This old house   2 comments


This old house

“Kelly, I want you to do a cover story on that old homestead over in Plymouth.” Shauna said.

“That old house? It’s barely standing. No one wants to touch it, not even a real estate developer to determine the property’s worth or potential. They claim there is something strange about it. An old man who looked after the adjoining properties around there lived in it.”

“Yes, the caretaker. But, he died years ago, a very old man. But, there is no death record on him.”

“And his spirit still lurks around the old grounds. That’s what the real estate office says.”

“Well, you said you loved doing stories on places where things happened.” Shauna said, smiling.

Land deeds, surveys, property listings, documents of all kinds were spread across an old map table at the county courthouse. What looked like tea stain marks and scrawled signatures merged together making things nearly illegible.

The house was over a hundred years old. Records showed inhabitants from nearby properties were descendents from the original settlers.

With my camera, door key and copy of the records I approached the house, cautiously.

Tree roots grew up between rotted floor boards exposing earth and weeds, causing the entire floor to buckle in places. I hope I don’t fall through the floor to some gaping hole beneath. Paint was chipped and peeling from walls to ceiling where spiders weaved thick webs for their occupants still moving about. Windows were broken where the ground had shifted under the foundation.

A lone bulb dangled loose from a string of wires suspended just above me as I heard the patter and gnawing of rats or mice in the attic. I hate spiders, detest mice and freak out at the sight of rats.

The ceiling did not look any more stable than the floor looking like it could collapse any moment. I pulled out my flashlight. The descending sun cast shadows across things inside giving it an eerie glow. The furnishings were sparse, all of them looking like ancient pieces from a bygone era. Old, yellowed newspapers with dates so far back… Impossible! Beside them lay recent newspapers, some even with my stories in them. How can that be?

I quickly propped up my flashlight and began going through the pile. There was a scrolled up piece of parchment; a draft… Mayflower Compact?!

Floor boards creaked under heavy steps. The door was pushed open. I jumped, grabbing my flashlight and held it tightly in my raised hand; my ‘weapon’ ready.

“Oh, miss. I’m happy to find you. I read your stories in the Plymouth Sentinel. You tell a good tale. Will you write ours, about our crossing on the Mayflower? Oh, I’m sorry. I haven’t properly introduced myself. I’m William Bradford, governor of Plymouth Colony.”

 ________________

Footnotes: This is a story of fiction, but the real story about William Bradford, the Plymouth Colony governor can be found  here   The above photo is one I took from the road we traveled while on a trip back to New England and Nova Scotia years ago. This old house caught me eye, and I had to stop and get a picture of it. I don’t think anyone was living in it at the time. I love taking pictures of old homes, historic buildings and churches and try to find some history on the area wherever we travel, so thought it would be a great photo prompt for this story.

Happy Halloween :)

Joyce E. Johnson (2014)

Reflecting back, looking towards and everything in between   2 comments

When I recently viewed a CD of pictures saved from a trip to the northeast many years ago, the memories of places we saw, places we visited in the New England states, and Nova Scotia were fresh again as if happening yesterday. The images in my head could recall details not recorded or seen in the photo, and I relived the trip all over again.

Sometimes when I look back through the years, reflecting on times past I will choose to live in the moment even if short-lived and am thankful that the image, the memory and the moment can be remembered with such clarity. They are good and happy times I like to revisit via my memories and photo albums. Yet, we cannot constantly dwell on our past, only live in the present doing what is important today, and look towards tomorrow with a new anticipation.

Recently  there have been new opportunities and areas of service in which God has given new direction for me and my husband in opportunities through our home church. One of those is with elderly people (older than us –  :) ) patients, some who suffer with Alzheimer’s and Dementia in nursing homes, rehab centers and assisted living home centers where we have been given opportunities to visit, one on one, or doing chapel services for their center. But, more often it just means sitting down with one who is in a wheelchair, or sitting on the edge of their bed visiting, and sharing time with them, letting them reminisce  (when they can remember) about their youth, their past occupation, or places lived. The window of opportunity for them to remember anything is short. For some, they cannot remember at all, and will repeat question after question to us, like asking us again our name and who we are. Their image or memory of things or people is not always clear, but we have made a connection and they are happy, even if it is for a little while. And for us? We walk away feeling blessed, our lives richer for having found meaning in knowing these people.

Looking towards our future? Opportunities will still come, for us all, as long as we have breath. I believe that. And, we hope that we will never suffer the way some have, or go through some of the things they have experienced. One can only take one day at a time, and pray and hope each day and every day in between the past and the future are directed by Him, and we are listening.

________________

Joyce E. Johnson (2014)

Posted October 24, 2014 by Joyce in blogging, Faith, Memories, my musings

Tagged with , , , ,

Trees in transition   Leave a comment

084 (2)

Trees in transition,

leaves turning; autumn jewels

gold, red and amber

a profusion of color

bursts forth in rich foliage hues

_______________

Joyce E. Johnson (2014)


Not a tech savvy nerd, but…   4 comments

At least I am getting to know my way around Windows 8 on my new Dell desktop computer. It has a lot of cool stuff, a lot of apps I won’t probably use, more than I need, but a lot of things that will make my writing, and exploring more fun. I love the fact that it is WiFi compatible, equipped with twice the size of memory and hard disk my old desktop had and keeps up with the current new perks. Although the newer PCs have the ‘all in one’ with computer disk drives built into the monitor, I did choose to get a ‘tower’ again as I like having the disk drives separate from the monitor’s housing, and think it gives better performance and assurance to a longer life.   

On my old (8 years old) Gateway computer I had those weird little square computer faces (‘Snap’ pages?) on the screen looking back at me with what looked like a wagging tongue hanging out of its mouth, dilated eyes, and measles, was slow, sluggish, and would sometimes just shut down on a whim, even with the highest internet speed. But, surprisingly, my old computer refuses to die or retire altogether, so has been demoted or relegated to a lower position of ‘rank’ and was moved to our basement where it once again is connected, bringing up the games much to my husband’s satisfaction, and even brings in the internet, although slower with a little USB WiFi adapter. It is now all his to maintain, revive or resuscitate when needed. :)  

______________

Joyce E. Johnson (2014)

 

Posted October 9, 2014 by Joyce in My Writings

Tagged with , ,

When like David, I’m weak   6 comments

Lord, you know my plight and plea

You hear my every cry

You know where I am weak

in walking the path that you lead,

the one I know I must follow

to seek after alone your will.

Help me overcome

my insecurities lest I fall

to temptations on all sides

Give me strength, give me courage

to win the battles that will come

against my unseen enemies.

If there be doubt and fear that gains

a foothold to my soul

help me vanquish with quick defeat

those things that lurk inside of me.

________________

Joyce E. Johnson (2014)

Footnotes; My love for the book of Psalms in the Old Testament Bible written by David, King of Israel inspired the above poem. I love reading David’s writings, his Psalms of petition or prayers to God. He also wrote Psalms of Praise for the things God brought him through when he went through trying, difficult times. Even though there were many victories for David as he fought and killed the giant, Goliath, the Philistines, and won many battles of war for Israel  he also dealt with insecurities, doubt, fear, guilt, and remorse for sins he committed against God and man. But, always mindful of the greatness of God and His power David glorified the Lord with his writings of Psalms and praise. And the victories for the nation of Israel and its people continued. When I visited Israel in 2001 and toured that country our group was taken to David’s tomb and God’s anointing was on that place. It was a powerful moment, wonderful trip and the Psalms are today one of my favorite books to read.

Posted October 6, 2014 by Joyce in Faith, Inspirational Poems, My Writings, Poems, poetry

Tagged with , , , ,

A Colorado Autumn

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

For the sake of technical correctness

It came to my attention lately, quite by accident that I had a really messed up category listing with much or most of all my posts (poems, fiction and misc.) incorrectly categorized under, THE INFORMANT’S AGENDA  although I did have all of those previous posts under their proper category, i.e. poetry, fiction, etc. as well. Just how this happened I’m not sure, but am certain I did not intentionally mark them all that way. :)  I believe my ‘link category’ and my ‘category’ exchanged places somewhere, or I inadvertently created the beast myself by mistake. :) Regardless, I am now aware of the ‘category’ error on all those pasts posts and am correcting it as much as possible as I check each post in the past three years to ‘update’ all.

Because of that error when a reader would want to view the posts and chapters to my long novel length story, THE INFORMANT’S AGENDA  by using the category listing on the left they would get all of those posts labeled incorrectly coming up, so I am sure that created confusion or frustration for one wanting to read current posts or chapters of that story. And on that story I did some revising, re-editing and re-organized the order of posted chapters.  But, the easiest and best way to pull up the chapters on that story is to go up to the ‘menu’ selection at the top of the screen, and come down to each chapter one at a time to read or view where all chapters are current and properly displayed from chapters 1 to 24. A few of my misc. posts that were related to material used in my story chapters are also categorized with that link as they are bits and pieces used for a writing prompt or update sometime back. Anyway, I hope I have not confused anyone wanting to go back into my archives to look up a post (of poetry or any kind) or chapter to read.

To add to my problem I am dealing with a very old Gateway desktop about 8 years old. Remember those?  :) Even with the highest internet speed my old desktop is sluggish, very slow at loading and wants to die in its sleep. :) So, even though I have a newer HP laptop I like using the big clunky desktops for most typing, editing and posting jobs as it is a more comfortable keyboard. Besides, my husband likes my laptop for his games. So, I will be on the hunt for a good deal on a new desktop for myself, equipped with the latest. :)

Thank you all for following, reading and commenting on my story, and reading my fiction, poetry and varied posts. It is all greatly appreciated.

____________________

Joyce E. Johnson (2014)

 

Posted September 26, 2014 by Joyce in my musings, My Writings

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 384 other followers

%d bloggers like this: