THE HAUNTING

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There is a house down by the bay,
that even by the light of day,
it is a frightening sight.
With the shutters falling down,
the tall grass turning brown,
to the neighbors, it is a blight.

I have heard rumors for years,
that in some – put fears,
that this house had a haunt.
How easily I thought,
some people are overwrought,
but I would not be daunt.

What could make me flee,
I just had to see,
being the fool that I am.
That night I set out,
to see what the mystery was about,
unknowingly, I became the lamb.

The hour was late,
as I passed through the gate,
moonlight had already struck the moist ground.
From the window by the tree,
something was watching me,
unaware, I heard not a sound.

The gate closed with a creak,
my knees became weak,
the muscles in my stomach taut.
To the porch I stumbled,
“Don’t be craven”, I mumbled,
my courage I desperately sought.

I wanted to turn and run,
not finish what I had begun,
I felt compelled to run and hide.
Too late for these thoughts,
as the door handle I caught,
I forced myself inside.

Surveying the hall,
a large portrait on one wall,
a chair covered with a sheet.
In the middle of the room.
a winding staircase loomed,
the air smelled of bittersweet.

I stepped on the first stair,
brushing cobwebs from my hair,
the wood gave way to my weight.
Through my leg the pain shot,
a gasp in my throat caught,
my mind contemplated my fate.

A minor scrape to the knee,
I pulled myself free,
and fell back on the floor.
Then a chill passed by,
and I heard a cry,
faintly, from behind the far door.

“Who is there?” I said,
not using my head,
but then, came a reply.
“Your soul is lost I fear,
why did you come here?”
the voice said with a sigh.

“This house will never let you leave,
your lives shall weave,
the two of you will become as one.
There will be a day,
when comes yet another prey,
and still, it will not be done.”

“Why do you tell me this!”
I screamed with a hiss,
“Why are you lying to me?”
“What I say is true,
and I pity you,
because soon you will be like me.”

Forever roaming these halls,
no one hearing your calls,
none but the foolish dare to come near.
You should have listened to those afraid,
your future you made,
the moment you entered in here.”

Ignoring the lies,
I wiped my eyes,
and struggled to my feet.
Pulling at the door knob,
holding back a sob,
refusing to admit defeat.

To the window I went,
my energy nearly spent,
but the glass just wouldn’t break.
I slid to the floor,
the tears began to pour,
from this nightmare I wanted to wake.

So the stories were true,
why didn’t I listen to,
what the wise elders had to say.
I came to explore,
now I am trapped ever more,
in the house down by the bay.

 

Flowers of a Different Color

Image Daisies up on the wet, foggy Mountain.

Green Thumb

My mom could grow anything, whether it was in the flower bed or in the vegetable garden. She had everything from African Violets to Zinnias. Her flower beds were a glorious bouquet every year. One year she went crazy on zucchini. We had zucchini stew, zucchini bread, fried zucchini, every thing that year had a zucchini in it somewhere. I have not eaten a zucchini since. After she passed away we discovered we still had jars of zucchini in the basement and she only grew them that one year! The next year was cucumbers. Now sweet pickles, especially bread and butter pickles I can eat till the cows come home. This hub is about flowers, not my moms flowers because I didn’t have a good camera back then.

I lived in a basement apartment of an old house for just short of a year. Always cold, but that is another story. Jim, who was my landlord loves flowers and he had the yard to prove it. From the first tulips in the spring to well into fall, there was always something blooming in his yard. Most of these photos come from his yard.

Misc.

These are flowers that I didn’t have enough to put in their own group or I wasn’t sure what they were. I marked the ones that weren’t taken at my apartment.

Lilies!

I love day lilies and Jim had so many varieties I couldn’t put them all here. I think I took a photo everyday from spring to fall. You should see my photo files on flowers. Huge! There is a day lily nursery south of here about forty miles I plan to go to. I think they are cheery and so bloomy. Yes I know that isn’t a real word, but it fits.

Daisies

Daisies are another cheerful flower and they are found most anywhere.

Iris

As long as I can remember, my mom had always had tiger lilies, roses and iris’s in the yard wherever we lived. Iris’s are hard to kill. One time we were going to transplant some and my brother sat them down by the back porch steps and then promptly forgot about them. They took root there and did very well even though the soil was mostly rock. My mom used to go to an Iris farm somewhere in Iowa to get her hybrid Iris’s. They were gorgeous with huge blooms. I even did a painting of one of her favorites.

Roses

My mom had an on-going love affair with roses all her life. She had climbing roses that grew right beside the front porch on a trellis and when I was a kid, I was always getting tangled in them when I went running out the door. Roses were the only flower that she seemed to have trouble growing. But she tried, year after year. They didn’t die and I thought they were pretty, but she felt that they just weren’t up to her standard of growing.
My mom knew every name of every plant in her yard. I just don’t retain stuff like that. You would think that I would have since I did much of the digging to plant those plants.
These photos are all of Jim’s roses.  He would have liked my mom, they would have been two peas in a pod.

My Kingdom for a Horse

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Murphy’s Law

I love horses.  I always have.  At fifty nine I still have hopes of owning one someday.  Although I have been bucked off, shoved off and fallen off in every way imaginable.

When I was fifteen I was riding a pony next to where we live.  No bridle, no saddle and the mane had been cut off, but it was fun.  Yes, it was fun right up to when the neighbor boy came over and started  throwing walnuts at me and the pony.  Well, as you may have guessed, the pony did not take kindly to this and started bucking and running. I came off the back side grabbing for anything to break my fall.  Murphy’s law came into affect about now.  I had latched onto a barbed wire fence.   I was half on the pony, half off, so I ended up being drug down a whole stretch. It happened so fast I didn’t realize it until after I landed.  I got up, my hands all bloody, my back bloodied from the rock I landed on, and the breath knocked out of me.  What did the boy next door do?  Ran home, never said a word.

If that couldn’t break my love for equines, then nothing will.  I drive all over the country side taking photographs, I cannot and will not pass up a horse.  Even if there is really so place to pull over.  Thank goodness there isn’t much traffic in the country.  I have lost shots while finding a safe place to park, then walking back.

White County Fair

My grandsons and I went down to Sparta for the White County Fair. After I pried them away from the rides and the food stands we went to look at the animals. Most of the animals were already gone but we were lucky enough to be there right before a final horse show that was scheduled.

The horses were beautiful, all prettied up for the show.

A Shelter for Horses

These photographs were taken at a rescue shelter for Palomino horses. That is what the sign said, but in reality these ladies would take in any kind of horse, cow, pigs, cats; and dogs. I saw all of these somewhere on the farm. Unlike the horses we saw at the fair, all the horses and other large animals had suffered physical abuse in some way. Many still bore the scars. The smaller pet type animals were abandoned, starved or whatever and found their way here.

Sadly this place no longer exists. They ran out of money and had to close down. I am assuming that is what happened. The woman running the place talked with me and told me they were running out of funds. It takes time and a lot of money to heal a wounded horse. This woman and her daughter healed not only Its body but its soul as well before finding a caring home for each. I applaud them and others who take on this kind of thankless work.

I drove by one day and they were just gone. I don’t know where the animals went, I hope to some place as caring as this shelter. It saddened me. It was one of the few times in my life I wished I was money rich.

Country Horses off the Beaten Path

  This last group are horses, that if they lived closer to the city, I would have caused traffic problems trying to get a photograph.  Some would come up to the fence, some wouldn’t.  Every horse has its own personality just like any animal.  They can be patient, gentle, kind, loving or mean, biting, fearful and down right nasty.  If a horse does not want you on its back, it can usually find some way to get you off.  That is why you have to choose the right horse for you.  If you can’t handle a spirited horse, both of you can get hurt.

Someday I will have one of my own.

All photographs and writing in this post belongs to Maureen C. Langford, do not use in any form without permission.

One Christmas Eve (story poem)

Winter Moon

The wipers beat hypnotically,

matching the song on the radio.

He was lost, he knew it,

on a lonely country road in the snow.

He thought about pulling off the road

and waiting until the morning light.

But with it being Christmas Eve,

he wished to be home this night.

 

Suddenly the car swerved sideways

and slid helplessly off the road,

Coming to rest against an evergreen tree

causing the limbs to release their load.

He sat there shivering,

lost in thoughts of his family.

When a tapping at his window

brought him back to reality.

 

David peered through the glass,

Beside the car an old farmer stood.

He was well over six feet tall,

gray hair escaping from under his hood.

“Are ya hurt?” the old man asked,

David shook his head no.

A smile broke across the rugged face,

“Come on then, let’s get out of this snow.

 

The old man held out his hand. “Ethan Todd,

My place is back here a ways.

It’s not much,

But it keeps me and the missus warm most days.”

David was startled,

How strange he have not seen this place as he drove by?

Candles lit every window, luminaries on the porch,

Unknowingly he gave a sigh.

 

“Pretty isn’t it?

Mother and I like to dress it up for Christmas.

But… the townsfolk think we’re crazy,

going to all that fuss.”

As they entered the door, Ethan called out to his wife.

“Sarah, I found the poor soul.

Mother, this is….?”

David held out his hand, “David Cole.”

“Well David, have some tea,

while you two decide what to do.”

“If I could just use your phone…”

“We got no phone, would you like some stew?”

That was when David realized,

this home was very unique.

It reminded him of his Grandmas place,

every item was an antique.

“No, thank you, I need to get home,

My family must be worried about me.”

“I’ll take you to town in the sleigh, Ethan offered,

while I hitch it up, warm up with some tea.”

About half an hour later Ethan returned.

“She’s all ready to go.”

David thanked Sarah for the tea and stew

and they went back out into the snow.

The ride into town seemed short,

Ethan told stories of him and his wife.

When they finally reached the outskirts,

David felt as if he had known them all his life.

David eased himself down from the seat.

“Thanks again Ethan, I’ll try to bring my family out.”

“Sure, David, we’re here every Christmas Eve.”

The old man said as he brought the sleigh about.

What an odd thing to say, David thought,

As he watched the sleigh disappear in to the night.

After it was gone he walked toward the garage,

In the foggy snow, a muted light.

“Where is your car?” The mechanic asked.

“Out by the Todd farm, near the old highway.”

“Did cha walk all the way to town?”

“No, Mr. Todd brought me in on his sleigh.”

“Todd…..Ethan Todd?”

“Yes, do you know him?” David smiled.

“I know of him, but I’ve never actually seen him!”

his voice as excited as a child.

“Why is that so strange” David asked.

“Ethan and Sarah Todd died over a hundred years ago!”

The mechanic then related the story,

about another Christmas Eve, another Christmas snow.

“They loved decoratin’ with candles,” he continued.

“Yes, I saw them,” David murmured.

“Their house caught on fire, unfortunately they were inside…”

He went on but David didn’t hear another word.

Later, while the tow truck hooked up his car,

David walked beyond to where he had been earlier that night.

Now, what used to be a house, stood a lonely fire place.

he wondered how often the past and present unite.

He had been part of a miracle,

without Ethan, he might have died where his car set.

He couldn’t wait to get home to share,

this is one Christmas Eve he’d never forget.

He stood there a few more moments,

but before turning to leave,

“I’ll be back Ethan and Sarah Todd, he promised,

next Christmas Eve.”