A Drum Roll, Please!
It was Saturday night, late –about 10:30 – and cold, bitterly cold with the temperatures hovering around zero and my granddaughter, Katie and I, were curled up and covered with a blanket or afghan and each of us reading a book. The only other member of the family at home was the cat, who does nothing but eat and sleep. The TV was on but neither of us was really watching it –just force of habit that I keep it on and tell time by it with an occasional glance in that direction.
Suddenly, the relative quiet was shattered with sounds coming from the sun porch. The children’s drum set there began to give out sounds in a perfect rhythm pattern.
Katie, who is 11, looked up at me with a half-scared, half-questioning look and we both cast our eyes in the direction of the sun porch, then back at each other. I shrugged my shoulders and thought I would go back to reading but Katie was shaken and wanted to know what that sound had been.
So, being the adult and supposedly brave –all that stuff – I went to the doorway between the sun porch and dining room, parting the curtains hung there to try to keep the icy drafts from that particular fuel oil money pit of the house from the warmth of the living room and looked around. Nothing was out of place, no one or no animal was present in the sun porch and I returned to my spot on the sofa.
Katie though I should explain is a bit on the superstitious side, probably has to do with her age and she believes in things like ghosts, apparitions, interpretations of dreams and nightmares, things like that and as I started to sit down, she spoke to me in very, very hushed tones.
“I think your Mother’s here!” She said in a voice barely above a whisper. (My Mother died 23 years ago.)
I just laughed at her.
Then she asked me if anyone had ever died in this house and I explained, quite matter of factly, that yes, both my grandparents had passed away in this house. It had been their family home and I explained to her that was a very normal thing and nothing to cause concern.
Although Katie was somewhat satisfied with my answer and went back to reading for a little longer, when she decided shortly thereafter to go to bed, I knew she was still just a trifle unsettled over what we had heard but was trying to accept my explanation, which was that I had no explanation. Sometimes old houses just make noises for no reason whatsoever.
About 1:30 a.m., my daughter arrived home from work but strangely enough, she didn’t come running straight into the house, as is her normal pattern. When she did come in, she was fuming. Visibly upset, she began ranting to me that the house had been paintballed.
I had heard of this type of thing happening around the area but my reaction to her announcement must have made her think I didn’t believe her and she insisted I put my shoes on and go outside to see for myself. Which I did.
Sure enough, there splashed all over the siding and windows in the sun porch where huge splotches of purple, hot pink and even a couple traces here and there of an orange hue.
As I came back inside, I remarked to my daughter that I thought this answered the question about the ghost’s appearance earlier that evening.
Now it was her turn to be puzzled. I casually explained what noises we had heard, my thorough investigation of that and Katie’s responses. Mandy and I both had a good chuckle over Katie’s comments.
However, Mandy, still up in arms, called the local police to report this incident and about 2 a.m., the officer on duty from the local police force showed up to take a report and do a little on-scene investigation.
He told us he had found some tracks in the snow and that he believed whoever had done this had been on foot. He also told us he had a good idea too who was responsible and said normally, this stuff washes off fairly easily but considering the weather conditions and extreme cold, he wasn’t sure if it would stain the siding or not.
Proving the suspected person had done this would be difficult but a few days into the next week, Katie overheard some kids on the school bus talking about this and one of the kids had commented that he had paintballed our house. She came home and reported this to me and well as stating quite vehemently that she hoped that person would be forced to come here and scrub all that paint off the siding and windows too.
And now, having informed the officer of what she overheard, we are just waiting for him to resolve the case in the near future.
However, there is a part of me that still wonders about how this created the perfect rhythm Katie and I heard on the drum set that night. I have, in the past, often blamed things that went wrong here, breakdowns that happened to things in the house, on my Mother by saying she was just trying to get even with me for real or imagined past sins I had committed.
Now I was kind of wondering too if maybe she did have a part in this and was showing us just a touch of her musical side but I had never known her to play the drums!