Sunday, June 27, 2010
There are so many stories it is impossible to list them all. I visited once after a wedding. I never took out my wedding clothes at the house. I left them at the bottom of the suitcase. After my departure, they were found laid out on the floor of the attic. There were no children or pranksters present during that trip. Strange things like that were just normal there and that house was and is my favorite place in the world. When I was a girl I used to hide under the piano in red parlor so I wouldn't have to go home. The house was my home. It was huge and beautiful and it was part of our family legacy. With eight bedrooms and 2 kitchens and 2 parlors, a library, a den, and a dining room it was large enough for my entire family to meet in every summer. All my aunts and uncles and cousins would fill the halls with laughter and drinking. The adults would play cards well into night and the children would creep around the darkened rooms when we were supposed to be asleep.
Many years have past since those days. The family has broken apart. Everyone got divorced and the cousins were left drifting in the wind. Even my grandmother, the dowager empress herself, has dementia and must now sit alone in a nursing home while her castle sits empty. Yesterday, she and I looked at photos of the old days and I wanted to weep. Ghosts drifted in and out of the pictures like family and she smiled and spoke of the house like a person. To her, the house is alive. It is her great love and best friend. The house is for sale now and I have no ability to stop it. It sits empty while the price drops as no one wants an old mansion in Northern Michigan. My grandmother says some day she'll go back there and maybe she will, but not in life. Maybe some day her ghost will join the others and she'll be empress once again. I wish I could be there when she returns. I wish we could keep our haunted castle.