Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A Ghost's Story

Mystery solved! Rick, who I welcomed to the fold last time, came by way of NEPABuzz- a cool chat site for NEPA. Thanks for letting me know, Rick. I love communication with readers!
NEPABuzz has also signed in here at the Web site, so thanks to the Buzz!
11-inches of snow fell yesterday into last night and is still falling in this corner of NEPA! I'm just grateful that the electricity is still with us! It flashed a few minutes ago, so I'll try to make this one quick in an effort not to lose it & to get it posted!

I've been thinking about ghosts. One ghost in particular has been starring in my thoughts.
The first thing that must be understood is that ghosts have always been a given in my life. Ghosts, spirits, specters, other-worldly presences, apparitions were matter-of-factly woven into the fabric of my life by my Irish Grandmother. She told, very simply and without drama or fanfare, great, it happened to her, ghost stories.
Naturally, I've never been afraid of ghosts in general. I've been excited by the prospect of them. I've been startled by their presence on more than one occasion.
A time or two, I was even a bit afraid, as a prankster-of-a ghost used to mess around with the stuff in my bedroom when I was sleeping. It's a bit alarming, frightening, to be awakened by unseen hands rather loudly shuffling a pile of papers. That was this little prankster's m.o.
But I instinctively knew that all one needs to do is pull the covers up over one's head and the ghost will eventually tire and vanish. Some ghosts quite enjoy an audience. If the audience isn't attentive, there's no point in wasting the energy to stay.
I've never had an hysterical reaction to a ghost. I've never been hurt by a ghost. I've never felt threatened, nor have I ever felt evil in the presence of a ghost.
Back to the present, and to the most recent ghost in my life.
I've lived in a really wonderful house for almost 2 years. I've moved around a lot during the last decade. It's just the way life unfolded for me and it's another story - at least!
With all the moving, this house was a gift from above. It's spacious. It's laid out really well. It's cozy. It has felt like home from the very start.
I would buy this house, or I would at least make every effort to buy it, except for one very large obstacle, and it has little to do with ghosts.
For more than a decade, the state has planned to demolish this house to make way for a road improvement.
The home's owner and just about everyone in this sleepy little town never quite believed that the state project would ever come to fruition.
But as a former newspaper reporter, I knew that eventually, all state plans that are included within (in this case) a 12-year-plan (that can be fairly easily accessed on the Web), will come to fruition.
Being that I attract change in all forms like a lightning rod, I resolved to hope for the best but to prepare for and to expect the inevitable, and to treasure every day and moment in this wonderful home.
The house will be demolished sometime this year, likely before summer.
When I moved into this house, the previous tenants, and just about everyone in this sleepy little town (that's becoming quite a regular phrase) swore the house was haunted by the man who built it.
He, let's call him Casper, lovingly built this house, equipped it with the latest and most desirable features of the day (1950s), such as an at-the-time very cool intercom system, happily lived in this house during the second half of the last century, and then unceremoniously died while sitting at the kitchen table.
Local legend tells that Casper wasn't found for a few days. I know it's true that he died in the kitchen. I don't know how long he sat there waiting to be found.
Naturally, I've been expecting to encounter Casper in some form or on some level from day one. I've experienced a few fleeting shadows, human figures, in my peripheral vision.
Miraculously, I've managed to keep the "Casper died at the kitchen table," story from my son. Still, he senses a presence. He's not afraid. He is, however, positive that there's a mischievous presence in the house. He swears the refrigerator magnets are often and significantly rearranged. He, too, has experienced the fleeting images in his peripheral vision field. He's heard a voice, nothing specific, just an indecipherable sound.
Once, when we first arrived here, something unseen blocked the airflow from a fan that was pointed at my bed for several minutes. It felt as though a person was standing between the fan and the bed. But nothing was seen or heard.
But honestly, I'm somewhat disappointed that Casper hasn't come right out into the open to introduce himself. I've expected to spot him in our living room rocking chair or somewhere in that specific area of our house. I sense that if he were to appear, it would be in that area of the house, in and near the living room.
Since it's obvious to me that Casper put his heart and soul into this house, I now worry, with the impending demolition, that Casper will return to roam the improved roadway once his beloved home has been razed. Images of poor, homeless, confused Casper wandering the road nightly fill my thoughts.
Drivers desperately breaking, swerving, skidding out-of-control in response to Casper suddenly materializing before their vehicles.
Until the house is demolished, I feel Casper is simply content to remain just that - contently unseen. He's happy that we are happy. He's satisfied that we love and appreciate his home just as he did.
I hope that Casper can accept the loss of his home, just as I hope that we who share it with him can accept the loss.
I've been through worse. I've survived death and illness, and I'll survive this, too.
But I'll really miss this house, this home, this warm and cozy place that a ghost and I love so dearly.
Stay safe. Stay warm. Be well & happy.

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