Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Ghosts and Gardens

I've recently decided our house is haunted by the previous owner.

Yeah. I know. But I'm serious!

The couple who sold us this house left voluntarily, but not happily. It was just too much house for them anymore. It's not a big house, but it's over a hundred years old, and the age shows. The neighborhood is not easy for an older couple. Their son lives in the far suburbs. Etc etc. After they'd moved out, I saw the woman drive past our house. She did not park in front of our next-door neighbor and head in for a visit. She just...kept driving. It was creepy and sad. Anyhow, about a year ago, she died at the neighbor's house after a medical procedure. Around the same time, though I didn't make the connection then, I started feel incredibly, unpleasantly uneasy when I need to go in Grace's room in the middle of the night. I always expect to see someone standing in the corner. I never, ever used to feel like that. I kind of chalked it up to my overactive imagination and ridiculousness and left it at that. It's a reasonable enough explanation.

A few nights ago, Grace was crying in the middle of the night. I opened the door to her room and it was pitch black- her nightlight had been turned off. It's not unheard of for her to play with it, but she never leaves it turned off. Weird, but...okay.

Last night, Katie woke up at 2:20 and decided it was play time (my children really enjoy this particular trick. do I even need to tell you that I do not?). I was desperately tired and trying everything to get her back to sleep. I went to look for a paci, which I knew would not work, but again: desperate. I keep one on the nightstand and one in her crib. I could not find either one. Because I am nothing if not eminently rational (especially in the middle of the night), I called the previous owner a nasty name and told her that if she didn't cut that shit out, I would call a priest to expel her from the house. (This is where half of you think I'm kidding, and half of you absolutely know that I'm not.) (to the latter half: thanks for being friends with me anyway.) This morning, I found the paci on the floor in the hall, up against the baby gate, underneath a sweatshirt I'd flung over it. It is possible that Katie had grabbed it and dropped it on the way from her room to my room. But not very likely. (This is where you all roll your eyes and say, "yes, Kathy, and a ghost is soooo likely." I KNOW.)  And I keep forgetting to mention this last part: I got so frustrated, I wrapped Katie up, put her in her crib, turned on the aquarium, and told her to go to sleep.  I went back to bed and woke up an hour later, totally shocked- she actually fell asleep.  She is entirely incapable of falling asleep on her own from a wide-awake state.  PREVIOUS OWNER TOTES HELPED HER TO SLEEP.

I shared my suspicions with Stephen this morning, and he gave me the look he saves for special occasions, when I do things like crying over Susan Boyle's "Britain's Got Talent" audition, or suggesting we name our child Adele. (I still like that name, for the record.)

So anyway. I know it's unlikely. But I also know what I believe.

Gracie has been REALLY interested in the garden this summer.  Mostly because she likes to take the hose and make mud pits in the corners, and as we've covered, she really, really loves mud.  She also likes to pick flowers, which shows me what a huge tactical error it was, planting the zinnias right at the front.

Today she started calling the bigger blooms "mama fowrs" and the smaller blooms "baby fowrs", which is cute enough by itself, but when she started pushing the blooms together and making them kiss, it veered into head-exploding territory.

We planted seeds together, too.  Beets and mesclun and lots of flowers.  She had tons of fun, picking the right spot, covering the seeds with dirt, and "pat pat pat!"ing the dirt on top of them.  Probably most of them won't do anything, due to a combination of bad timing, being planted too deep, and having the dirt packed too hard on top, but ask me if I care.  She was actually really good at watering them afterwards, even shaking the hose back and forth to keep puddles from forming.

One of these days, I'll actually bring my camera outside so I can stop posting all these janky cell phone pics, but until then, behold: early onion, held by inexplicably grown-up child.

I'd say we're having a pretty good summer so far.  Ghosts and all.

1 comment:

Megan M said...

Between you and me (and all others who read your blog), I am pretty sure my parent's house is haunted, and there were (multiple) nights that I might have slept with a wooden cross in my hands for safety. It's is SUPER wierd that she died next door...I think that even ghosts can go from one house to another. I mean, have you seen the movie "Ghost"? Patrick made some mean pottery after he was dead.....