Tag: moving

Member Post


I wrote this in the summer of 2006 for our neighborhood newsletter. It’s a bookend for Merina’s piece that came out at the beginning of the month.  Early on the Sunday morning of July 30, our two girls and I will be climbing into an overloaded Subaru with a pair of disgruntled cats. We’ll be making the long […]

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The Places that Haunt Us


2011_Endangered_Grace_Towns_Hamilton_HouseThere should be no reason for this house to appear so often and so vividly in my dreams, but even now, 20 years after I moved out, it calls to me. Often I return to it at night in sleep, stealing my way in while the owners are away, and wandering the halls looking for something I’ve left behind. There is a secret buried there, hidden in the walls or left in a nook in the garage or basement, and I need to find it and get out before the owners return. Sometimes my sister is there with me and we search together, occasionally I bring my wife along and hope I don’t turn up anything embarrassing.

I let myself into the old foursquare house through the side door (only guests use the great front door that opens into the massive front hall and central staircase), and poke my head into the garage. I can smell the must and motor oil, and there are a few bikes scattered about. I wander into the kitchen and check the freezer that I used to raid for frozen Twinkies, then the stacks of unread magazines by the microwave. I push the swinging door from the butler’s pantry into the grand dining room, expecting to hear my father laughing over some joke, but the room is dark and silent.

I wander all over the house, from bright attic down to the basement, though even now I avoid the room behind the furnace for fear of menace that always seemed to lurk there. I may be an uninvited spirit, but within that shadowy existence of dreams are nightmares best left undisturbed.