Friday, January 12, 2007

Staring Down the Barrel... At a Ghost?

I'm on the cusp of turning 31... That's three decades and one year that I have been on this planet we like to call Earth, for lack of a more gregarious term (such as "The Happy Place" or "Unpredictable Cacophony of Life-Bearing Rock Land")...

In celebration of my three decades and one year (two days early), I was at Mom and Dad's today, helping my father on the continuing saga of The Deck. Of course, if any of you know my father, it isn't a simple matter of ripping down the old deck and putting on a new one. It involves:
  1. Ripping down the old deck
  2. Deciding piece by piece which boards can be used again on the new deck and
  3. Ripping out any offending nails in those pieces
  4. Adding three feet to the living room
  5. Bringing out the roof 6 feet to cover the new front porch
  6. Making it pretty by adding weird angles and nifty decorative beams
  7. Replacing all the windows along the front
  8. Adding a new back screened-in porch
  9. Bringing out the roof, along with a new dormer
  10. Changing where the back door was located so we can add a second bathroom and some new closet space
  11. Re-shingling the entire roof (including new areas over the front porch and screened-in porch)
  12. At the same time ripping out the old sky lights and putting in new ones
  13. And then building a deck, complete with more odd angles, to connect the new front porch and the new back screen-in porch...
And now you know why we've been doing this since last spring...

Of course, we five of his off-spring knew it was only a matter of time before a project like this started when they moved into the new house in the Poconos... Dad couldn't go ten years at our old house without doing some kind of addition or remodeling project which, of course, always involved his herd of children (kind of like how farmers used to make their wives pop out a dozen or so to work the farm... Dad had us for the remodeling of his home... :D)

We've learned a lot over the years about the proper way to nail, screw, bolt, run wires, measure (twice), cut (once), and so on and so forth...

After a hard days' labor, we retired to the kitchen (looking out through new windows, as mentioned earlier), and had some of Mom's wonderful lasagna (she won a blue ribbon or something for it at a church bazaar... I dunno), and, as always, the subject of... yes, ladies and gentlemen, ghosts, came up.

My mother is not only a firm believer in the after-life (sky god, jesus, holy spirit, demons, angels... you know...) as well as in spirits and ghosts of those who have (to use a popular term) "passed on." I, on the other hand, while allowing for it as a possibility, don't think of it as a high probability. One case in point is the nefarious Slipper Incident, which Mom alluded to in her comments on my last post...

In short, the Slipper Incident can be summed up as such:

Once upon a time, in a not-so-special basket in an eclectically-decorated not-so-extraordinary bedroom, there lived six (perhaps seven) pairs of slippers. On the very bottom of this not-so-special basket were slippers made in loving, if garishly colored, yarn. Never worn yet always treasured (due to an uncomfortable tightness of the ankles and soreness on the soles), these were on the bottom, as duty never required for them to be called into service by the upper five pairs.

The upper five pairs consisted of (from lowest in the basket to highest) a yet-to-be-broken-in pair, another yet-to-be-broken-in pair, a slightly used but newer pair, and an every-day use pair. And, beside this not-so-special basket were the Tigger Slippers of Ages Past (who wouldn't fit into the basket, though whether due to claustrophobia on Tigger's part, or just due to Tigger's rather large craniums hanging out in front of the slippers, one may never know).

One not-so-special day in the not-too-distant past (like, a week or three ago), Mom was going about her daily morning routine, which can be summed up as such:
  1. Get up.
  2. Put on slippers (top pair in basket)
  3. Pet dog (Shy Anne)
  4. Go to restroom
  5. Drink loads of coffee
  6. Get a shower
  7. Drink more coffee
  8. Do whatever she had planned for that day
On this particularly not-so-special day, when Mom exited from her lime-green tub (yet to be remodeled--give it another ten years), she noticed something awry as she crossed the hall back into her bedroom...

One of Grandmom Hughes's lovingly made, garishly colored, yet always treasured slippers was sitting on the floor, by the bed, quite a distance (let's say, five feet?) from the not-so-special basket...

One word pops into Mom's head: Ghost. Now, whether this is Grandmom Hughes's ghost, Grandpop Zartman's ghost, or simply a ghost who likes garishly colored yarn-type items, one may never know.
Immediately, a call went out on the line: Mom's seen spectral anomalies in her home. I'm not sure how many of my siblings place stock in ghosts, and how many place not-so-much stock in ghosts, but as stated earlier, I am of the not-so-much variety. Several possibilities popped into my mind:
  1. It was simply caught on the slippers pulled out that morning and dropped off after Mom made her way out of the room
  2. Static Cling
  3. The cat (Roadkill) decided she wanted to play with the garishly colored yarn-type item
  4. Or any other number of reasonable, every day explanations...
Mom was adamant. "No!" she cried. "They are on the bottom. There are four other pairs of slippers on top of them. There is no reasonable explanation for how they got all the way over there from the bottom of the basket."

Trust me, things almost got heated.

Dad doesn't say much. He does have to live with her, after all. :D I explained how, why I thought it was a possibility that some spectral form from the past of the living had taken quite a shine to Grandmom's slippers, the number of rational possibilities were not only as equally possible as the ghost theory, the ghost theory was not as plausible as other explanations were.

She asked me what those explanations were. I said them. She repeated her "bottom of the basket" scenario. We went in circles for quite some time. We were actually discussing the Slipper Incident at the family Christmas get-together, and I threw at her an equally possible explanation (though just as nearly improbable) as her ghost theory: worm holes. A worm hole opened on the bottom of the basket, and reopened five feet away in her bedroom.

I'm still not sure why she'll accept ghosts, but not a worm hole...

She still thinks I just need a good haunting...

I'm staring down the barrel of thirty-one. My mother thinks all I need is a ghost. I'm wondering if it's returnable, as it certainly wasn't on my wish list for my birthday...

She made me watch some Discovery TV show called "A Haunting," which was really just a story about a woman having a nervous psychosomatic breakdown after a break up with a boyfriend--and obssesses over her ex-boyfreinds dead brothers' picture... so much so that her young, impressionable daughters start seeing ghosts... and she "finds out" through some type of medium that not only is her ex-boyfriends dead brother hanging around, he thinks she's "the light" that all ghosts are supposed to go toward, but interstingly enough, he is also being used by another ex-boyfriends ghost from a past life who killed her and wants to see her suffer in this life... And while I was laughing uproariously at the silliness of it all, I know my mother thinks this stuff is true...

This falls under the category of "I Do Not Understand, But I Love You Regardless of Your Life Choices." This is the same category she places my gayness in, so it's kind of a nice balance...


15 comments:

Sylvia said...

LOL LOL LOL LOL (that was me laughing hyserically at your post)...always a joy to read your sarcasm...
Anywho, I've interacted with which cannot be explained away by rationalism. So, I don't throw mom's story about the slippers in the trash, right away.
However, being that I may be more openminded than you, I can certainly see your arguments as well.
Thanks for the post on myspace! I love you too!
Sylvia
ps, school will be fine, I just so ANNOYED by some of the things that are said in the classroom. I'll get over it

FCSuper said...

Yeah, spirits interacting with us in our daily lives isn't so fantastical, though for myself, I would look to verifiable causes first. I know objects can move by unseen will, because I've watched it with my own eyes (see one of my posted ghost stories on my blog). BTW, yes, this means my blog is back up, finally! Thanks for being the one guy that didn't immediately dump me from your blogroll ;)

Sylvia said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I love you and hope your day was relaxing!
love ya lots
Red

K said...

Interesting read... definitely entertaining.
Happy Birthday!

Darkmind said...

Zoinks, Jason!! I think we've got ourselves a mystery! By the way, Rappy Rirthday, Rason!

Jason Hughes said...

Thank you all for your B-day wishes!

And yes, my fellow meddling kids, we've got a real mystery here... LOL! Now, where's that damn dog?

mom said...

hello jason, you make my slipper thing so interesting! :) but it is a true story. when i start pulling in millions from discovery tv with this story and my many more will see who loves me than! :) i still say you need a good haunting! :) but you know your one of those men who will not even realize what you saw if you did get a good haunting!! :) :) love and prayers

mom said...

hello jason! you know when i start cleaning i think (even if the music i have on is loud and clear) and i was thinking why you think the lady that had that haunting is nuts? you know when i saw my ghost i was not in any way sad or nuts or for that matter i did not really feel anything except for trying to wonder what i was looking at and actually letting this ghost as i like to call it even float towards me and getting up to look at what i saw before it disappeared on my other ghost story. feeling a force twice on my chest as i walked through the doorway of this so called haunted place at TWO different times and feeling something very cold in a room at this other place. i was not nuts at any these places. you people that don't believe are limiting your brains i think. maybe this is why some of you people lack faith in God because you are trying so hard to explain everything you can't let yourself just believe some things can happen without science to back it all up. i know it is just my 2 cents but i really think i am on to something here. :) well, back to it. love and prayers

FCSuper said...

"mom", I agree with you to the extend that I do see people limiting themselves not just from experiencing things of this nature, but also from accepting what they do experience. But as for me, I don't look to a god to explain my experiences. For me, they are what they are. I don't try to explain them away, nor do I try to find meaning in them beyond what is called for by the experience itself.

Jason Hughes said...

I see what you, Mom, and FCsuper are saying; all I'm really trying to say is It doesn't necessarily have to be a ghost." I personally like having a logical reason for everything--of course, not everything does, and I accept that. I just hate jumping the gun and saying It must be ____" when in all actuality it could be blah, blah, or blah, or maybe none of them.

Could it have been a ghost? Sure, why not? But to assume it is sets the dangerous precedent, and that's all I'm trying to say...

Catch ya's later!

mom said...

hello everyone again! i think i know what you are all saying but i think sometimes when people can't believe in the supernatural or what ever you want to call it you have a harder time believing in God since He is something that you can't see. but this is getting deep and right now i don't really feel like getting into it all since i really don't care what you all think anyway. (i don't mean that the way it sounds) but for me it is much easier to talk one on one instead of writing. it takes to much time to type all my thoughts down and really i know what i believe and saw and can't help it that i am perfect on everything! :) :) :) snort! :) i really just like to talk and to read what jason writes since its interesting and enjoy reading the comments since some of you people seem like nice people even if you are not as perfect as me! (some more smiles and snorts) love and prayers

Jason Hughes said...

Yes, mom, you're perfect... :D

I'm Dolly Parton, too--bet ya didn't know that, eh? :D:D:D

FCSuper said...

"mom", I agree with you to the extend that I do see people limiting themselves not just from experiencing things of this nature, but also from accepting what they do experience. But as for me, I don't look to a god to explain my experiences. For me, they are what they are. I don't try to explain them away, nor do I try to find meaning in them beyond what is called for by the experience itself.

K said...

Interesting read... definitely entertaining.
Happy Birthday!

mom said...

hello jason, you make my slipper thing so interesting! :) but it is a true story. when i start pulling in millions from discovery tv with this story and my many more will see who loves me than! :) i still say you need a good haunting! :) but you know your one of those men who will not even realize what you saw if you did get a good haunting!! :) :) love and prayers