This is the house where my mother grew up. My fondest childhood memories of visiting my Mi Mi and Pop (my grandmother and grandfather) took place here. I don't know how old the house is. This is the house where I used to catch lizards by the dozen, climb to the top of magnolia trees, ride go carts, and bike.. and play hide and seek with my cousins. The upstairs of the house was always creepy. I saw a ghost there once at the top of the stairs when I was in second grade. I still have dreams about this place, sometimes they are about the ghost and a little scary, (despite all the fond memories of big family gatherings!) Weird things used to happen on the property. Piles of bricks and other large piles of things would always be found moved to a different place. Over the years the house was added on to a couple of times, and even once there was a big fire, but the house was saved. My grandfather once woke up in his upstairs room where he slept alone to the TV having moved itself to the floor! The housekeeper my grandmother had for about 15 years, (her name was Ruby Lee and I adored her,) would not always go upstairs. The ghost's name is "Mr Bell". He built the house or was atleast its first owner, I can't remember which. He doesn't seem very malicious, more mischevious than anything. But the upstairs was just forboding.
The house is now vacant, and so my sister and I decided to drive over while down there to see what we could see. It was late afternoon, and a creepy feeling to be looking through the windows and finding it asleep and vacant, waiting for us. We walked around and as we marvelled at the changes wrought by time and the last family to live there, and we took a few pictures looking inside the house. We even peeked inside the front door to look up those scary front stairs. When I was a child, there were shelves and cubbies going all the way up the wall by those stairs. Seems like it would be satisfying to tear away at that wall and find them again, perhaps in the process exposing the tucked away, shelved memories of my family's past.
Oh, one more thing, although the lizards were nowhere to be found, we did see something I had forgotten existed. A black and red locust -type grasshopper. My great granny called them "Buggy Horses". They turn their heads, Alien-like, as they look around, and they amble about in slow motion more than they hop. I have never seen one anywhere else but at this house. There were always too many of them crammed together on the rocks bordering my Mi Mi's flower beds, and she would sqaush them into a bright colored yellow goo, and so my association with them is unpleasant and gory. Strange imagery.
The seldom-used front door, staring with its un-blinking eye.
The shadows and movement of light in the upstairs windows were un-nerving to me. I felt a little silly being so jumpy as my three year old son was romping about with us and it was broad daylight.
The photo below shows my sister Dusti and I's shadows growing long across the lawn. We actually poached some elephant ears, I dug them out of the dirt, small ones from the ones given to my grandmother by her mother, from her farm house. The moon was full, and we dared one another to come back later at night, but we became involved in other things and forgot. She really wanted to, too, because I am the screaming kind of jumpy, and although younger, she was always BRAVER! Maybe next time.