Monday, October 25, 2010


Did I mention that I lived in a haunted house when I was a child? Not that I realized it at the time, but with the approach of Halloween and the upswing in ghostly stories, I tend to think about the home we always refer to as "The Old House." That is how we differentiate it from the house my mother built in Kenedy that we moved into about a year after my father's death.

The Old House is located in a little town called Falls City. According to family lore, the ghost in the house tends to hang out upstairs and walks around. My mother has told me of hearing footsteps upstairs when she knew no one was upstairs. After we moved out of the house, I remember my Aunt Ruth stopped by the house to use the bathroom one Friday on her way from San Antonio to visit us. She heard footsteps upstairs and assuming that some local kids were up there. So, she went into the front hallway and called up the stairs for the culprit(s) to come downstairs right now! And the footsteps did come down the stairs, but no one came with them. So, Ruth turned and ran out of the house and would never go back in there alone again.

I also remember one day at the new house when some of the neighborhood kids were doing the ring the doorbell and run away thing. One of us laughingly suggested that maybe it was the ghost from the Falls City house. My mother literally turned white. The very thought freaked her out.

Strangely enough, my mom has told me that she never heard so much as a creaking board at the old house after my father's death till the day we moved out. Believe me, my mom invented anxiety and I'm sure that being a widow with five children (one an infant) and a blind mother to take care of led to quite a few sleepless nights. But she said she never heard a thing. My personal theory is that my father took the time to inform whoever it is that walks around the house (I suspect it's my great-grandmother) that they needed to cool it until Mom moved out. Or maybe great-grandmother did it on her own. My mother did take care of her for years until she died.

Mom and her siblings eventually sold the old house. Shortly after the sale went through, we heard that the buyers were upset that we had sold them a haunted house. But they must have made peace with the ghost, because one of their children still lives there.

There was at least one ghost sighting at our home in Kenedy though. My older sister told me that on the day of my wedding, she looked out a window to the back yard, which was set up for the reception and she saw our dad walking through the yard. It may just have been that he was on her mind as I was the first of us to marry, but I like to think that he was there for my wedding.

I have not been inside the house in Falls City for decades. But I still dream about it. That house has an emotional hold on me that no other house will ever have. It may or may not be haunted. But I am.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

I've Fallen and I Need a Glass of Iced Tea

While visiting my mom this past weekend, I took on the task of ordering her one of those Lifeline necklaces. A Lifeline necklace is basically a grandma monitor, which calls a family member or EMS when grandma has an issue. Like a fall or, in my mom's case, feeling dizzy because she forgot to take her medicine.

Mom is on board with this plan to give us kids peace of mind, because it will cut down on her fears of not being able to tell us if something is wrong. So, there were no arguments with her about ordering this and I'm fairly certain she'll keep it on all the time.

After I got off the phone with the company on Monday, Mom mentioned that one of her good friends had gotten this device for her then 90ish year old mother a few years ago. The device arrived and Mom's friend and her brother explained to their mom that the point of the device was so that if she needed any help, all she had to do was push the button on the pendant and it would call them. And all was well. Until the day when the son's phone rang showing that it was the lifeline device. He answered it before the local emergency services could answer and asked his mom what was wrong. And she said, "Well, you told me to push this button if I needed something and I need someone to bring me a glass of ice water."

Mom plans on asking for iced tea.