For months on end, my remote control would turn on my TV, but not turn it off.
While I was fine with getting up and turing off my TV by hand, after a while I decided it was irritating and that the remote should work. If it can turn it on, it should be able to turn it off. I thought about just getting a new one and having someone of the male gender figure out how to make it work, but something told me I’d be able to solve the mystery.
Sure enough, one night I went to turn my TV off with the remote, forgetting that it had stopped working for me. But the TV went off anyway.
Turns out it turns on when you press the ON button, and it also turns off when you press the ON button. I’d accidentally pressed the “wrong” button and discovered its quirk.
It sort of reminded me of the time back in 2006 when I’d just moved home from Connecticut. I’d moved back in with my ‘rents and was crashing in my old bedroom when, on more than one occasion, I’d wake up to the sound of my computer turning on. And it’s not like anything could’ve turned it on, because it was a flat button on the front of my old-school tower that had to be pushed in to start it up. Within seconds, the screen would be glowing, and I’d have to get up and turn it off.
I told my mom recently that I sometimes hear things in the house when I know I’m the only one here. The house was built in the 1950s, and it has some of those familiar sounds that I’ve come to know and love. That is, when I’m positive when I know what’s causing them. When they just start happening out of the blue, they’re sort of strange.
There’s a spot in the hallway that, when you walk down it, the floorboards under the carpeting creak a little bit. It’s a sound I can remember hearing for at least 30 years of my life. When I was little, I remember my brother and I would both be quiet when one of us would get up in the middle of the night and leave our rooms to get a drink of water or use the bathroom. Our parents’ bedroom was a few feet away; I didn’t want to wake him, he didn’t want to wake me, and neither of us wanted to wake them. We’d do a great job at being quiet until the hallway would creak under our soft footsteps.
Even a lightweight pet can cause the floorboard to grumble. But since I don’t allow the cat in any part of the house besides the family room and kitchen, it’s occasionally odd to me that I can hear the sound of someone’s or something’s footsteps in the hallway. Maybe it’s the house settling or adjusting to a change in temperature, but I’ve come to know what those sounds are, as well, and they’ve always been different than the sound of footsteps.
Right after my grandfather passed away — I think I was 11 or 12 — I remember waking up in my bedroom one night around 2 or 3am and feeling what I thought was someone’s hand touch my forehead and brush my hair back off my face. I knew my bedroom door was shut and that everyone else was sound asleep, but something made me think that it was my grandfather’s spirit who came to say hello that night since I was missing him. Maybe I was at the point of sleep where I had mistakenly thought a tumbling teddy bear or a pillow was that of a hand, but at the time it was actually somewhat comforting to think that it might’ve been him.
So maybe he’s back and cruising through the house that he and my grandma used to visit. Maybe they’re both here, checking things out and making sure that I’m doing alright. Maybe they were having a good time reprogramming my remote control so that I felt like watching a little less TV, and maybe they were turning on my computer because they were reminding me that I need to write more.
Yesterday I was in the backyard pulling some weeds from the flowerbed, and I heard my cat emit one of his dainty meows. I turned around to see where he was, and he was heading into the house through the doggy door from years ago, which he’s now come to know and love as his own private entry.
But instead of hopping all the way through the door, he got halfway in, made some sort of weird hissing sound and backed up. Quickly. He sat on the patio for a few seconds looking at the kitty door, then decided he didn’t want to go inside after all and took off, slinking around the corner.
Maybe he saw the ghost inside the casa. Maybe he finally met my grandparents and hasn’t yet become familiar enough with them. Probably not, but hey — it was a good story for a Sunday night.
Tonight I am thankful for my casa and all its quirks, for my cat who somehow validated the fact that something’s up (not sure if I should be thankful for that or concerned about my own sanity) and I’m thankful that for as many weird happenings and creaky noises that go on in this place, that there’s still no place like home — friendly ghosts and all.