When I was in college my parents paid for my tuition and kindly boarded me at home.  I had to find a way to pay for gas, books, and (what I considered) luxury items.  So, as many college kids do, I found a variety of jobs to keep the fundage up.  One of my very favorite jobs and one where I learned a lot about life was working for a friend that owned a florist and doing some on the side babysitting for her.

She lived in a pretty little house that had been added on to several times but the main part of the house was built before the Unfortunate Northern Aggression (also known as the Civil War).  The kitchen and bedrooms were all in the old part of the house and the family room was the largest part of the addition downstairs.  The area where I grew up and where the house was located were on the path where Sheridan did a similar scorched earth policy as Sherman did in Georgia.

After I had gotten the children to bed the first time I sat for my friend I settled down to watch tv.  I noticed a dark spot that seemed to move around in the hallway but just assumed that it was caused by car lights passing by.  One evening my friend and I watched Thelma and Louise (not sure why I remember the exact movie) late into the evening and I noticed the same spot but still didn’t think about it.

After I had been in her house more than a few times and had noticed some strange things (the smell of bacon frying and bread baking when the kitchen was stone cold)  I asked about the dark spot in the hall.  My friend and her husband laughed and said, “Oh, you’ve met the ghost too.”  That evening they showed me some of the treasures that had been found in the walls during the remodel and some of the things they had found over the years they had lived on the property.  One was a parrot ball that was found in the wall. I’m not too sure exactly what size weapon would have been needed to fire it but it was about the size of a pingpong ball.

The next time I stayed at their house with the kids I tried to watch for “the ghost” at first.  If I looked directly out into the hall I didn’t see “the ghost”  but if I looked at the hall out of the corner of my eye I could see “it” really well.

“It” was the shape of a woman wearing an old fashioned dress (not hoop style but work/farm style).  She was moving from the front of the house to the back of the house as if she were watching for something out the windows.  She never came into the room with me and when I would go into the hall she was not there!

I often wonder if the ghost was the lady of the house and was struck down by the parrot ball from the wall.  Maybe she paces the hall waiting for her true love to return or watching for Union soldiers or Confederate marauders.  I can make up any number of stories to go along with the hard evidence and the emotional bits and pieces.  Most of them romantic and silly but really I just love the idea that this woman was watching over my friend and her family in the time they lived there!

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