We sure could use some advice short of calling the Ghostbusters. Yes, the weirdness has reached that point for two sane people living ordinary lives on normally tranquil Bunn Avenue in Harrison.
First understand, we realize strange things occasionally occur that can't be rationally explained. But what about when they continue one after the other? At what point in a long and growing list does one rule out coincidence, chance and imagination?
I've written previously about the inexplicable occurrences we've witnessed inside our seemingly ordinary two-level home in the shadow of First United Methodist Church. But the occurrences have only amplified with each passing month to the point where today we just shrug and grin at the latest one.
For instance, Jeanetta removed her slippers beside the bed the other night, which was normal. However, the next morning, only one remained. She roamed the house looking for an hour. Nothing to be found. It had vanished. But how? Then, two mornings later when she awoke, both slippers were back beside the bed.
Not long afterward, she'd been sweeping the kitchen with a broom that had a dust pan attached to the handle. At one point the pan fell off, ending up on the tile floor directly behind her. She kept sweeping, planning to pick it up when she finished with the area. Yet when she turned to use it, there was no dust pan. Gone, as in poof!
But how the ding-dong could that be? She'd just dropped the pan on the floor two minutes earlier. Yet it remains missing a week later.
Just last night, she unplugged the Christmas lights in the living room as she always does before bed. The room went dark. But an hour later, she went back into the kitchen and was shocked to see the colorful lights had been plugged back in and were glowing brightly.
But wait. There's more.
While watching TV two months ago, a battery-operated lamp on a table beside us suddenly switched itself on. How could that be, since that requires an intentional act and its on/off switch on the bottom is encased in a small burlap sack? Jeanetta arose and removed the sack in order to switch it back off.
Within minutes, the two battery-operated pillar candles resting on each side of the fireplace switched on at precisely the same moment. All we could do was look at each other, then switch them back off.
Last year, she laid her earrings on the bedside table, as she did each night. The next morning, one was missing. She looked everywhere and finally found it in the bathroom. A short time later both earrings went missing from the bedside, only to be discovered weeks later on the fireplace mantle.
The Valentine's Day book of poetry with her name embossed on its cover that I'd given her as a gift for that special day was laying on the kitchen table. She'd placed it there, planning to take the book to a party so she could show friends. She forgot to get it as she left. On her return, the book was nowhere to be found.
That was almost two years ago, and it still is missing. In fact, I had to order a replacement.
My son Brandon and his daughter (my granddaughter) Elizabeth were asleep in the downstairs guest room when they both heard vague soft talking and movement in the den. Suddenly the room lights came on by themselves. Brandon turned them off and returned to bed.
The next morning, the pingpong net had been removed from its table, along with the screw-down metal anchors and everything placed on the floor.
A year ago, Jeanetta was reading in bed alone when she looked up to see a brown bird flying in slow, smooth circles above her. She knew how odd that was since birds trapped inside a house generally go wild flailing and looking for any means of escape. She watched as the bird gradually soared lower and lower until it was literally fluttering face to face with her.
At that moment, I entered the room and the bird made a swooping movement toward the bottom of the bed. She yelled that there was a bird in the room. We looked under, over and around the bed for several minutes. But there was nothing to be seen and hasn't been since.
At a party in the basement den, a female friend was looking over Jeanetta's shoulder and saw an unfamiliar older woman with pulled-back gray hair and who was "dressed in outdated clothes" come into view and walk into the nearby bathroom. Having never seen the lady before, she asked Jeanetta who the stranger was.
They both went into the bathroom and saw no one there.
Through all these mini-adventures, we've never felt threatened or fearful of whatever's at work here, even though it definitely feels like the force behind all this weirdness is focused on Jeanetta and her belongings, rather than me.
Oh well, I suppose we should just accept the inevitable, change the sheets in the guest room and remain hospitable hosts.
Mike Masterson is a longtime Arkansas journalist, was editor of three Arkansas dailies and headed the master's journalism program at Ohio State University. Email him at email@example.com.
Editorial on 12/17/2019