Friday, October 27, 2006

On the Go

It has been a busy month. It took me two weeks to get all the leaves raked around the house, and the lawn looks nice. I had just finished raking the front lawn on the 11th when it snowed. We got about 3 inches over the next three days. Then, the sun came out and the snow all melted. I was able to go out and rake the back lawn.

Meanwhile, I still had the three bushels of apples to can, and on the 18th I went to Phillips and picked up the fruit order from the 4-H truck sale. So I put up all the fruit, deciding to can most of it because Tom worries he won't have any freezer space should he get his monster buck if I put the fruit in the freezer, and then I made 5 gallons of sauerkraut and have that fermenting in the crock out in the mud room. We have plenty of jam, applesauce, and fruit for baking to last us all winter now.

I am working on some knitted dolls to sell at the last Farmers Market next year. The last Farmers Market coincides with Phillips Harvest Festival, and I think it would be a good time to have crafts on hand for early Christmas purchasing. I'm making my pioneer doll in different colors, and will design a boy doll to make a pair. I think I will knit the boy doll with either red or gray long johns, a pair of blue overalls, and some sort of neckerchief. I'm still thinking about whether or not to give him a hat of some sort.

What I need to do is sit down with all of my paperwork from the market garden, organize it, and go see an accountant to help me put it all in order. I want to make a decision regarding sending off for the organic certification pack from MOSA and formalizing the business beyond a d/b/a this winter.

I've also been working on my seed list for next year. I already received the 2007 FEDCO tree catalogue. I could buy all sorts of things from them, but I am going to stick with St. Lawrence Nursery because Bill MacKentley sells trees and shrubs grown for our Zone 3 climate. The trees I had that died, died because I didn't water them as I should have. I can't fault the nurseryman for my neglect. It was an expensive lesson and I won't make the same mistake again.

We also are dealing with the Iron County eminent domain road project that I expect to hamper me considerably next year. We just met with the engineer and found out that about 400 feet of my 10' tall fence is going to have to be moved out of the new right of way. At first we didn't think the fence would have to be moved, but after the survey crew came out and staked, it was easier to see how the new road is going to lay. Well, now I have to consider how I want to move the fence -- do it myself, hire someone, or have the County do it. I hate government.

Last Monday we all went to the court house in Hurley and had the guardianship petitions for Lara and Ed heard. Lara was a bit nervous, and Ed was wide-eyed but quiet. Thankfully, Judge Madden heard our cases a bit early and we were in and out quickly. Lara was happy to get home. Tom and Ed were glad to get out of their ties and suit clothes!

I have too much to get done today, but I do plan to add some more Halloween Tales to this blog before Halloween. You all take care, and I'll touch back here soon.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

October Tales

Well, the brilliant light of our recent full Hunters Moon and these October days when the leaves flee the trees to cover the ground and talk to me as I walk has me thinking about Halloween and strange but true stories, which stories are, in my estimation, the scariest stories. And so, let me share with you some of my real, true experiences -- things that have happened in my life that I cannot explain -- for your Halloween pleasure . . . .

The Balls of Light

The first home I remember was a second floor apartment in an old two-flat on Rockford Avenue in Forest Park, Illinois. One of my earliest memories is of being in my bedroom there and hearing someone calling me by name. I looked up and saw a shimmering lavender-pink-purple-gold ball of light hovering in the air near me. As I watched, other balls of light of similar and differing colors joined the first. The more the balls came together, the louder I heard my name called in my head. I knew somehow that these balls of light were "people", but I didn't know what they wanted from me. Finally, my name was being shouted so loud I clapped my hands over my ears and shouted "Stop it!" I went into the kitchen where my mother was and yelled at her, crying, "Tell those people to stop calling me!" I remember she gave me the most intense stare and I think it was because I was so little that she didn't know I could speak a sentence that long. I was very small at the time. I don't remember what happened after that, but I have seen similar balls of light over the years. When they touch me they feel soft, almost furry, and when I touch them, they give easily under my touch and feel -- I can only describe it -- like cold electricity.

Seeing Auras

I was rasied a Catholic. That is why, after I started school and could see colored light around people, I subsequently called the light "halos". I saw them around everybody. I could tell if a person was good or bad, happy, mean, sick or sad, or even tell how close to death he was, just by looking at their halo. In fact, I used to see the "halo" and not the physical features of the person; i.e., the person would be perceived as not having a face. Such physical detail seemed not as important as the "halo". I somehow knew that the physical body was heavier than the "halo".

One day at lunch recess I made a comment to another girl about how bright the "halo" was around one of the nuns, and the girl looked at me like I was crazy. She didn't know what I was talking about, and she couldn't see the halos. She laughed at me and told another girl what I said. This girl, too, could not see the "halos". I was surprised and realized then that not everyone could see what I could see. Their derision was painful, and I stopped talking about the halos.

Over time, it became harder and harder for me to see them. Now I know that what I saw was that person's aura. I have to make an effort of will if I want to see someone's aura these days, even though I have always been aware of the aura's presence around people because I can feel it if I am close enough to them.

The Corner of Belvidere and Dixon

When I was seven my family was able to buy an old Victorian house in another part of Forest Park and I was deemed old enough to walk to school in River Forest. I didn't like walking down Franklin Avenue to go to school because the workers at the meat packing plant there used to whistle at me. I used to cry because of it but my mother thought it funny and told me not to worry about it. So, I often walked the longer way which led me down Dixon Street to Lathrop Avenue. It was on this way that I had to pass the corner of Belvidere and Dixon. On this corner was a big, old gray house. This house always fascinated me because the shades were always down on the windows and I never ever saw who lived there. It was the kind of house a little imaginative kid like myself yearned to wander in and check out every nook and cranny. But as magical as the house, itself, appeared to me, the southeast corner outside that house -- and the corner across it to the South -- brought me only terror.

My first experience was odd enough. I used to pray as I walked to school -- so many steps to complete an Ave, so many for a Pater Noster. I never could see very well so when I walked I tended to watch the ground to keep from tripping and falling. As I crossed Belvidere I briefly looked up and spied a boy walking toward me. He seemed to come out of nowhere and I didn't know how I could have missed his presence before as he was already in the middle of the block and Dixon Street was very straight and narrow, being an old brick paved street. The boy was looking directly at me as he walked. I was a shy girl and my sisters and I had combed the neighborhood when we moved into our house looking for boys and girls to play with. Alas, we were surrounded by old people and had no one but ourselves to play with, so the first thing I thought when I saw this boy was that he was new to the neighborhood and a potential playmate. But, being shy, I was afraid to speak to him and determined that I would watch where he went and one day by happenstance see him at his house and invite him to ours. He seemed to smile as I thought this. Just as we met, I froze. I simply couldn't move my feet. I looked at him. He was a bit taller than I, very thin and pale. So pale, and his skin seemed like rice paper thin and very smooth. His hair was dark like mine but straight, and his eyes -- I've never seen such eyes since -- were deep and black as the darkest obsidian. You couldn't tell pupil from cornea. They were fathomless wells of black. He wore blue jeans and an over large blue flannel shirt. He held a red rose I hadn't noticed before. "Are you Catholic?" he asked me. "A convert!" I thought mindful of my Baltimore Catechism. "I'm a Roman Catholic," I specified. How was it I could hear nothing but his voice? The early morning sounds of rush hour traffic were silenced. "Will you say the Apostle's Creed for me?" he asked. So I did, slowly and clearly. "Thank you," he said, and suddenly I could move again. I took two steps, remembered what I had wanted to do, and felt brave enough instead to ask him to come and play. I whirled around -- but he was gone. Vanished. There was no way he could have gone into a house that quickly. And I never saw him again.

Often when strange things happen to me, I experience different sensations. Most often I hear a tone. I have learned that when I hear this tone, I stop whatever I am doing and focus on the moment. I don't go into an altered state or anything like that, but I become more aware. This is what would happen to me if I walked on the South corner of Belvidere and Dixon.

On several separate occasions I would hear the tone which would drown out the normal sounds of everyday life. I would look up and down the street before crossing, and there would come running around the corner from the end of the block by the playground, a pack of wild dogs running straight for me. These dogs would follow me for about a block, snapping at me and snarling, catching my clothes with their teeth, buffeting me but never bringing me down to the ground. I remember being so scared I could hardly breathe for my heart pounding. I couldn't even cry. And then they would just run away from me and disappear into thin air. Once a huge brown dog put his head on my shoulder while the others were particularly vicious. He wasn't mean like the others, but I was afraid of him, too. I can still feel his breath on my cheek. Sometimes I would close my eyes and just walk as straight as I could until they went away. I never panicked and ran though because I remembered my father telling me I needed to keep my head in scary situations. I don't know how many times that happened to me. And then suddenly it stopped.

As I grew older, I had no more "experiences" on the corner, but I always felt something there, like a disturbance in the air pressure. I wonder if that old house is still there.

I have more stories, but October is a long month . . . .
I have more tales