Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Panhandler

He was not your typical beggar standing at a mall entrance or lurking around the local ATM waiting to prey on an unsuspecting customer. No officer would be dispatched to “move him along” as his territory varies and he intimidates no one.

His hair, though a bit unkempt when wet, was clean. There were no dark hollows of an addict; indeed his brown eyes were clear and bright.

He held no sign asking for money, nor could he claim that he was homeless, yet he made his intentions clear…he was looking for a handout.

We first met him early in the week. It was near dusk and he was loping along the side of the road.

Always with camera in hand, I said to hubby, “Slow down. I want a picture.”

“You won’t get him,” he said. “He’s on a mission.”

“I don’t think so,” I replied. “Look!”

As we pulled alongside, “Rusty” dropped down on all fours in the tall grass and didn’t move.

“Something’s not right with him,” my husband said.

“Do you think he has rabies?”

“Could be, but he doesn’t look bad. He actually looks pretty healthy.”

We watched him for a few minutes. I took a few pictures, delighted by his cooperation but sad to think that it might be because he was sick.

Our next evening’s ride found him in approximately the same area. A car had pulled over to watch him and he seemed quite animated, yet appropriately cautious as people leaned from the windows to get a better camera angle.

We could see a trend developing. . .

On the third evening, we left for our ride armed with one of Shamus’ dog biscuits.

“I doubt we’ll see him again,” hubby stated.

“Just drive slowly. You know his MO. He could be anywhere from here on up to Second Lake.”

I had barely uttered the words when there he was, on the opposite side of the road, crouched amongst the clover. I would have missed him were it not for his dark eyes and nose.

As we crept past, hubby caught him in the rear view mirror. “Hey, Pam. Here he comes!”

Rusty sprung into action as soon as we slowed, crossed over to our side and trotted toward our now-stopped car.

But wait! Another car spotted him and pulled up behind him. He turned and was now presented with a dilemma. Who had better treats?

He back tracked to greet the new arrivals but quickly realized there was nothing tempting so he turned his attention back to me.

I broke the dog biscuit in two, waved it at him enticingly and threw it into the tall grass as he approached. I hurriedly followed it with the second half.

With nose to ground, the panhandler located the delectable offering and bounded off into the woods to enjoy his evening treat.

How does a wild animal learn to beg, we asked ourselves? He likely learned by accident, but hubby has another theory.

Three years ago, a litter of three kits and their mother frequented the boat launch on Second Connecticut Lake. Mom often accepted handouts from the anglers and visitors. With three little mouths to feed, I’m sure it made her life easier.

He thinks she taught her children well. Or did she? pick me
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The sweet smell of mud

Are you as weary of winter as I am? As I write this, the first rain since Christmas is falling in my neck of New Hampshire and it is welcomed!

What is it about human nature that causes one to be so impatient with the changing of seasons?

Tiring of the dog days of August, I yearned for the crisp clear mornings that signaled my sapphire morning glories to pack up their act for another year.

I welcomed the cool sweatshirt days of September. There was nothing more delightful than curling up on my deck lounger with the Sunday papers, soaking up the last vestiges of the sun's warmth, all the while knowing that soon it would be time for campfires and marshmallows.

Before long, when the trees had given up their leaves and the countryside had become barren I found myself anxiously awaiting the transformation to a winter wonderland. And if it happened before the holidays, so much the better.

But it is a week before the first day of spring and there is still a foot and a half of snow in my front yard. The deer (all nine of them) are still coming around for their nightly feeding and Town Meeting has come and gone. It is time….

I find myself searching for signs and although subtle , they are here. The Decorah eagles have laid their eggs (three again this year) and birthing season has started at my favorite goat farm. The buds are swelling on the branches and our mallards are doing daily fly-overs to check the progress of ice-out on our farm pond. We had seven ducklings last year. And finally, the ice in my driveway has given way to mud. I like to think of it as New Hampshire’s fifth season.

So here is a video and a couple of pictures that depict the renewal of life. (If you want to see the video of these little cuties being born, click here).

Isn't that what spring is all about?

Stay well, my friends.

Broadcast live streaming video on Ustream

Goat1 Baby Goat
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Stove black and sugar cookies

The Grands spent the weekend with us, marking a milestone in their young lives. It was their first sleep-over at Darmie and Gramps.

I wanted to make it memorable for them (and for self-preservation) prevent pangs of homesickness, so we planned a full weekend of events. I wanted to do all the things with them that I remembered doing when I went to my Grandmother’s house. I wanted them to feel as much love as I felt so many years ago. Could I succeed? I was certainly going to try.

We set out Halloween decorations and played endless games of Monopoly and Go Fish. We went to Friendly’s for ice cream, checked out the neighbor’s Halloween lights, played in the leaves and when I got tired, took their Gramps on a nature walk in the woods.

Then we made sugar cookies.

Some of my most loving memories of my Darmie were of times when we baked together. So you can imagine how my heart melted when my Grand Baby Girl looked up from her rolling pin and said, “Darmie, I just love making cookies with you.”

I had managed to cram all my memories into one weekend, or so I’d thought. It wasn’t until we had finished the cookies and decided to wrap up the day by swinging in my Grandmother’s old lawn swing that I remembered one more thing. . . and I smiled because I knew that it would be a memory that would remain mine— and mine alone.

It had been a long day for my Grandmother. Although my world evolved around my Darmie, she had chores to do and dinner to prepare. So, left to my own devices, I did what any kid would do—I pestered her by ringing the doorbell over and over again.

As busy as she was, she never lost her sense of humor. But by the fourth or fifth ring, she decided enough was enough and took measures to end my torment once and for all.

It’s possible the Halloween season may have inspired her - I’ll never know for sure. What I do know is that when the doorbell sounded again, she was prepared.

With stove soot blackened eyes, hair teased into a tangled mess and dentures protruding from her mouth, she got down on her hands and knees and pulled open the door.

Staring back at her were the brown cuffed trousers and polished oxfords of the Fuller Brush man.

How funny was that?

Not very. . .

The poor man was deaf and mute.

She never did catch up with him to explain.

Happy Halloween!
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Nurturing the soul

It was a cold and rainy Sunday (we’ve had a few of them this spring) and a perfect day to pull out my cook books. But what should I bake? Certainly something that would make me as feel warm and cozy as the old fleece I’d slipped into that morning.

I have quite an accumulation of books that I’ve collected over the years; many from different areas of the country. I am particularly fond of church fundraiser books. Only the best recipes are contributed by those ladies—and they can cook!

I thumbed through a stack of the little spiral bound books and while many of the recipes sounded delicious, none of them grabbed me. I wanted to make something tried and true, so I set them aside and reached for my old friend.

We all have them—both figuratively and literally. This friend is a compilation of recipes from family, friends and co-workers. Written on scraps of paper or neatly typed, they may or may not indicate whose kitchen they came from. Some are from magazines, with edges tattered from being ripped out on the fly.

Stuffed in a notebook with no rhyme nor reason, I was forced to look at every slip of paper.

There was a lovely recipe for soft spice biscotti, torn from a magazine many years ago. I smiled as I recalled how I’d gotten caught pilfering it. My doctor, as it happens also loves to cook and saw me stuffing it into my bag as he called me into his office. I was forgiven after I let him photocopy it for himself.

I found a recipe for sweet and sour chicken. Written in long hand, I’ve had it since I was a bride. Given to me by a childhood friend, it is stained and creased from use. She lives in Tennessee now and although we don’t see each other often, we still exchange zany gifts at Christmas. I make that dish often and the ingredients, like the antics of our youth, are committed to memory.

I reached the end of my collection without selecting a recipe and was about to close the notebook when I noticed the corner of a page peeking out from beneath another sheet. A little tug and there it was, written in a scrawl that was achingly familiar.

We worked together for a long time. Although our lives had taken different paths in recent years, our friendship has stood the test of time; a phone call over the holidays, a funny email or a brief note just to say, “Hi.”

I lost my friend Carol three weeks ago. I didn’t know that she was ill. She never mentioned it when last we spoke. That was so… Carol. Others say it was for the best because now I can remember her for the fun times and won’t dwell on the bad. I know that she would say that herself if she could, and perhaps she has. Her recipe for Pineapple Cake, scribbled on a “scratch pad” reflects her sense of humor. I share it with you here to enjoy and to remind you that memories are precious and must be preserved, if only through the exchange of recipes between friends.

With that, my afternoon took a different direction. I organized all of my bits and scraps into a binder that will someday be passed down to my Grands. Perhaps some of my cards will stir a good memory or two for them.

And although there was no baking done that day, I felt nurtured.


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The eagles are back!

For those of you who love the wonders of nature as much as I do, please enjoy this live feed from Decorah, Iowa. The eagles have mated and now we must wait for the eggs, expected later this month. Will there be two or three? Check in often!

Live streaming video by Ustream
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The Loner

He came to us late last summer, a member of the brood of turkeys that had taken up residence in the pine woods behind the house. Each afternoon, a cacophony of flapping wings and gobbles would announce their arrival and they would strut around the back yard foraging for supper. At times there were close to twenty birds, other times only four or five. Some evenings they would flock to the crabapple tree at the end of my driveway and settle, only to fly off like lumbering B52s if disturbed.

He was indistinguishable from the others until the accident. It is purely conjecture as to what happened, but one day late last fall there he was, hobbling around on one leg, the other dangled beneath him, a blackened useless appendage.

He did his best to keep up with the flock and for awhile it looked as if he might. Slowly though they deserted him, leaving him to fend for himself.

I live next to my mother and together we watched helplessly as he struggled to stay alive. “He’ll never make it through the winter,” I told her. “Once the snow starts falling, he’ll never be able to forage on one leg. He’ll fall victim to a fox or coyote and that will be the end of him.”

“Not if I feed him,” she replied. And feed him she did. Carrot and potato peelings, fruit scraps and any other leftover she could scrounge got thrown into the tall grass at the end of her lawn.

Autumn turned to winter and he continued to survive. The snow was late in coming to New Hampshire, a mixed blessing as far as the one-legged turkey was concerned, we were sure. He was alone now, no brood to socialize with (if turkeys socialize); no one to stand sentry as he slept. His only friend in the world was my mother.

We were on turkey alert it seemed, for when he hadn’t been seen for a couple of days one of us would call and ask the other if he had been spotted. Just when we were about to lament his passing he’d show up, much to my mother’s delight.

Winter turned to spring and spring to summer. Although I didn’t see him often, I continued to get reports from my mother as to his continued well-being.

Occasionally, I will hear a loud ungainly flapping and know that he is out there, beyond my view looking for just the right branch to settle on for the night.

This evening as dusk was coming on, I decided to take a few pictures of my luscious lemon yellow petunias. Suddenly, a loud commotion erupted from the woods behind my mother’s house and I knew he was out there. I called out to my husband and together we went on the prowl to see if we could get his picture.

“Look, there he is!” my husband whispered.

There he sat, thirty feet up in an old bull pine, with only four claws clinging tightly to the branch. Sleep tight, Old Man.

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The Ungentlemanly Roommate

  Built in 1883, the old St Martin’s Academy in Somersworth, NH was converted to an assisted living facility for the elderly in the late 1970’s.

By the very nature of its existence, more deaths have probably occurred in that building than any other structure in Somersworth. That in and of itself wouldn’t qualify it as a haunted site, but there is one apartment dweller in the building of 49 units who has clearly broken the rules by having a roommate.

“Robert passed away in his sleep here in my apartment and I'm the next occupant. Though I've not seen him, he has done many things in my presence,” states the present tenant, we’ll call Jack.

A bit of background about Jack: While doing undergraduate work, he was instrumental in starting a Parapsychology lab. “(We dealt mostly with ESP) But myself and a good buddy became interested in paranormal activity and at one point, we were going to become "ghost-busters" (before there was a term ghost-busters) but found out that there was "no money" for doing paranormal investigation.” Jack’s buddy went on to get a Ph.D in Clinical Psychology; and Jack, a Psy.D in Counseling.

“I'm not saying that the building is haunted but I suspect that there is strong psychic activity going on here. (I wish I had some instruments to verify that),” Jack continues.

“I've experienced such things as: objects falling or being knocked over when there was no reason for that to happen; water faucets being turned on; electronics being turned on and off; objects not being where I left them, only to be found later somewhere else (ex: I had placed a shirt on a dresser in the darkened bedroom and later when I went to retrieve it, it wasn't there, but when I turned the light on to look for it better, it appeared right where I had looked before the light was turned on).”

Indeed, the electrical phenomena has become so common, Jack leaves his television on all the time because it does no good to turn it off. It simply turns itself back on at random.

“I've lived here going on 5 years and Robert's mischief may have started (that I've noticed) the day I moved in. I had a crew of kids that were doing "community service in lieu of jail time" helping me move. Even though I gave specific instruction, things did not wind-up where I directed. (It took me 3 days before I was able to find my daily medication). I know other things also got moved.”

Jack’s housekeeper, Sandra was first to really notice Robert's presence, (turning the TV on and off and turning the water back on in the bathroom and kitchen, after she had definitely turned it off).

But when he grabbed her and she instinctively called out "Robert, stop that!” she quickly realized what was causing the phenomena.

Sandra had been Robert’s housekeeper and had been grabbed by him in the same way when he was alive. His womanizer tendencies had obviously carried through to his spiritual entity.

This wasn’t something that Jack wanted to publicize. After all, he required help with tasks associated with daily living (ADLs in industry lingo) and these were typically accomplished by female assistants. So he kept Robert’s existence to himself.

But Sandra soon got her fill of Robert’s antics and quit, leaving Jack to seek the services of a new homemaker.

Megan enthusiastically stepped in to fill Sandra’s shoes and quickly became an integral part of Jack’s care team. She would scrub Jack’s little apartment until it shined often doing little extras that meant so much to the man who had grown dependent on her services.

She was also the second woman to become aware of Robert’s presence.

One day, Jack had gone down to the cafeteria to meet a friend for lunch, leaving Megan to tidy up. Shortly after Jack left, she was at the kitchen sink doing dishes when the door opened and an image walked by. Surprised that he had returned so soon, Megan followed Jack to the bedroom door to make sure he was okay. But when she called out to him, he wasn’t there. As she turned to go back to the sink, the entity was standing there. As Megan says, “He wasn’t translucent or misty in any way. His body was a solid presence. I knew he wasn’t real, though because he didn’t respond to my voice, yet he wasn’t ‘ghostly’ in a way that is often described.”

When Jack returned from his lunch, Megan recounted her experience. Sadly, Jack replied, “Well, I see you’ve met Robert.”

Nancy was the third female to notice Robert. One day not long after Megan’s encounter she was cutting Jack’s hair in the kitchen when she noticed somebody observing them. She thought Jack had a visitor in the apartment that he hadn't mentioned. She asked, "Who’s the stranger?”

Jack jokingly replied, "Oh, that's Robert, the ghost roommate." (Nancy got the clearest look at Robert). Ironically, Nancy and Sandra are friends but they had never discussed Robert. Following that incident, Nancy mentioned it to Sandra and Sandra confessed that she too, had seen him. When asked to describe Robert physically, Nancy was able to determine that it was Robert watching her cut my hair.”

Megan continues to work for Jack and experience Robert’s presence. Sometimes, objects will move when Megan is near them and believes that it’s his way of flirting with her.

Luckily though for Robert, he hasn’t molested Megan the way he has touched and “felt up” others. As Jack likes to say jokingly, “I have a ghost for a roommate who doesn’t know how to be a gentleman.”

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The Mansard on the Hill


One of the oldest homes in the village, the mansard on the hill was purported to have been a dance hall in its earlier days. Built on a narrow strip of land, the uniquely styled hip roofed colonial was the only house on the street. A meandering brook bordered three of its four sides.

Phoebe’s family moved into the vacant mansard in 1965 and soon all three floors of the rambling old house creaked and groaned as the four rambunctious children raced up and down the grand staircase and around the high posted rooms.

It was as if the sudden activity stimulated the dormant house, because within a month the haunting began.

A devout Catholic, Phoebe’s mother enjoyed music and spent many evenings playing hymns on her electric organ. Situated prominently in the front room of the house, it was a source of family entertainment when she took to the bench and placed her fingers on the keys.

Apparently the old mansard enjoyed the music, too, for after the family turned in for the night the old organ would begin to play. Soft waltzes accompanied the swish of ball gowns as women sashayed around the dance floor and men quietly discussed matters of the day in undistinguishable conversation. Ice tinkled in glasses and occasionally the smell of cigar smoke wafted through the hall and up the long stairway to the bedrooms.

It was the cigar smoke that concerned Phoebe’s parents and each time the phenomenon occurred, they would get out of bed and head down over the stairs to ensure there was nothing burning. Each time they rounded the corner to the front room, the music would fade away and the scent would dissipate. Phoebe’s mother would recite the Lord’s Prayer all the way back to bed.

The children were especially receptive to these unexplained occurrences and found them amusing rather than frightening—until the aura of light appeared.

It happened one evening when Phoebe’s older sister was readying herself for a date. Kris was standing at the upstairs landing about to descend, when a ball of fire raced up the stairway toward her. The light was as bright as the sun on a cloudless summer day and in the middle appeared a lady.

According to Phoebe, “My dad thought it was a calling for her to become a nun. Mom and dad called the priest and he came running.”

“Not from God,” the priest said. “God would not appear to you that way.”

“So what the heck was that?” asked Phoebe. “Kris was scared to death and so was I since we shared a room (and she was going out for the evening).”

Until that point, Phoebe’s family hadn’t discussed the phenomena. As strict Catholics, her parents believed it unholy to acknowledge such occurrences. In fact, each family member was unaware of the other’s experiences until the spirit took direct aim at Phoebe’s mother.

Was it the constant “Our Fathers” or did the spirit simply sense her resistance to its otherworldly existence? No one will ever know, but when Phoebe’s mother awoke one night and attempted to get out of bed, an invisible force pinned her to the mattress. Try as she might, she could not lift her shoulders off the bed. Too terrified to move, she lay there until the entity tired of the amusement.

When finally she was able to regain her strength, she got up and made her way down to the bathroom, reciting the Prayer to St. Michael as she went.

“Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray; and do Thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host — by the Divine Power of God — cast into hell, Satan and all the evil spirits, who roam throughout the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.”

She must have inflamed the spirit even further because at this point her feet were pulled out from under her and she landed flat on her back where she lay dazed and breathless.

Phoebe feels that there were several entities that occupied the old mansard. Some were benign in nature; others were more malevolent. Such was the case with her mother’s spirit and one they liked to call “Charlie.”

Says Phoebe, “One time when Mom was in the hospital and I was taking care of my little brother, (Charlie) didn't like the tomato soup I was making for us. The pan went flying across the kitchen and soup flew everywhere. We just looked at each other. Just Charlie, I said. We got very accustomed to all the ghosts that were sent our way.”

Phoebe goes on to say, “Many of my friends have told me that to this day when they ride by they see a woman in the window and I do believe very strongly that is where my mom and dad and brother are staying.

About 5 years after my mom’s death, my sister and I stopped to see the house. A woman was outside and we told her that the house was our childhood home. She invited us in... I knew my mom was there; I could sense her presence. The woman told us that the house was full of ghosts and she didn't know if we believed in them.

One ghost was a woman that used to help her sort her laundry. Then I knew for sure. . .

My favorite ghost Charlie would turn the radio off and on, also, my record player and the TV. Doors would open and shut all the time. My brother was very scared, but this house is where my family is happily resting.”

While many old homes enjoy a charm and character all their own, the old mansard on the hill seems to “possess” more than its share of spiritual appeal.

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The spirit who loved children (final)

The summer wore on and Jill continued to watch her nephews. School wouldn’t start for another week and Cindy had yet to line up another sitter. She wasn’t too concerned because her mother had volunteered to pinch hit if Jill’s replacement wasn’t found before then.

During that last week, Jill’s friend dropped by for a visit. Together they sat at the kitchen table eagerly pouring over clothing catalogs.

Jill pointed, “I bought a pair of boots just like those.”

Her friend nodded and replied, “I’m glad you told me. I wouldn’t want to get a pair just like…” Her voice trailed off.

Jill looked up to see her friend staring beyond her in utter amazement. “What’s wrong?” she asked as she turned to see what her friend was staring at.

“Is there a wiring problem in this house?” her friend asked.

“Not that I’m aware of, why?”

“The bathroom light keeps going on and off.”

“It’s just been remodeled,” Jill commented. “Maybe there’s a short in the wiring.”

They went to the bathroom door and looked around, but saw nothing amiss. “Funny,” said Jill. “It stopped.”

“Maybe it was just a loose bulb or something. Forget about it.  It’s almost time for General Hospital,” Jill said.

With the boys safely in the back yard, the girls each took an end of the sofa and settled in to watch their favorite soap. 

The room was small and furniture was sparse by necessity. The television occupied one end of the room and Cindy’s dry sink, located across from the sofa took up the other wall. A rocking chair sat in the corner, rounding out the little room’s furnishings.

 They were soon engrossed in the program. So when two of the four pictures displayed on top of the dry sink flew off and hit the floor at the girl’s feet, Jill’s friend became terrified.

“What the heck was that?” she yelled.

Jill tried to remain calm as she picked them up and returned them to their spot. “I don’t know. Maybe the wind knocked them over.”

“Wind?” her friend shrieked. “What wind? They didn’t just fall, Jill. They flew. I don’t know about you, but I’m outta here,” she said as she headed for the door.

Jill wanted to follow, but she had the boys to consider and she didn’t want to scare them, so she toughed it out, anxious for her sister to get home from work.

“Cindy, have you ever noticed anything strange about this house?” she asked that evening.

“Hmm. Not really. Why?”

Cindy listened as Jill told her about the day’s events but when Cindy cast a shrewd eye at the story, she capped it off with Megan’s experience the month before.

“Just don’t tell Mom,” Cindy pleaded. “She won’t let you finish out the summer and I really need more time to get another sitter.”

Jill agreed and no further activities occurred on her watch.

September arrived and as promised, Jill’s mother watched her grandsons for her daughter. Cindy had managed to find a sitter, but it would be another two weeks before she could start. Most days Cindy took the children to her mother’s house, but on this day, one son was under the weather, so Cindy’s mom came to them.

It was shortly after lunch when Cindy got the call. “Mom, is everything okay?”

“It is now,” she replied.

“What happened?”

“Cindy, I was scared to death. I thought there was an intruder in the house, so I took the phone outside and called your father to come get all of us. I brought the boys home with me.”

“What made you think there was an intruder?” Cindy asked with a sinking feeling.

“Someone was walking around upstairs. Don’t you go home until Doug is with you.”

Cindy sighed. It was becoming increasingly difficult to ignore the stories.  Although her own experiences had been fleeting, she believed her sisters. Why would they make such things up? And surely her mother wouldn’t have imagined the footsteps, especially since Jill had been so careful to hide the summer’s events from her.

On the other hand, Doug was the true skeptic. He was a reasonable man and dismissed each story with the same explanation. The girls just had an overactive imagination. Cindy wanted to believe him. And why shouldn’t she? After all, nothing she could put her finger on had ever really happened to her… until she heard them.

One evening a few months later, Cindy was enjoying a long soak in a hot tub. Admiring her newly renovated bathroom, she reflected on how long it had taken them to reach this point.  They had just one room left to do—the upstairs bedroom—and only that week Doug had begun to petition off the knee walls, readying them for drywall.

One such petition was directly above, so when she heard the slow, heavy footsteps above her head, she knew.

She called Doug into the bathroom. Finally she could prove it to him once and for all. But after five minutes of sitting and waiting for the sound to reoccur, he got up and left. “You’ve caught the bug, too.”

But Cindy was convinced. Something—or someone—was in the old house. Although she wasn’t particularly frightened, she was curious.  So she turned to the one person who might be able to shed some light on the story.

Cindy’s mom had a friend who once mentioned that she had lived next to the house.  The woman was elderly now, but was still in her own mind, so Cindy paid her a visit.

“Ellen, what can you tell me about the house I live in?” she asked the old woman.

Ellen smiled. “It’s taken you longer than I thought,” she said softly. “Her name was Maude. She was the mother of the man you bought the house from.”

Ellen paused, as if reliving that time in her life when she was young and raising her own family. “Maude loved children. I remember she had a beautiful voice. In the summer, she'd sit next to the open window and sing as she rocked her babies to sleep." 

 “That makes sense,” was all Cindy could murmur.

Ellen looked at her with seasoned eyes. “I expect she loves your children, too, doesn’t she?”

Cindy nodded slowly. “She’s never done anything to hurt us.”

“And she won’t either. Maude was a beautiful lady.”

“I am curious about one thing, though. I wonder why she sent the pictures flying off the dry sink.”

Ellen asked where it was located and when Cindy explained, she smiled.

“Well, I’m no authority on these things you know, but when Maude died, they waked her in the house— in the living room, in fact. Her casket was placed where your dry sink is today. When they took her out of the house, they passed the casket through the front window because they couldn’t heft it up over the stair banister.”

“You know, I always thought the footsteps belonged to a man,” Cindy said.


“They were so heavy, the floors creaked.”

“I told you they couldn’t heft her casket. Maude weighed 300 pounds.”

Cindy and Doug continued to live in the home for several more years but witnessed no further phenomena.  Could it be that once the final restorations were complete, she grew accustomed to her new surroundings and found peace once again?

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The spirit who loved children – Part 3

As time went on, Doug was transferred to a day position. That meant more family time, but it also required Cindy to hire a babysitter for the boys. Her teenage sister, Jill was happy to oblige.

Jill loved the boys and they loved her. But they took advantage of their aunt, especially when Cindy and Jill’s youngest sister spent the day. Megan was as mischievous as her nearly same age nephews. So when they nagged Jill to let them go up to the attic to play with their slot cars, she gave in although she’d been told to keep them downstairs.

The three of them sat cross-legged on the attic floor, their fingers glued to the trigger throttles that controlled the miniature cars. They raced around the figure-eight track at break neck speed.

"Hey, you guys, it’s time for lunch, Jill yelled from the foot of the stairs.

“Just a minute,” Megan hollered down for all of them.

“I said NOW!”

Megan sighed. “Okay, guys. She’s getting cranky. We’d better get going.”

They each made a face toward the attic door, but dropped their throttles and scrambled to their feet.

“Don’t forget to lock the door,” Jill reminded them. “I don’t want your mother to find out I let you go up there.”

Megan scrunched her nose toward her big sister and herded the boys down over the stairs.  She closed the door and was reaching for the lock when she heard the sound. Slowly she reopened the door.

All four of the slot cars were racing each other around the track.

To be continued…

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