Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Meeting the Poltergeist

(Edited repost from May 2011 . . . )

“Dee, write a memoir,” a Minnesota friend suggests.
            “Why? My life’s so ordinary.”
            “My life’s ordinary,” she counters. “Yours is interesting.” Stunning moment.
            I toss around the idea and even set to writing. But rather quickly I stop. Too much work. And somehow, my life seems boring in the telling.
            Then another friend suggests a blog. Ah. A post whenever a story from the past moseys to the street corner of my mind and announces, “Tell ‘em about me! I’m a humdinger.”
            So that’s what this blog’s going to be—the story of my life as moments present themselves to me. We’ll move together from growing up to convent to cats to social justice to edging into the 21st century. Back and forth. No trying to be sequential. Just meandering.
            Let’s begin.
            I used to live in an 1870 house with a 1907 dilapidated garage at the side of the yard. No matter what the Minnesota weather, I’d be carrying groceries from way back in that yard to the kitchen.
            Recently I moved to a 2002 house in Missouri with an attached garage. Think of it. A garage attached to the house. Twenty-first century for sure. I’m not even going to talk about the marvel of a dishwasher. That’s for another time.

            My brother and his family gather on the driveway to greet me. We explore the house. Then he hands me the garage-door opener: Lock this way; open this way. Simple enough I think. I immediately name the opener “Sesame.”
            The family leaves around midnight. Within minutes my cousin and a friend show up. We settle on the bedroom carpet—the furniture won’t come for three more days—and talk about my drive down that day.
            Around 2 a.m., I lead them to the kitchen and open the connecting door. Flamboyantly flourishing my right hand I proclaim, “And here’s my attached garage!” I invite their oohs and aahs at the wonder of it. They struggle to find something to say about an attached garage; I lean against the wall, expectant.
            Just then the garage door opens. What the heck happened? I examine the door but what do I know about the personality of an attached garage and its opener? I lean back against the wall while the three of us consider possibilities. The door comes down. But before it can grab hold of the floor, it heads back up again. Then it changes its mind and starts back down.
            I’m still just leaning against the wall watching this strange phenomenon. What if this keeps happening? How will neighbors sleep with this racket? And what about me? Anyone could get into the house. I’ve left a place of safety for this. Suddenly the 21st century doesn’t seem so tempting.
            I’ve collapsed against the wall in bewilderment. My cousin and friend seem equally perplexed.
            I call my brother. He answers groggily. Always helpful, he comes over. By this time the door has done its hokey-pokey several more times.
            He questions me, then asks for the opener.
            Where had I put it? Oh, yes, in my pocket.
            All of you who have attached garages know what was happening. The opener doesn’t just accept finger taps. A hip bump will do.
            My cousin, our friend, and I giggle. My brother just shakes his head. After he leaves, I feel foolish for a moment and then excited. Perhaps this is an omen. Maybe the 21st century is going to be filled with laughter. Adventure. Creativity. I did sort of figure I’d unwittingly been fairly creative with that opener.
            One can only hope. 

Photo from Wikipedia


  1. What a wonderful story, Dee, and beautifully told. It had me laughing out loud by the end of it. If you ever publish a memoir, I'll be first in the queue to buy it.

  2. Sorry. PERPETUA--I'm going to preorder mine!

    1. LOL, Fishducky. I'm sure there'll be enough to go round. :-)

  3. What a delightful telling- I'd love to read this in your memoirs!

  4. A great story Dee, also a wonderful C word.


  5. What a hoot! :)
    Enjoy your time off!

  6. Well, that was sure fun! I guess you haven't learned the meaning of butt-dialing your cellphone? You are doing the same thing with you garage door opener! Hahaha!

  7. I loved this the first time i read it and it was just as funny this time around!

  8. Too funny, Dee! Thanks for reposting!

  9. That's a great story, Dee! You do have a way of telling stories about yourself that make me want to know more...so perhaps a memoir yet! I hope you're enjoying...Debra

  10. Delightfully told tale with the spirit of All Hallow's Eve attached - to the garage, that is. This post reminds me of the doorbell in our first house. It would suddenly ring on rainy nights, with no one at all about.

  11. Dee, this is magic. I won't be first to buy your memoir, our differing time zones will see to that but I will buy it, read it, reread it and love it.

  12. Priceless, Dee!! Just priceless!


  13. You had me laughing out loud! And I think this year especially will be filled with many open doors :)

  14. Yes the world of remote access has arrived. Electricity is more important now than ever.
    So are the remote sensors that are often hidden now.

  15. I read this on my phone when you first posted it. I laughed and smiled so big! I wasn't able to comment until now though since my phone is a . . . gem lol

    This is so fun! It sounds exactly like something that would happen to Melynda and me. I can only imagine what adventures will happen if we get to meet you someday :)