring into action immediately any time there's a mystery in my house.

Yesterday afternoon, my husband and I picked up our 16-year-old son from school. He'd been away for several days on a trip to a robotics tournament. We helped him carry in his bags and stood in the kitchen, listening to his stories and imagining the fun of his adventures. But then my ears picked up a strange sound. "Do you hear that?" I queried my husband.

At first no one else caught the mysterious noise, but I was certain I was hearing something. It sounded like an electric motor, straining and about to die. "Listen," I said. "Be quiet. Listen. Do you hear it?" The guys were now on board. The sound was faint, but distinct.

The others said, "What could that be?" I, on the other hand, began my quest to solve the mystery. Into the laundry room: nothing amiss there. Outside to the air conditioning unit: no. Upstairs to the bonus room: nothing. Down to the basement: no problems. Into the crawl space: nope. Up, up, up to the attic: nada.

Finally, back to the kitchen, where I could still hear the noise. The problem was in the kitchen; I was sure of it. I had ruled out all other possibilities. But what on earth? I stood in various places throughout the room and discovered that it was definitely more audible in one corner. The corner close to the refrigerator. Oh, no. I groaned inwardly at the prospect of emptying the refrigerator and paying a steep bill from the appliance repairman. But it wasn't the refrigerator, either.

At this point my heart had begun to beat faster and my mind was racing. Something was wrong somewhere, but I couldn't figure it out. What could it be?

And then my 16-year -old grabbed his suitcase, unzipped it hurriedly, and yanked out his shaving kit. "My electric toothbrush!" he announced triumphantly.


Sure enough, the toothbrush had been knocked into the "On" position and was whirling like crazy. My son pushed the power button and all was quiet. Mystery solved.

Well. Every girl detective gets help from her assistants, you know.

Now I'm curious (of course): did anyone else live vicariously through these books? Were you a girl detective in your dreams? Please tell me!


Paula said...

Glad that you solved the mystery and that it wasn't something that needed repair.

I loved reading mysteries growing up and still love them. Trixie Belden was my favorite. I have the entire collection thanks to antique shops and Ebay. Trixie and bunch had the best adventures.

Melissa Miller said...

LOL! Richella that is so cute. I'm glad you found it. That would have bugged me too.

I LOVED Nancy Drew! I had every book as a young teen and read them over and over again. :)

southerninspiration said... had me going with THIS little mystery. Maybe you should try your hand at a few mysteries yourself!! I bet you'd be very good at it!

I did read some mysteries, but no scary ones!! ;D


Sandy said...

Oh yes, I think I read ALL the ND books! We didn't have a television growing up so I read a lot.

Funny about the tooth brush.

And you are a great writer, did you know that? :)

Always Nesting said...

Oh Richella, too funny! I, too, was a Nancy Drew reader. I devoured them. Every penny of my babysitting money was earmarked for a new Nancy Drew book.

Birdie @ Chirp in the Forest said...

I loved the Trixie Belden series! A bunch of them were handed down to me but I never could find the ones I hadn't read. They were so easy to get lost in...

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

Case closed! ;)

I LOVED Nancy Drew. My grandmother gave me some old copies that were printed in the 1940s, and I loved the illustrations b/c I thought Nancy looked so fashionable. I checked out every single copy from our library. :)

I also loved the "Mandie" books by Lois Gladys Leppard. They were about a daring young girl in the early 1900s (I think), who solves mysteries.

Cute post. :) Who was George, and who was Bess?

Dawn said...

i love your mystery! and am sooo glad it wasn't the fridge!
i spent so many hours with Nancy, Bess & George... and loved every minute! i wish my own daughter had loved them as much as i did! (cam was really into the hardy boys for a while!)

so... do you still read mysteries? i lke the easy-not-scary ones :) Hannah Swenson & Goldie the caterer are two of my new favrite heroines... and both have great recipes :) yippee!

Lauren said...

I lived vicariously through the Mary-Kate and Ashley Detective series when I was little. I LOVED those tapes. I had probably a good dozen of them.

Carmen said...

I loved Nancy Drew books when I was a kid (I still do, actually!). :) I'm glad you solved your mystery. I would have done the same thing you did until I figured out what the noise was.

The Redhead Riter said...

Funny. That sounds like something silly I would have happen to me.

Carri said...

I was more of a babysitter club type of girl, but I do still love a mystery every once in a while.

Sue said...

Thanks for bringing back a forgotten memory! I have always loved to read... and when I was a preteen Trixie Belden was my favorite!! I had forgotten all about Trixie and Honey and Jim and now will have to hunt for copies of those old favorites.

New Every Morning said...

You had me at Trixie Belden and Nancy Drew.
I knew I liked you! ;)

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