The Secret Life of Melanie O.
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
A Halloween ghost story
What's really great about this story that I'm about to relate, is that it is, for all intents and purposes, "true," to the best of my recollection, as it happened to me and my sons back in the late '80's. Looking back, I want to say we lived in a haunted house.

We (my husband at the time and I) bought our first house in a small central New York community, adjacent to a Native reservation. In fact, the community was built on what was well known to be "Indian land." The house was a Cape Cod style colonial with a large upstairs room and dormer windows. The heating was ancient as was the plumbing, but it was our first house, and we were excited to have purchased it.

The "happenings" began soon after we moved in. I often heard conversations occurring, which I sensed originated in the living room. I would hear them as I was waking up after working the night shift. The conversations were just barely audible and I couldn't make out any of the words - but I could sense emotions. It sounded like someone was angry. My first reaction was to be annoyed with my sons. They had the television on too loud and I got up to ask them to turn the TV down.

Imagine how I felt when I walked into an empty living room! My sons were out with their father and the house had been empty for hours. This happened on more than one occasion.

One night, two of my sons, who slept in the upstairs dormer, woke up simultaneously to see the broken arm of a rocking chair that their grandfather had made for them, moving up and down, as if someone was examining it. They then reported that they had seen a "mommy ghost and a baby ghost." It was the baby ghost who was playing with the arm of the chair.

When they told me about this the next day, I asked them why they didn't come down and get me, and they said that they had been too scared to get out of their beds. On subsequent days, I heard from my sons about people moving through the walls and waking them up. Then there was the oddest incident of all - the lightning.

I was in the living room with my kids and there was a cracker of a thunderstorm outside. The four of them were playing at the foot of the stairs when I called them to me. I don't know why I called them at that moment. I just knew I wanted them close to me. At that second, a streak of lightning shot in from the upstairs dormer window, travelled down the stairs at a slant, and then BOOM! It shot through the floor at the base of the stairs right where they had been playing. There was a huge reverberation of thunder in the house - ear splitting in fact, but no burn or anything left in the carpet.

I got deathly ill with pneumonia and pleurisy while living there. We left that house after living in it for only a couple of years. My husband and I split up and I wonder sometimes if it had anything to do with the ill-will that the house engendered.

To this day, I've not heard those "conversations" ever again.

Listen to the audio [9 MBs]:

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posted by Melanie O. at 1:34 PM - 3 comments
Friday, October 26, 2007
The full moon
I don't know why it is, but the full moon seems to bring out the weirdness in the world. It's been a stressful week. I've lost server connection mapping, a friend seems to have had a personality change (I'm worried), and other friends have been sick, have job woes, etc. There've been several emergencies at work this morning that have had me and a few others scrambling around.

I think back on my history lessons and remember my ancestors, the Celts, used to live life by the phases of the moon. All the women were fertile at the same time. The extra light at night made people restless and they didn't sleep. Some became "lunatics."

I've got a bit of a love affair with the moon. I'm fascinated by its mystery and want to know what's on the "dark side." My grandfather used to have a telescope and would let us have a look every now and then. He had it rigged with a reflector so that we kids could see the spots on the sun without hurting our eyes. It was so interesting - even as a nine year old girl.

When I got older, I'd go to sky watch gatherings to see the Perseid meteor shower and to see Halley's Comet (which was pretty disappointing, to be honest. Hale-Bopp was better.) I still didn't own a telescope - I just used the club telescope for my 30 seconds of observation time.

When my grandfather died, my grandmother sold the telescope or gave it away. I wish she had given it to me. My eyes seem to be riveted on the night sky - especially out here in the country where you can see a million stars. I like to think that there are some answers out there - as to why we are so imperfect, and yet perfect at the same time.

And weird.

Listen to the audio [6 MB]

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posted by Melanie O. at 3:03 PM - 3 comments
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Haunted doll, part 2
Ooops... she did it again. Pivoted 90 degrees on top of the bookshelf to face the door. This time, I checked the door, it was locked, so now I'm wondering what's really going on.

I'm taking the scientific approach this time. I've moved my Indian Maiden doll to the top of a cabinet in another room, and the small statue of Horus, that was sitting there, has been moved to the spot on the bookcase.

I'm wondering if something else will happen now. I'm wagering on nothing happening, but if something does, you'll read about it here.


posted by Melanie O. at 8:47 PM - 4 comments
Sunday, October 14, 2007
Naked tea
Dan decided yesterday, to walk around the house au naturelle. He doesn't usually do this in case a neighbor stops in, and mainly, because it's just too cold up here in the highlands.

He then decided to make us both a cup of tea. Upon presenting the said cup of tea to me, he remarked "I bet you don't get this every day."

"No, but I'd like to," I said.

Upon which he laughed and spilled hot tea on himself.

I bet I never get naked tea again.


posted by Melanie O. at 11:12 AM - 3 comments
Monday, October 08, 2007
The Long-suffering Wives Club
Dan and I went to a 7 1/4 inch gauge railway, which, unless you are into model trains, really means nothing. What it means to me, as a trainlover lover, is that there are trains big enough for large grown men, like my husband, to ride.

Dan's never really gotten over leaving the railroad. He used to be a driver, but now just models trains and can't make up his mind over which gauge to stick with. He's started planning an HO railway, modelled after the one in The Railway Children; a garden railway; and has been building a 5 inch gauge engine for the past four years. Yesterday, after our visit to the 7 1/4 inch gauge railway, he's talking about selling the 5 inch model and moving up to the bigger one. I dread the day we visit a 10 inch gauge railway.

All of this train obsession leaves me on the sidelines as merely the patient wife, and I find that I'm not alone. We went yesterday with some of Dan's friends. The husband drives a train. His wife and I joked about our men and their obsession. After an hour of riding around on trains, the women were ready to go home, but instead, we took a break and headed into town for lunch. When we got back, I saw another woman that I knew, whose husband is also into large gauge model railways. She has three sons and is also a train widow.

The three of us found a picnic table and battled black flies all afternoon while our husbands and sons took turns driving model diesel engines around a track that covers several acres of land. We joked about our husbands and sons and how much they love the trains. Our men can talk about it for hours. Dan can tell me about every colour scheme in every railway in the Western world (and some that are not in the Western world.) He can tell me about torque, traction, and curve ratios and why you can't go too fast on one of these trains, unless you want to wind up in the bushes. My mind tends to zone out at these times, but I don't interrupt because Dan's going to say what he wants to say, whether or not anyone's listening. Better to let him just get it out.

It's actually really nice that the land owner opens his track to the public once a month. The attraction draws people of all ages - from couples with little toddlers, to teens and retirees. Everyone seems to love trains.

Secretly, I love riding around on the trains, too, but don't tell Dan. Next thing you know, he'll be wanting to get one for me, as well. And then I'll have to resign from the club.

Listen to the audio [8 MB]

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posted by Melanie O. at 8:15 AM - 6 comments
Thursday, October 04, 2007
Birthday present
Dan got me this for my birthday. It's definitely "me." I love Chanel-style bags with chain straps. This one might become an all-time favorite.

I'm definitely addicted.

P.S. To my friends who have abandoned their blogs - I hope you start a new one soon!
posted by Melanie O. at 8:16 PM - 4 comments
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
A haunted doll...
Dolls have captured the imaginations of little girls the world over for centuries - possibly millennia. Every little girl I know (and some big ones as well,) has at least one doll to play with. This tale is about a doll that I own - a doll that I bought on the Cherokee reservation a year or so ago. I fell in love with her costume and the fact that my mother was given a similar Native American doll by my father a long time ago.

My doll doesn't have a name. I don't really play with her. She is just a kind of silent sentry in our house. She's not very big, but she is endearing and her eyes close if you lay her down. She sits on top of a narrow bookcase that used to be in our kitchen, but we have since moved her to the hallway, along with her entourage: a couple of musical snow globes, some English knights, some photos in frames and an oil burner.

I set her up so that she would face into the hallway so that I could see her beautiful little face as I walk by, but a couple of weeks ago, I noticed that she was facing the front door. I wondered who had turned her, but shrugged my shoulders and turned her back to face out into the hallway.

Last week, I noticed that she was facing the front door again. So, intrigued, I turned her back to face the hallway again - a full 90 degrees. I asked a few friends about it - did they think my doll was "haunted?" I got varying responses.

One woman said that the doll might have a cling-on, in other words, a spirit that likes the doll and wants to play with it. Another said that maybe 'someone' was trying to tell me something about the front door.

I listened to this last advice and checked the front door of the house. Sure enough - it was unlocked. I don't know how many days it had gone unlocked like that. But I locked the door after I discovered it.

I still don't know if there's anything to it - but it makes a good tale for the start of October. And just to be on the safe side, I announced that I was happy to share my little Native American doll - with whomever wanted to play with her.

Listen to the audio [7 MB]


posted by Melanie O. at 3:39 PM - 3 comments

About Me
Name: Melanie O.
Home: Durham, North Carolina, United States
About Me: Female, American health and beauty-conscious professional who has rekindled a childhood love of dolls.
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