I wake up to the familiar tap-tap-tap on my fingers and toes. I live in a smallish town, in a century home, with my family of five and seven other people. I have three young boys, (four, if you include my husband, though he is not so young) and among the seven are a young girl, and a sickly grumpy old man, who actually doesn’t bother us very much, he spends most of time in the hallway when I am in the kitchen, he never comes in though.
The little girl on the other hand, spends her time in the playroom with my three boys. They are often together, she prefers to be in the playroom with them, yet she often comes to say hi to me when I am in my bedroom or in the upstairs washroom.
Because the house is old, the floors creak, cupboards often don’t close properly, lights often flicker, and light bulbs often burn out before you think they should.
In addition to all the folks in our house, we have 4 cats, a dog, a bunny, a duck and an aquarium. Yes, I said a duck. He’s a crotchety old thing, and he has his own heated duck house outside.
The busy-ness and the noise in our old house doesn’t faze me. It’s when the house is quiet that I start to really hear things…
The upstairs floor creaks as if someone is walking down the hall, when no one else is home? It’s probably Miss Kitty looking for a snack, she is almost as big as one of my five-year-old’s.
The lights in the dining room are flickering? There is probably ice on the wires. Yes, even in the Spring, it wouldn’t be the first time!
The light in the downstairs washroom is burned-out again? Blame the old guy. He is usually around when it blows. He never replaces the light bulbs though.
A child whispering “mommy!” wakes me up every few nights? Not unusual, I have 3 little boys!
Little fingers tap-tap-tapping on my fingers at night when I am sleeping? I have trouble explaining that away, because there is no one there when I open my eyes. Or is there?
Michelle Dinnick, 2017