Things That Go Bump in the Day

Anyone who reads my books knows I’m fascinated by the paranormal. Those who know me ‘off the page,’ are aware that I believe in ghosts. Maybe even that, many years ago, two like-minded friends and I would make annual ghosthunting trips to the UK.

If a place was said to be haunted, offered a chance to encounter a resident ghost, we were in.

Medieval battlefield, pub, hotel, manor home, castle or palace, an eerie mews or windswept moor. Didn’t matter, we were on our way. Maybe we’d meet a fallen soldier, a slain lover, a phantom coach, a green or gray lady, or a beautiful see-through maid…

So I like the spooky.

Ghosts fascinate rather than scare me.

Yet much as I believe, years of actual ghosthunting abroad and stateside taught me this…

Always look for a logical explanation.

There usually is one. Not always, though, and that’s when things get real. That’s when the fine hairs on your nape stand up, when chills ripple up and down your spine.

During the holidays, I posted about mysterious footsteps in my home. (see Christmas Visitors? if you’re curious) Something similar happened today. I was in my office, pecking away at my computer keyboard, trying to finish a new book, when I heard a clatter behind me.

Something fell.

Yet there wasn’t a reason.

I was alone in the house. My cat was asleep on my bed in my bedroom down the hall. A glance around my office failed to give me a clue. Until I looked at a little bookcase with a lamp on it…

Look close beneath the lamp, just to the left of the lowest white cat on my scarf. You’ll see one of the crystals fell down. That’s what I’d heard. But why ~ and how? ~ did it fall?

The crystal dangle is like an earring, hooked in place into a hole in the lamp’s ‘leaf.’ Just as an earring is secured in an earlobe.

Here it is…

I can’t fathom how the crystal fell. The crystals have to be lifted off the lamp’s leaves to be washed. They stay put otherwise.

Not so this afternoon.

Nor is there a tear in the lamp’s leaf. You can see the little hole to attach the crystal here…

So for whatever reason, the crystal mysteriously dislodged itself today and dropped down onto the little bookcase.

And I can’t find an explanation.

Three things come to mind…

*The lamp is an antique. I like old things. So I do not know its history. It’s believed inanimate objects can retain energy, and/or that spirits can be attached to them. But nothing odd has ever happened with the lamp before, so I’m discounting this.

*On Jan. 31st, Eve of Imbolc, I set out my blue cat scarf to be blessed overnight. The old Celts (and today’s pagans, still) celebrate Imbolc, Feb. 1st, as the start of spring. It’s said that Brigid, goddess of poetry and healing, visits on this night. If you leave a scarf or other piece of cloth outside, she’ll bless it for you, imbuing the scarf/cloth with healing powers and protection.

So I left out my favorite blue cat scarf for her blessing.

As she’s goddess of poetry, maybe the crystal dropping was a nod of goodwill for my book? I’m in the last 1/4 now, so need a blessing, that’s certain.

*This morning I found an old ceramic wall hanging of two angels. I’ve had it for years, but thought I’d lost it in a move. Delighted to find it so unexpectedly, I quickly hung it on a wall, giving it pride of place to watch over my household.

The angels were a gift from a well-loved neighbor who has since passed. Maybe he looked in today, the falling crystal his way of letting me know he’s pleased I found his long-missing gift and once again have it displayed in my home?

That was the intention when he gave it to me so many years ago. This explanation strikes me as the most fitting.

But, again, who knows?

I just know something ‘odd’ happened today and I can’t find a logical explanation.

Either way, I’m smiling.

Anything ever go bump in the night in your house? Or, as happened to me, in the daytime?


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Alan Rickman

Five years ago today, we lost British actor Alan Rickman. As with Princess Diana, I can close my eyes and recall the instant I heard the news. My heart broke and the crack will never mend.

Alan Rickman was that special.

So extraordinary, he stood above all other men.

Now and then, social media lights up with the question, ‘Which lost celebrity do you miss the most?’ Not surprisingly, many name Alan Rickman. He was a wonderful actor, in film and on the stage. A good man on and off screen.

In other words, he was a gentleman.

His soul shone as bright as his phenomenal acting talent. Perhaps even brighter, his innate goodness of heart, fueling his brilliance as a character. Even as villains, he made audiences love him. I know I first fell for him in his role as the wicked Sheriff of Nottingham…

One of my favorite Alan Rickman films is Truly, Madly, Deeply. If you haven’t seen it, I won’t reveal the plot to avoid spoilers. Just know it is one of the most heart-wrenching love stories ever…

Truly, Madly, Deeply (1990) remains the one Rickman film that has deep personal poignancy for me.

Many years ago, (actually, decades) a dear friend often came to stay at my home. A highlight of her visits would be to stay up late watching Alan Rickman films. Our fave was Truly, Madly, Deeply. We’d get comfy on my sofa, pile on blankets, turn down the lights, and watch. As we did, we drank wine, ate English snacks, and sobbed our way through several boxes of tissues.

Alan Rickman was our hero of heroes.

His voice…

Anyone who remembers will understand when I say it was too beautiful to even attempt to describe.

Truly, Madly, Deeply played in modern-day London, a city my old friend and I dearly loved. That added to the magic. But, really, it was all about him. Those long-ago ‘girlfriend nights’ are no more, but even though my old friend and I no longer speak (don’t ask), I am betting she, too, thinks fondly of those wine and tissue-filled nights of binge-watching Alan Rickman.

As much as I loved him in that film, he really melted my heart as Colonel Brandon in Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility (1995)…

I suspect many of us who loved Alan Rickman swooned over him as the dashing, noble and heroic, Colonel Brandon.

He was the epitome of a romantic hero…

Who can resist a man who reads? Along with everything else wonderful about him?

Alan Rickman loved books and reading in real life, too.

That he is no longer here seems to give credence to the saying that the ‘best are taken first.’ Weeds do tend to thrive, while the most beautiful blooms disappear so quickly.

What remains is the love he left behind.

The light of his incredible talent, the greatness of his heart and soul.

I’m not a soothsayer, but I am sure those who mourn him will still feel that ache until we, too, breathe our last.

He was/is that loved.

RIP Alan Rickman ~ 21 Feb. 1946 – 14 Jan. 2016

Friends, if you loved him, too, what are your favorite memories of him?

Do you agree he’ll remain forever missed?

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It’s the Little Things

Hello, Friends,

There are a 1,001 awful things in the world these days. Really, that’s probably an understatement. Likewise, if we each rolled out a laundry list of all the bad luck, ills, and unpleasantries in our lives, the number would be staggering.

Setbacks and sorrows are real.

But so are the good things. Trouble is, they can be hard to find sometimes. Even so, if you try, you can usually spot something that’ll bring a smile. Experience a moment that lifts your spirit and or warms your heart.

For me, that’s usually the little things.

Like this smile-in-the-sky that I noticed when walking the beach on New Year’s Day morning…

As it was first day of a bright new year, I took this sky-smile as a good sign. I smiled in return and for a while, anyway, I felt much lighter and happier about, well, everything.

Of course, the sky-smile didn’t blink and cause my book sales to skyrocket. Nor did I return home to find a new car in the garage or that a bunch of zeroes had magically appeared on my bank account. No household elf had crept into my home and done the tidying I always do on returning from my morning walks. And my darling cat wasn’t a kitten again. (something that would have delighted me)

In truth, my world was pretty much the same as when I’d left the front door earlier that morning.

But the sky-smile did put a smile in my heart.

And in times like these, when the world is suffering so much, all smiles and heart-lifts are welcome. So I’m sharing this one in the hope the sky-smile brightens your day, too.

Maybe it really was a good sign for 2021.

We can hope.

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Happy New Year!

We made it, friends. 2021 is here!

The year-that-shall-not-be-named is now history. A bad memory. In the rear view mirror. Behind us. Kicked out the door.

It brought us to our knees, no denying.

But…

We are strong and resilient. Let’s keep our heads high, chins raised, trust in ourselves, and believe in love and magic.

Here’s wishing you a wonderful, uplifting New Year full of peace, calm, and goodness.

To 2021… Welcome!

You have no idea how happy we are to see you. (please be kind)

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Christmas Visitors?

Hello Friends!

It’s the last Monday of 2020. It’s also the week known in Germany (my long-ago home) as ‘the quiet days.’ Businesses remained closed, peace and quiet was the order of the day as people enjoyed a time of reflective stillness until the joyous celebrations of New Year.

That’s not possible here in the good old US of A.

I think that’s a shame.

And I miss the peace and silence of those still, cold and dark winter days between Christmas and New Year.

I miss them a lot.

As I type, for instance, I’m serenaded by a leaf blower, an electric hedge trimmer, and some other noisy apparatus as a landscaping crew attend their Monday duties. From somewhere else, the high-pitched whine of a drill delights the senses. (being sarcastic)

Such disturbances weren’t just non-existent during this week of stillness in Bavaria, they weren’t allowed.

The Old World (still) has a lot going for it.

But I digress. So I’ll move on to this post’s title…

Despite the usual landscaper noise and what-not, it usually is pretty quiet here. Especially at night. The TV isn’t turned up. No loud music. Traffic is non-existent. My dishwasher, almost soundless. The wooden stairs do creak in some spots, but that’s a comfy kind of sound.

There are cat noises.

Reporting-a-hungry meows. Soft feline snores when my darling sleeps. The sound of him at his scratching post, raking his litter box, and occasional 3 a.m. zoomies. Cat lovers will get that. If you’re not a cat person, think a herd of elephants racing ’round your house. It’s amazing how one small cat can make such racket, but they do.

What cats do not do in the deep silence of the night is walk about making sounds like human footsteps. They also don’t rap on walls, the noise exactly like when someone knocks on a door.

Yet those are the sounds that have accompanied my nights this holiday season…

Late at night, when curled on the sofa downstairs, a single set of human footsteps crosses the floor above me. I have heard this several or more times now. And I cannot find an explanation…

No one is upstairs when the footsteps are heard.

I can distinguish between the sound a cat moving around and human footsteps. When my cat crosses the floor above me, I do not hear him. He’s too light. I do hear his zoomies. I am not talking about them. Besides, each time I’ve heard the footsteps, he’s been curled beside me on the downstairs sofa.

That means ‘someone’ is walking around in my bedroom/bathroom when I am downstairs in the living room/lounge late at night.

As I know the upstairs to be empty when this happens, I have to wonder if the footsteps are made by a visiting ghost?

Footsteps in the dead of night (no pun intended) are a frequent sign of a ghostly visitor. So are raps or knocking noises, and that happened last night…

It was nearing midnight, I was reading and had the TV on very low, when I heard three distinct and sharp raps. Knock, knock, knock. The sound seeming to come from an inner wall or somewhere upstairs. No one was at the front door, that’s for sure.

And the three raps were deliberate. Not the occasional creak of the wooden stairs. Besides, no one was on the stairs.

Leastways no one I could see.

Holidays are known for increased supernatural activity. If a ghost walks, Christmas is a likely time. Poor Scrooge had three spirits swing by, didn’t he?

Now, I’m not saying the late night footsteps and last night’s three wall-raps were made by a ghost. I’m just saying the sounds were real.

I heard them.

And I can’t find an explanation. As a caveat, I do believe in ghosts, so my mind jumping to the possibility isn’t a stretch.

Whatever the reason, as the sounds are new, I’m betting they’ll end after New Year. Perhaps someone is looking in on me? A holiday nod from someone I once knew and loved? Or an ancestor I never met, but who is aware of me and wants to pay me a Christmas hello? A bit of protection and reassurance in this horror year? Letting me know everything will be OK?

Or maybe the ‘someone’ is returning here? Recalling finer days when he/she might have lived here?

Either way, I’m not afraid.

Just curious.

And I wish him/her well if indeed the footsteps and raps are ghostly. Actually, I rather like the visits.

I’ll let you know if anything else happens. For now…

How about you? Believe in ghosts? Ever live in a haunted house? (I have, several times.. but those tales can wait for other days)

Happy Quiet Days-Between-the-Years, dear friends. (earthly and otherwise)

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