I'm sitting here in the dark, and both of my sweeties are asleep. The kitties are roaming around outside somewhere being cats. P.P. returned home yesterday morning with a whole dead mouse. She'd rather eat her cat food I suppose, yet there's still an instinct to wipe out the mouse population, one by one. Tonight she's back on the hunt, happy as a cat can be I guess, roaming the dark deafening woods. The only thing to hear around here at night inside the house is the low roar of my box fan - a household staple since my duty in the freshman dorm at Georgia. It really does help me sleep because when I'm asleep it drowns out all the other noise in the house. However, when I'm up like this, and wide awake, I sometimes hear footsteps in this house. For the first few months that we were here I heard absolutely nothing...and I was listening too. Boy, let me tell you. I was a little more than completely freaked out when we first started living in this house. Two people died in this house and it's also the place that my grandmother always wanted to come back to in her last years when she was staying with my aunt and uncle instead of being able to live in her own home. This little house was all she ever really had, and she worked hard for it, so she valued it more than anything else.
It was just when I'd stopped freaking out about it all and had pretty much forgotten about the spirits that could linger when I started hearing the footsteps. At first, I ignored them and chalked it up to some other thing, like maybe the front screen door was banging, or maybe the cat was on the porch jumping down off the rail. But last week it was so obvious that I literally felt the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. I'd always heard other people say that and thought oh what an odd thing to feel, but now I know. It's kind of spine tingling. Seriously. Here's how it went.
I'm lying in bed trying to fall asleep. I've already gone through my normal routine of twittering, emailing, blogging, and surfing the Internet to wind down from a long twelve hour shift in the ER. Sarah was on the couch asleep (because she refuses to sleep in the back room of the house where all of her stuff is). Hal was in our bed sound asleep too. I was curled up on my side when I heard the footsteps. My first instinct was that perhaps Sarah had awoke and was coming to get in the bed with us. I opened my eyes and watched for her, but didn't see or hear her. I laid back down and waited a minute and then heard more footsteps. This time I raise up on one elbow and really look hard for her silhouette in the dim light. Nothing. So I get up and go check on her and lo and behold there she is on the couch still very much asleep and in the exact same position as I left her earlier. That's when I felt the shiver up and down my spine. Seriously. For a moment I was afraid. But then I realized that if any of my family members who have gone on to the other side were here for a visit, they'd mean no harm to me. Or maybe it was just a "place memory." I don't know. I heard them again tonight, but didn't bother getting up to check on anyone. I guess now that they know we're back in the house, they're coming around to make sure we're okay. My grandmother is probably trying to send me hints to clean up the place. Or Keith would just try to freak us out and have himself a good laugh. My grandfather, who collapsed right in the bedroom that I sleep in a full four years before I was born...well, I don't know about him. Hopefully he's moved on by now into another life.
I asked Hal if he'd heard anything and he slowly let out a "yes." I think he's probably a little freaked out like I am. He thinks something is also messing with the cabinet doors in the kitchen. I don't know about that. But I do hear the steps. Loud and clear and absolutely out of this world. Maybe when we move back to our own house, my grandmother's spirit will follow us there. I think I'd like that. :)