Monday, October 29, 2018

Ghost Stories - Go Play Elsewhere - The Apartment #3

Go Play Elsewhere

My mother, in her eighties, does not have a very good memory of late but the things she recalls from the past are crystal clear and, by my own experience as a reference point for them, very accurate.

So, when I told her I was writing about the myriad of odd occurrences I've had in my life, and those of the apartment we lived in until I was 11, she raised an occurrence that I had completely forgotten about but, upon hearing it, it had come rushing back to me so clearly.

It wasn't going to be one of the tales I told but may truly be one of the oddest.

The apartment was complex of 8 buildings lettered A through H. Our building, F, formed a corner, a perfect right angle, with building E and the resulting square yard they created was the only flat, grassy area around the complex. It was perfect size for waffle ball and so it became our field by default.  Hitting the wall above the first story was a home run and I can still, with clarity, recall the three times someone hit a plastic ball on top of the third story roof.  I remember these more for the fact that it was out only ball on two of the occasions and ended our game. . .

As you might expect, we were kids and we were loud. The result, with the noise bouncing off the brick facades of the large buildings was, I am sure, rattling to those who's windows faced the grassy diamond.

The management of the complex, due I am sure to the complaints of the noise,  eventually built a play area on a grassy lot behind the buildings but it was habit to play on this field and we returned to it often. I mean, the buildings DID make for the perfect diamond shade and the height of the walls made for a true "stadium feel".  And some summer nights people actually watched us from itheir windows.

Eventually we took to the new play area but it was an adjustment.

So I must have been eight or nine at most at the time this happened.

Very few people complained to us when we played or shooed us away but there was an elderly woman who lived in the very first apartment in F building on the ground floor.  I never knew her name nor can I or my mother recall it now but I will refer to her as Mrs. Smith for the purpose of the story.

Mrs. Smith's living room window overlooked the outfield, left field to be precise, and in the summer, when the heat set in, the window was usually open. These were the old wind-out windows, not the sliding kind with a screen.

Once we had been given the new play area and were not supposed to disturb the neighbors by playing on our old field, she made a habit of yelling at us out her window. Aways the same three words and nothing more:

"Go play elsewhere."

She wouldn't come outside or to the front door ( as I believe she used a walker), but instead would just wait for one of us to be close enough to the window to shout it at us as loud as she was able which was, not very loud. That lucky kid then had to relay the message to the rest of the group and we would, of course, pick up and go around the back.

There were times when she wasn't home for weeks at a time though. Maybe visiting family or in the hospital. Those times we fell back into the habit of playing on the diamond again. We did this because one of the kids had a parent who worked in the office of the complex and she had been told it was mostly Mrs Adams who had done the complaining about us being there. So if she wasn't home, we went right back.

So,  it must have been a few months since we had played on the old diamond field at all and, for some reason,  perhaps the new field had too many small kids on the new swingset, we decided to play a quick game on the diamond between buildings.

It was getting dark earlier then, nearer to Autumn, and as the game was winding down, I was put out in left field. . .Nearest to Mrs Smiths windows.

Later in the inning, as it was almost too dark to see anymore, I had my back to the window but heard Mrs Smith, as usual, calling out to me. . .

"Go Play Elsewhere."

We must have woken her, I thought, because she had not said a word for the hour or so that we had been there up to this point.

Well the game was ending anyway and I told everyone we needed to go. With that, I went inside the building and into our apartment. Soon after, when I was having dinner, mom asked about the game and I told her it had been fine but how mean old Mrs Smith had told us to go play elsewhere as always.

"What?" she asked, her face puzzled.

"She told us to go play elsewhere." I repeated, probably doing a bad impression of her voice.


I looked up mid bite and met her eyes.

"Who told you to go away?"

"Mrs Smith — out of her window like she always does. I was the one who was out there and heard her." I said, the last of my Spaghetti O's heaped on my spoon.

She sat down across from me, seeming confused.

"Honey," she said, "Don't lie to me."

"I'm not mom!" I protested unable to understand why she thought I was.

"Look," she said, " you all know that you're not supposed to play there anymore, so don't. And I don't know who yelled at you to be quiet but it wasn't Mrs. Smith.  Honey, the poor soul passed away a week ago. There's no one in her apartment."

I do not remember what my reaction to that was. I don't think I had any notion of it being odd or strange and I wasn't going to push it with my mother, to whom lying was the worst offense I could commit.  I DO recall now that, though we barely played on the grass diamond afterwards, I refused to play left field when we did. :)

Was it Mrs. Smith? Was it my own self consciousness about us playing there when we were not supposed to? ( I always protested it, knowing it was against the rules, but was often overruled by the Lord of the Flies majority)  was it someone else a floor above who probably heard Mrs Smith call out a dozen times or more over the previous summers?

I cannot say. I am amazed that my mother remembered after all these years and though it had slipped my own set of memories, it came back as soon as she mentioned Mrs. Smith.

Eventually an old man moved into Mrs Smith's old apartment and I had a year long battle with him which I will tell you about some other time. It wasn't supernatural in any way,  but it was a war of stubborn pre teen and old man attrition. . . lol

Friday, October 12, 2018

Inspirations and Oddities - Second Friday Post - October 12th

Hello everyone!

I'll have the next ghost story up later this weekend but I am really trying to maintain my every Friday posts again. So, second Fridays are meant to be for inspirations and oddities and I've decided to try and format the post to include one book recommendation, one podcast link, one Kickstarter project and one oddity link.

So without a moment's delay, here are October's links!


Three Dark Crowns
Fantasy / Young Adult

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Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake is a wonderful story. First of a trilogy.

My favorite aspects of this book are the three main characters, triplets. . . .and all three are queens (first,  I LOVE that they are already queens, not just princesses hoping to become queen one day.) The are born as queens and the only problem is, after the age of 16, only one may rule so, in their 16th year, there is a competition in which they will try to kill each other until just one is left to wear the crown.

One is a poisoner, one an elemental and one a naturalist, each with their own special abilities. . . .except two of them are rather inept/weak at their supposed "gifts". The story has many twists and turns and having read the book AND listened to the audio book, I''d say either is a fine choice. : )

This is NOT your typical royalty competition.


In The Dark 
Investigative journalism

A 27 year old case of child abduction. One I remember from my own teen years.  One that changed the way America handles investigations and sexual offenders.

This podcast had begun hoping to help solve this cold case in St. Joseph, Minnesota. Just weeks before the podcast aired, the perpetrator was caught on an unrelated charge and accepted a plea deal to admit his part in the kidnapping and murder of an 11 year old boy.

That alone is remarkable and riveting but what the podcast became was a remarkable expose of shoddy police work, the repercussions of wanting to have someone to pin it on and the way it tore a community apart. It's a long, well structured look at the false sense of security many of us had then that these sort of crimes are rare and the changes in our laws that were meant to help protect children and solve crimes such as these.

In the Dark Episode 1

This stayed with me for weeks after we completed our listen of it.

 There is a second season dealing with another case that is also worth a listen but very dark and every bit as heartbreaking as this one.


The Oxford Trollomicus by Spike Greenwood

I am a huge fan of the art of Brian and Wendy Froud. This Kickstarter is for a hardcover professionally bound book that I find to be every bit as magical as any of the Froud collections I have in my possession.

Spike Greenwood hails from Oxford England and is a wonderful illustrator and witty writer as well! A fine combination for this sort of volume! I am so excited to support this Kickstarter and I will be so giddy to receive my package from the UK with the book and art print!

I ADORE Trolls and these are truly top-notch. Take a peek if you know anyone who also is a fan of fantasy art and trolls in particular. :)

Oddity Link

Princess Leia's Stolen Death Star Plans

I may have mentioned this last year but it is worth the repeat!!

 If you love Star Wars: A New Hope (original film) and/or the Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band album from the Beatles, this may tickle your fancy. These brilliant kids redid the entire album, music, vocals and all, to tell the story of Star Wars in 11 songs. The tracks are in order s the appeared on the original album but all changed to reflect the movies themes and situations as it goes along. The video is a great addition so check it out! ;)

Faves for me that keep me laughing time and again are the opening piece and Luke is in the Desert and Whining (set to Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds)

Well, that's it for this month! I hope you'll enjoy these and I look forward to sharing more each month!

See you all soon with another ghostly personal tale!


Friday, October 5, 2018

New Work - First Friday - October 5th

Hey all!

Another month. . . I am hoping to get back to regular weekly posts but this month I cannot promise any more than this new work post AND two more of my ghost story series! It's my birthday month and we are headed into the holiday rush already! I cannot believe it!!

I'll also reposting several baking posts in the next few months to show off some of the traditional baking we do for the season. :) Some of it is family inspired and some is old world traditional treats for. the many celebrated days of the season. So keep an eye out for those too! :)

I hope you are enjoying the first few weeks of Autumn. It's my season so I am loving it!

Here are some new creations from the past month. Thank you for dropping by!


Let's start with the season! In honor f All Hallow's Eve I have been making a few graveyard themed scenes!
This one features a ghostly turn of the century lad there in the back. 

And larger tombstones for those who like a little graveyard decor! 

A new Adobe Fairy House

This is the second face of Hathor that I have made and I love them!

Thoth as a baboon. He is also known as Djehuty and represented as an Ibis. 

Bes is a multi-faceted protector and I thought a bell, shaped as the face of Bes, might be a great dispelling tool for an altar/ 

A Wenut / Hare statue

A "Wee Skosh" Fairy House
And a Fairy Tower on a Stump!