Fri 25 Jun 2010
Mysterious happenings abound. A full carton of eggs vanished from my refrigerator and I can’t get over it. This particular carton was being saved for a large egg casserole I was planning on making for my brunchy birthday party. Straight out of the Relief Society cookbook, this casserole calls for a 32 oz bag of frozen hashbrowns, 1/2 pound of cubed ham, 2 cups of cheese, 1 whole onion, and a dozen eggs. It is presumed to be a delicious, gooey, mess and exactly what I know most party guests secretly hope for. Oh sure, we politely eat from the veggie and hummus tray, but what we really crave is starch and dairy: i.e. The Breakfast Casserole, (and maybe some mimosas to wash it down).
A month ago I made a latte for myself in an old, chipped mug I had purchased eight years ago in a Las Vegas gift shop. It’s terrible cheesy, a collage of playing cards, chips, and Vegas icons decorate the exterior. The cup is small and was purchased for only a dollar…I bought it because I had recently committed to drinking coffee and needed more mugs in my kitchen. I found a much better souvenir mug a day later, one that read “I Heart Las Vegas” in simple script. That mug is now missing and its not-so-attractive twin is still around. Or at least it was…the mug plus latte went missing for a full 24 hours before it resurfaced in the cupboard.
I had made my special coffee drink right before putting the baby down for his morning nap. The latte would be my reward for the sometimes 1/2 hour ordeal of talking my son into sleeping via rocking, nursing, bouncing, and generally cajoling him into closing his eyes. When I returned to the kitchen the drink was gone. I checked everywhere a simple mug could be found: cupboards, the fridge, the freezer, the living room. Reluctantly, I made a second drink. Surely, the latte would appear in a funny place, right? My house isn’t that big, I rarely go upstairs anymore, retracing my steps was simple (from kitchen to baby’s bedroom and back again).
A few days later, the mug reappeared, washed, and clean in the cupboard with the rest of its muggy kin. “Oh, I probably found it and put it away,” my husband said, which I found very, very hard to believe. Josh is notorious for leaving his dishes strewn around the house. Wouldn’t he take note of a full cup of coffee lying around? Besides, he’s more likely to let dishes lie.
Perhaps we have a late-in-coming ghost who likes children and has recently resurfaced now that we have a baby in the house. Many of you might recall my initial concern that our house might be haunted when we first moved in. Built in 1916, I often wonder about the house’s history from a trim little Craftsman built in the middle of nowhere during the early part of the 20th century to a dilapidated mess with an illegal Auto Repair business in the backyard (circa mid 1990’s). Surely, someone has died in this house or had someone die in their life and POOF, that ghost was hiding out until just the right moment.
This ghost is good natured…simply hiding items is certainly better then haunting us or terrorizing us in our dreams. Perhaps this ghost is what has kept us safe as the pesky neighborhood crime whispers around us: cars stolen, occasional windows smashed, graffiti tagged, the scariest of stats ebbing and flowing on the Seattle Neighborhood Association’s interactive map. I’ve long thought the irritating pair of chihuahuas next door have kept our house remarkably safe–no one wants to waste time breaking in with a pair of ratty dogs screeching at the top of their lungs a few feet away.
But perhaps, it’s been a spirit all along. One that enjoys playing little tricks. Perhaps this ghost is not used to me being home all day long, day in, day out…the dreaded ’stay-at-home Mom’ title sneaking up on me every now and then. (But I’m not! I teach 2 classes a week and perform regularly). Maybe this ghost is a mother who hides in the kitchen and is baffled by my constant attempts at culinary excellence. From homemade ice cream to fancy cupcakes, I spend hours in my kitchen. My son plays on the floor, gnawing on a pair of measuring spoons, while I whisk and stir. I pound out the fear that someone will swoop in unannounced, ready to steal our belongings and run off with my child. I beat eggs furiously, grate cheese with protective gusto and chase the fear away.
But somewhere, I know, there are a carton of eggs just waiting to be found, right? There just has to be…I know I bought them.