birds in a barrel's mission is to release creative nonfiction into the wild.

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

Blithe Spirits

We rented the house before we bought it. Initial visits before deciding to rent left us with a feeling of peace about the place. We could live here.

There has always been a sense of abiding presence here. Grandmother and Grandfather spirits. In the trees, the grown over garden, the outdoor hearth. The patio, a huge concrete slab once hosted parties and dancing.

The house itself is small. Two bedrooms and 1 bath. Outbuildings were put up for storage. An upstairs unit was added on as a place for extended family to live (no plumbing--how did they do it?).

Built by the town's only pharmacist during the depression of the 30's, the place is a quirky composite of materials. As we fixed it up and stripped away carpeting, we found solid wood flooring. It's funny what you find as you go with these projects. Certain paint colors were in vogue; wood paneling, and indoor outdoor carpet in the kitchen. Oh my. That was the first to go.

When the home became ours, I was determined to let the house tell me what "it" wanted. I didn't want to eliminate the feeling and period of the place, I wanted it to stay. I wasn't going to do a modern decor re-do. I wanted the personality of the place to emerge. And while we are still not done, the preservation has been successful for DIY'ers who did not want to go into debt while making headway.

The feeling in the place remains--our constant housemate. At times, I have felt the presence of something, or someone in the house. A constant, abiding energy. Others have sensed this too. My oldest son, had an audible encounter with the ghosts. An approving, chuckling sound--a grandmother sound. He was reluctant to tell me.

This happened when all the family was home for a summer visit. The best time of year. Our acre plus becomes a park like haven for all the children. The pool goes up. And life is easy, happy, and playful. I think the housemates approve, blithe spirits that they are.

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