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Archive for October 2nd, 2008

I went into the Vice Presidential debate tonight anticipating my own “cringe factor.” I was willing to grant Gov. Palin the use of three “mavericks,” but was hoping for two. Her use of that word was like a gas pain. I could feel it coming up my esophagus before she said it each time. One—two—oh no—three. “That’s it,” I yelled, “that’s your allotment, Sarah.” Four—-five! Then a respite. I relaxed into the couch cushion, hoping against hope the barrage was over. SIX! Apparently that was all Joe Biden could take, too. He lit into her portrayal of John McCain as a, well-you-know. One, two, three, four, five, six, SEVEN! OMG Biden used the term one more time than Palin. Thank God I’m not a betting person.

 

But was Biden calling Palin on use of “maverick” just a bit cathartic? You betcha.

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Second Floor Porch

Second Floor Porch

Second Story Landing-Sightings Scene
Second Story Landing-Sightings Scene

 

Purloined Pillow

Purloined Pillow

As promised, here is my account from a recent trip to St. Augustine, Florida, of unexplained happenings in Anna’s Room at the St. Francis Inn, called by some, the most haunted house in the country’s most haunted city.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We were being given the key to Anna’s room at the St. Francis Inn after checking in.

 

“Oh, by the way, Kelli,” I asked the innkeeper, “there haven’t been any ghost sightings in our room, have there?”

 

“As a matter of fact,” Kelli said, “most of them. Anna’s room is just below Lily’s Room. She does mostly playful things, like slam the phone down hard while a guest was sleeping, moving things, nothing harmful.”

 

I swallowed, turned and started up the stairs.

 

I’ve read about incidents at the inn and know that several ghost hunters have visited and reported happenings indicating multiple resident spirits. Marlene Blanchard, an investigator with Left Field Paranormal Studies & Investigations, conducted several studies of paranormal activity at St. Francis Inn, with positive results including visual phenomena recorded on video, according to the Inn website http://www.stfrancisinn.com/ghosts.html. A small part of me wanted to experience them, and a big part of me didn’t. Nevertheless, I may have.

 

A nice shower before dinner was what I needed to rejuvenate me. This is an over two hundred year old house and the bathroom is very small, too small for my duffle bag with toiletries. I sat the bag on the floor outside the door after removing what I needed, then closed  it. The unexplained happened when I tried to exit. I pushed on the door and felt pressure from the other side. I pushed harder and it opened a couple of inches and stopped. I pushed again and it didn’t budge. Through the crack I could see my husband fiddling with his key as he came back in from outside.

 

“I can’t get out!” I yelled, and pushed again and again. Finally the door opened and I could see the duffle bag wedged against it. I started rapid fire telling Jerry what just happened—and I quickly stepped out of the bathroom.

 

Going over the incident, the bag was on the floor when I opened the door wide enough to enter. No one was in the room but me. Jerry was down in the courtyard. If it had been against the door before I would not have been able to slip through. So I don’t know how the bag came to rest against the door and wedge me in. Lily, I decided. It had to be Lily.

 

The white, French phone was on a stand by my head and I fully expected it to crash into the cradle sometime during the night. Perhaps my watchful eye periodically throughout the night quelled that little trick.

 

Or perhaps Lily likes to catch you off guard. Did she do that with the purloined pillow? The iron bed had a beautiful white, quilted spread with embroidery and matching pillow. It was only after we were home again that a nagging thought finally jelled. What happened to the pillow? I remember thinking the bed didn’t look as special the second day. The pillow! It hadn’t been there. I began to go through photographs to be certain it was there after the room was cleaned when I snapped pictures. It had been. So where did it go? Would they think we stole it? So I did a stupid thing and e-mailed Kelli. She checked and wrote back that indeed the pillow was on the bed right where it belonged. My husband had not touched it, the maid had finished, yet it had been gone. There are few hiding places. Lily? Who knows? Perhaps she and her lover who hanged himself in the attic enjoy pillow fights in the hereafter.

 

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