Tag Archives: house

A Ghostly Tale

Our old house is sometimes creaky.
Sometimes noisy, sometimes squeaky.
We love it still with all its quirks.
So long as all the plumbing works.

We live there happily undaunted.
Although we’re told the house is haunted.
Our guess is that it’s just a hoax.
Though spirits are elusive folks.

There’s a story ‘bout a ghost that’s told.
She harkens from a time of olde.
We think her name is Abbie Hill.
Albeit we haven’t seen her still.

See, Mrs. Hill and her loving spouse.
They used to own this big old house.
They built it as their family grew.
Way back in Eighteen-Ninety-Two.

Now why she’d rather stick around,
than head off where she should be bound.
The answer, surely no one knows.
But this is how the story goes.

The previous owners told this tale.
To us, before we closed the sale.
They saw her at their kitchen table.
They swore this story was no fable.

She sat there in a kitchen chair.
A fancy bun up in her hair.
She wore a nineteenth-century dress.
Her image had a slight fluoresce.

Then just as fast as she’d appeared.
Her ghostly apparition cleared.
It took all of their common sense.
To explain this strange experience.

Then one night as the wife was sleeping.
She awoke to find the ghost was peeping,
at her, as she lay in bed.
A sight that filled her up with dread.

But this ghost seemed not to bear ill-feeling,
as she played this game of brief revealing.
Then with a touch of Laissez Faire.
She vanished quickly in the air.

So when we heard this new disclosure.
We had to keep our strict composure.
We loved this house with all our might.
Why worry about a ghostly sight?

We bought the house with nervous laughter.
And moved our stuff in shortly after.
Wondering then, to what extent,
We’d see our ghostly resident.

But so far she has not presented.
Apparently she’s quite contented.
To share this house on old Brown Road.
This home with which we’ve been bestowed.

And now we’ve lived here many years.
Shared smiles and laughs and hugs and tears.
Regardless if we’re rich or poor.
We hope we’ll live here many more.

And if our ghost decides to show.
In all her radiance and glow.
I guess we’ll have to let her stay.
To haunt us for another day!

Most of you have read the full Ghost Story here!  If you’d like to read more about Abbie Hill, check out the link! 🙂

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Crybaby!

When did I become such a crybaby?

I know… sometimes I post stuff that might make you think I am an insensitive ass… but…

The other night we were sitting outside and my daughter was playing music on her iHome which is basically a dock for her iPod with an outside speaker.  I wasn’t really paying attention to the songs, but at one point heard pieces of a song that was mostly acoustic guitar and a nice female voice and that always tends to catch my ear.  A while later I asked her what the song was and she skipped back a few and we eventually tracked it down.

The song was “The House That Built Me” by Miranda Lambert.  My daughter played it again and I liked it because of the guitar fingerpicking, but I didn’t really listen to the words at first.  I asked her to play it again and this time listened a little closer.  It’s basically about someone that goes back to the house they grew up in as a kid.  You can listen to it if you want.  Maybe you’ve heard it already.

The song made me tear up.  Yeah, seriously, it did!  Then my daughter was trying to talk to me and I had to hide my face in my blackberry.  Of course I’d had like eight drinks so my “drunken sorority girl that’s like just been dumped by a totally hot guy she met a week ago” emotional buttons had been pushed. You’re surprised?  Go listen to the song and see if it doesn’t make cry you heartless sociopath!

Anyway, I used to be a pretty stoic guy.  I could sit and watch a sad movie and be completely untouched. My wife on the other hand would cry at everything, movies, news stories, hallmark commercials, whatever… it never took much.  Maybe that’s why we get along so well.  There’s nothing wrong with being emotional, I think its okay.  In fact, it’s probably healthy!  But, not me, I’d sit there and watch them haul “Old Yeller” into the back field and shoot him and not shed a tear.

Not anymore…

Now stuff makes me cry all the time.  Movies, books, songs, even the damn McDonalds commercial with the Apple Tree song!  In fact, I’m pretty confident that these days any time I hear sad violin music playing I am going to start to cry whether I am watching a movie or not. I’m beginning to wonder if I need to ask my doctor about Testosterone Replacement Therapy if there is such a thing or maybe have my tear ducts removed.  I try to fight it, the tears, the lip quivering, the sobbing and sniffling… but I just can’t hold it back anymore.  Now when we watch a movie with the kids my wife and I will sit there balling our eyes out and the kids look at us like, “dudes, seriously, it’s just the Sponge Bob movie, what is wrong with you two!”

I’m not sure when things changed.  I suspect it has something to do with having and raising kids and the emotional responsibilities that comes with that.  But I don’t know, I guess it’s been some kind of a growth process, something that comes with aging and seeing loved ones pass and knowing that my kids are growing up and won’t be living with us much longer.

Regardless, here I am, like a guy at an AA meeting saying “Hi, I’m Steve, and even though I have spent months and months developing this image of me being this kind of rugged, handsome Marlboro Man, on my ranch, caring for wild mountain goats and tending fences and doing other manly stuff, now I’m going to come clean.” Awhile back my family sat around one evening and watched Toy Story 3. My wife and I cried like babies!  Yep, you heard me right, TOY STORY 3!  At the end, Andy turns over all his toys to another kid.  Tears were flowing, tissues were flying, snot was dripping.  Disturbing…

After the movie I opened my Facebook account and posted “should I be concerned that I just watched Toy Story 3 and cried like a baby?”

I won’t share the responses…

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My house smiled at me today…

My house smiled at me today. I didn’t actually see her smile, but I know she did. We’ve just had her painted, and I know that she feels good when we take care of her. Her old bare and peeling soffits and trim and window frames and siding are tightly sealed up, caulked and primed and painted. Her wooden sections all match once again, the old and the new, the worn and the fresh, all the same cream color, subtly contrasting with her century old brick façade. A shiny new coat of green paint covers both of her outside doors, a splash of color worn like a spring scarf. Her roof is new as of last fall, the upside of an aggressive hail storm that ripped through our area, and resulted in a rash of insurance claims and a windfall of business to the local roofing contractors.

I stood in front of her today and I told her she looked beautiful and she smiled at me. I didn’t actually see her smile, but I know she did. She smiled because she now knows and trusts me as her caretaker of the last sixteen years. She smiled because she now knows that I have been willing to put my own blood and sweat and money into keeping her solid and beautiful. She smiled because she knows me now as she has known all of her caretakers before me, likely dozens of men and women and even children who have cared enough about her to keep her structurally strong and vibrant and standing proudly for over 120 years. She smiled at me because I told her she looked beautiful.

I do believe that I am her caretaker. Yes, she is the house that protects us from the elements. Yes, she is the place where my family has made sixteen years worth of incredible memories. Yes, she is the only home my two children have ever known and likely will know until they move out on their own. Yes, she is the place where my family has shared smiles and tears, hugs and fights, ups and downs. Yes, she is the place where we have celebrated the miracle of babies born and mourned the deaths of those who have left us. Yes, she is the place where birthdays and anniversaries and holidays have been celebrated. Yes, she is the place that has made us feel content and warm and safe for sixteen years and hopefully many more decades to come.

Yes, she is all of those things and for that I consider myself immensely blessed. But she is also so much more. She is a piece of history that harkens back to the days before automobiles and electricity and indoor plumbing were prevalent. She is a reminder of where we came from, a time when houses were built on the backs of strong men with a meager assortment of hand tools, yet possessing incredible craftsmanship skills. She is a reminder of a time when rural living and one room schoolhouses and fresh food and hard work reigned supreme. She is our personal museum and I am her caretaker and I take that responsibility seriously.

My house smiled at me today. I didn’t actually see her smile, but I know she did. Someday, she will have a new caretaker, and a new one after that and on and on and on. For now though, I am her caretaker and I will continue to do my part to make sure she is still standing proudly for many more wonderful years to come. If I am lucky, down the road, when my wife and I are old and gray and feeble, we will still be able to stand in front of her and tell her that she looks beautiful. I hope that she smiles at us then as well… and perhaps even says “thank you.”

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