Only The Memories Remain


A friend of ours took a picture of our old homestead in SE Texas. (Thanks, Bob!)

Our old house has been demolished. The man who bought our property promised to build his wife a mansion.

Lumberton house, demolished

I was sad for only a split second. Had we stayed we would’ve demolished it too and built a newer, bigger house. But I won’t miss the high humidity and constant rain. Lumberton is semi-tropical. While it’s great for growing almost anything, the mosquitoes can drive you mad.

It was our first real homestead. 5.25 acres of 100 foot pines, and brush so thick I once got lost. We raised chickens, ducks, rabbits, pigs, rheas, and emus. Our dogs grew old and died there. A big chunk of our youth was there too.

Oddly enough, this is the second house we’ve owned that was demolished by the new owner. The other house that was demolished was a true shame. It was built in the early 1900s by an old sea captain.

It was a great house, complete with resident ghosts. Although I had never seen the ghosts, one of them was definitely feminine. She kept me company for all the years we lived there.

Many times when I’d be looking for a specific spoon or ingredient, I’d turn around and there it would be on the counter. I wasn’t as addled as I am now, so I know I didn’t put it there. 🙂

Another time I had raced down the stairs and slipped. Something held me up under my armpits until my feet could regain their footing. She was always looking after me.

She was a kind ghost, though there was a less pleasant ghost upstairs. I never liked being up there alone. I could feel it press down on me. Unlike the first floor ghost, this one didn’t like company.

My art studio was on the second floor. Now that I think back on it, I painted some very dark themes during those years. Hmm…I never made the connection until now.

I often wondered what happened to my ghosts when the house was torn down. I’ll never know now.

Let’s have a show of hands. How many homes have you lived in as an adult? Ever had a ghost in any of them?


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  1. That is really too bad about the old sea captain’s house. I love the story about the two different ghosts. I wonder what their relationship was – if there was one – in the past, why one was kind and one wasn’t, why one stayed downstairs and the other upstairs….

    • Madeline: I don’t know about the upstairs ghost but the downstairs ghost I think was the old lady who died there. Her presence was strongest in the kitchen and the downstairs bedroom. The story goes the second owner built an addition to the downstairs bedroom so he could keep his wife nearby as she lay dying.

  2. That would be sad to see your previous homes demolished, even though you know you had outgrown them for one reason or another. That was interesting about the old sea captain’s house and the ghosts that inhabited it too.

    I’m thinking probably 20 houses I’ve lived in over the years 🙂


    • Susan: You have deep roots!

      If I had my druthers, I’d prefer a ghost free house too.

      Funny story: When we were house hunting, one of the properties was adjacent to an old cemetery. Before we considered the house further I took a walk around to see if I could sense any ill will in the area.

      It was one of the most restful places I ever visited. Had the house not been so small we would’ve put it on our short list.

  3. This is the seventh house for me, not counting all the military TDY residences I lived as an airman.

    I’m not sure about ghosts. I saw something once in Monterey that has made me keep an open mind. After my grandmother passed my mother claimed she came back to haunt her by knocking askew every picture my mother hung in her old room (Gran never liked anything on the walls.)

    Our current house has no ghosts but it’s a magnet for birds, particularly doves — and this was before we set up our bird feeders. I’ve seen birds here that I never expected to in real life, like hummingbirds, falcons, eagles and every color of heron you can think. One year a spoonbill stopped by, which kind of blew my mind because they’re so rare.

    We’ve also had dozens of birds nest near or on the house since we moved in, too. Since neither of us have ever been bird people we’re a little bewildered, but we put out plenty of seed for them. Just to keep everyone friendly. 🙂

    • Lynn: The birds must feel exceedingly safe at your place. Either that or they must leave a code like the old hobos of yore. Good Eats Here. 🙂

      I’ve never been much of a bird person but I’ve come to enjoy them a lot. I keep a couple of feeders just outside my studio. The hummingbirds are the funniest. They are fierce when it comes to guarding their sugar water.

  4. Since I got married (at the tender age of 22), I’ve lived at 8 different places. However, we’re currently living in our second bought house (everything else was base housing or rented). And… this house is the longest either one of us has lived in (19 years)!

    We had the house built, so no ghosts that I can see (or feel). My grandmother’s house in Los Angeles was haunted, though. They called her Ethel Beth. Thankfully I never saw any sign of her, but I’d heard stories… Even from my mother (and she wasn’t one to make stuff up).

  5. LD Masterson

    Houses as an adult? Easy – two. And both were new or almost new so no ghostly inhabitants. But there was one house in Virginia when I was a kid…I was convinced there was something in the basement that shouldn’t have been.

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