Thursday, June 25, 2009

Kitchen Memory: Haunted, Part One

Blog reader Jenny C. has been kind enough to send us a very detailed and suspenseful kitchen memory, that also includes the bathroom, the rest of the house and the yard. We'll be running it in installments on Thurssday afternoons. Here is part one:

It was our largest home yet and maybe ever. It was my English Tudor, half-timber dream house. We`d already done the custom built bit back in Kentucky and reworked our first Grosse Pointe house into double our money in eighteen months- more a result of a great economy and less as a result of any terribly hard work on our part. Sure we'd done some painting, wall papering, landscaping, light swapping and window decorating, but nothing major.

We were pleased with the profit margin and thought we could do that again. Putting the largest share of our proceeds into this second Grosse Pointe house, a 3,600-square-foot brick work with all the curb appeal of a small English manor, we hoped for the best. Yet on the inside, the horrors began. It was so bad that my brother in-law called us unfit parents for moving his nine-month-old niece into such a wreck of a home. But the potential to double our money again enticed us to carry out the plan.

Remodeling it was not. Redecorating it was. Who would have thought that we had purchased more than mortar, bricks and plaster? For back then, I was what I would call a believer with no proof. It would be this experience that gave me what I needed to convince the now ex that there really are such things as ghosts. And it all started the second weekend we were there.

We`d finished unpacking everything. We were getting ready to start the first bedroom, the bedroom we intended to move my little sister Amy into. She had come to spend her summer before college with us.

My parents had come up to Michigan to bring their youngest, and most difficult teen yet, up for our summer enjoyment and their hoped for sanity. A season in a big city just might help prepare her for her coed life in the art school in Columbus, Ohio. A much larger town than had been our hometown as kids, Tiffin, Ohio, population 19,000. Salute. Mom had ulterior motives. This visit would also be a great excuse to come up and see the place, huge by our family’s standards. Mom and Dad had raised four daughters in an 1,100-square-foot ranch.

As the two visitors and seasonal occupant pulled into the drive and exited their station wagon, they were welcomed with the banging of my husband, Gary, who was pounding nails into the garage walls so that he could better organize the lawn implements. All that hammering may have wakened more than the neighbors.

Mom was so impressed with the house that she wanted us to take her Polaroid out in front of the house and take a picture so she could haul it back to her friends and hopefully impress the bunch back home. So dutiful daughter that I am, I trucked out to the front curb and snapped a shot of my current domicile for her viewing and bragging pleasure. The family gathered around the picnic table on the patio to watch the image appear.

A yelp of, "What's your dad doing in the picture?" came out of Mom. Gary and I exchanged a glance and I just shrugged back at Mom, stooped to inspect the picture more closely and decided that there was a man in the picture. But I knew that my Dad had not been in the yard in a squat position in front of the den window when the shutter had done its work. Then it hit me. This was the perfect opportunity to tease mom a bit. Gosh knows all mothers deserve some of that back. I decided to dream up a whopper just to see how far we could take it.

I began, "Yes, that must be our ghost." I certainly had their attention now.

What happens next? You'll find out next Thursday!
We'd love to hear YOUR kitchen memories, whether or not they involve a ghost. Send them to us here.

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