When I first heard, years ago, that the southern freeway exit in Ashland was going to be redone I was actually excited to hear the news. It has been a long time since the news of a construction project has gotten me excited.

When I first heard, years ago, that the southern freeway exit in Ashland was going to be redone I was actually excited to hear the news. It has been a long time since the news of a construction project has gotten me excited.

The last time was when my son, Silas, was a toddler. When I heard of a new construction (or even better, a demolition) project, it was always a bit of a relief for me and exciting for my then-2-year-old.

Silas loved machinery and trucks and loud noises, while I enjoyed anything that amused him for more than two seconds at a time. Silas quickly learned the difference between a backhoe and an excavator, while his poor mother is still stuck on "truck" and "big truck." I'm pretty sure there was a time that all the drivers of the concrete mixers in the Rogue Valley knew us by name.

In more recent years Silas' interests have turned more to the world of Legos and dinosaurs and I haven't been tracking the process of every local construction process as closely as I used to. Nonetheless, I was happy to hear that the freeway exit was getting a makeover. Mostly, I was glad because I feel the mess that sometimes happens in that area of Ashland Street is the closest this town ever comes to "traffic," and also because I thought Ty Pennington might come to town for an episode of "Extreme Makeover: Freeway Overpass Edition."

Pennington never did show up, so the construction project is taking longer than two hours of primetime TV. The length of time the construction takes doesn't really surprise me. In fact, I wasn't even surprised when I heard the news that the concrete underneath the road was in terrible condition. I'm not much of a handywoman, but I certainly know from talking to people that once you start any remodel you usually have to fix more problems that you originally intended. No, these things didn't surprise me, but what did surprise me were the hydroblasting mills.

In my sleep-befuddled state, I woke up to a horrible noise and thought it was the snow plows. I glanced out my window to see what my son's chances were of getting a snow day from school and thought, "Oh, they've done an excellent job of clearing the back yard" (I'd like to remind you I was a bit befuddled at 3 a.m.). In the morning, feeling slightly more clear-headed, I realized there had not been any snow plow activity during the night, but there was still a terribly loud noise coming from somewhere. Silas didn't say anything, though, which made me think I was either starting to lose my mind or was on the verge of a weeklong migraine.

Turns out Silas was just entirely engrossed in his morning waffles and cartoons and not even the sound of four motors powering a hydro-blasting mill can distract him from that. After dropping Silas off at school, I was quickly able to track the source of the noise. On one hand, it was a relief to know that I was not losing my mind, or getting a migraine, but what I didn't realize was that it was actually the start of a nightly headache.

I don't live so close that my house vibrates, but I can hear the noise. It's the sort of noise that I imagine the inside of my head makes when I'm having a headache. Even with my doors and windows closed and a pillow over my head, I still can hear it. Or maybe I can just imagine that I hear it, as it continues echoing through my eardrums.

Silas doesn't seem to notice — even my cat doesn't seem particularly bothered — but I'd prefer a nice wrecking ball and a backhoe to this any day. I could lift my struggling 7-year-old away from his Legos and tell him, "Look, Silas, Big Truck!"

You can contact Zoe once she's taken out her earplugs at dailyzoe@gmail.com.