I was awake in the middle of the night last night. I’m not sure why. But it was a good thing, too. Some friends in the US, who also have a house in Galicia, messaged me at midnight from the east coast. No worries. I was not going to sleep any time soon.
In Valencia, we had become used to the noisy night. Horns, parties, yelling teens, or fireworks. In the early morning hours there was always the click click click of suitcases on the tiles of the sidewalk. Hitting every seam 5 centimeters apart. Over and over. And don’t get me started about the entire month of Fallas. Ugh.
It was so noisy in Valencia that the farm in Galicia seemed like a deprivation chamber by comparison. At first. Soon, we could hear the neighbors dogs barking at things in the night. Javalies (wild boars). Deer. And, just each other. We understood that these are the nocturnal noises of farm life. And then, something changed.
We first noticed that something was wailing on the metal wood shed a few months ago. Like they have a sledgehammer, and are trying to take it down after midnight. But in the morning there is no damage. Then, the holes began appearing all over the property. And when I say holes I mean that whomever is digging them are trying to a) dig to China. Or b) they are digging a grave. It’s weird. Javalis do damage. But they don’t dig that deep. And then, it got weird.
A Sixth Sense
We all know animals are more sensitive than we are. They can smell, hear, and see things we can’t. Every day things. Fergus barks and let’s us know Pilgrims are coming when we are out front. Long before we ever see them or hear the click of their poles. And LuLu can see a mouse in the dark and pounce on it. No problem. But inside the house, they both began acting funny.
LuLu started jumping up onto the bookshelf by the fireplace and clawing at the wall. Whining. A sound we had never heard her make. And no matter how many times Jeff took her down she would jump back up. We looked for spiders, or other insects that might be attracting her. We vacuumed the whole area. She still does it. Then, Fergus began his thing.
In the early morning and every evening Fergus goes to another corner and stares with his hair on end. He will growl and whine. Very rarely bark. No matter now many times I reassure him he goes back there. But there is nothing there. Or so I believed.
Clean Up This Mess
Yesterday, our new armoire for the entry way arrived. Before this our coats and shoes were hung on a coat rack. And on shelves below. Which was fine before the arrival of a shoe-loving chew-thief. But now, we needed to be able to shut our shoes and coats safely away.
It was nearly a week late in arriving, but they had phoned the day before to tell me they would be delivering it between 9 and 10am the following morning. So I moved all the coats and shoes. Vacuumed and mopped the area thoroughly so we could put it in place and refill it quickly. Thus, exposing our clothes to Fergus and his shark-like baby teeth as little as possible. I call it ‘mitigating risk.’ Jeff calls it ‘Kelli is just getting extra excited about buying more furniture.’ Either way, the result is the same. So I touched everything that was moved from the coat rack. Every piece. And I put them all into the new armoire. Every coat, shoe, handbag, hat, umbrella. Everything. It’s even large enough to store the vacuum cleaner. Which means my new wine fridge fits perfectly in the space the vacuum used to occupy. Like a puzzle, everything fit together nicely. Except…
This morning I let Fergus out and noticed this stick by the door. I know it wasn’t there yesterday because they had to open the sidelight to get the armoire in the house. I asked Jeff if he had brought the stick in and he didn’t know what I was talking about.
Right about now, you are saying to yourself Kelli, what’s your deal with this stick? But it’s not just a stick. Every person over the age of 65 walks around here holding a stick. Its a thing. And the stick becomes worn around the top where they are held. From the hand of their owner. You see them up close at the drs office, the cafe, the grocery store. Walking the dog. This stick was not fallen from a tree in a recent wind storm. Its well worn at the top and the bottom where it has supported the weight of its owner. This is clearly a person’s well-loved stick from a chestnut tree. It doesn’t belong to either Jeff or myself. And it was not in this house yesterday. Let alone sitting where it is by the door. And then, the weirdest thing of all happened this morning.
We were sitting on the sofa. The dog was asleep for his morning nap. The cat was outside. All of a sudden our vacuum cleaner switched on. Jeff looked at me ‘What the hell is that?’ Like I had any more information than he did. I hopped up and went to check it out. Opening the cabinet, the lights on the vacuum were glowing. No kidding. And it was making the sucking sound. But it wasn’t plugged in. Fergus had followed me and was barking at it and growling. His hair standing on end. Then, he hid behind me, whining like the ferocious protector he is. I reached out and hit the off button and it stopped. The lights went out like normal. Hmm…
And the moral of this story? How should I know? Except I’ll be cleaning my house top to bottom today. To assuage our spectral roommate. As I’ve been talking about hiring a housekeeper/personal assistant, perhaps Must be good with ghosts will be added to the job description. And I think Gaspar (seems like a good name), the friendly Galician ghost, couldn’t agree more.