Thursday, February 28, 2008

Road Trip

A few weeks ago, my wonderful great aunt died. She was 88 and was ready to go. She simply stopped breathing and it was peaceful and quick.
She died with grace and dignity, similar to the way she lived her life.
She hated funerals and didn't go to them herself so why should she expect people to go to hers? She didn't want a funeral, a memorial service or any kind of fanfare that might put people out. She wanted a simple cremation and to be buried in our family plot in central Texas.
My cousin made plans to bury her ashes last weekend so my mother, 3 of my sisters, Piper and I piled into a Ford Expedition at 5:30am and went for a 5 hour drive to bury my aunt.
Despite the sad reason for our trip, we had a really wonderful time. It's been a VERY long time since the 5 of us spent any length of time together and we actually enjoyed each other's company.

Somewhere along the way, we saw an old house on the side of this small highway. My mother remembered reading about it in a Texas Highways magazine in the 80s. It was supposedly so haunted that no one could live in it and it was abandoned years ago. She read about that in the 80s and this place was still standing and still abandoned.
Well, we had to go inside. How could we resist?

This is the house from the highway:
Haunted House in Milano

As we walked through the broken gate, we noticed from the trail worn into the ground that we weren't the only lookieloos!
Haunted House in Milano

The front porch is amazingly sturdy and the door frames are rotting but still there. Haunted House in Milano

Inside, the floor is rotting but the exterior walls are standing firm. This house was built to last.
Haunted House in Milano

The stairs lead to the second floor but we weren't brave enough to try it. Haunted House in Milano

From the other side of the house you can see the two story porch. You can also see the missing chimney.
Haunted House in Milano

From the back, you can tell how strong this house is. Haunted House in Milano

The old well is right next to the house.
Haunted House in Milano

I have NO idea how old this house is or the story behind it, but it was built before running water and electricity were popular home accessories.
There are no water pipes anywhere and we could see where electricity was added later. The wires are visible upstairs.

Ok...I went in there thinking I might sense a presence but there was nothing.

Two of my sisters walked back to the car saying "Did you feel anything?" "No. I didn't feel a thing."
Right then, the tin roof started rattling. Their eyes bulged out and they yelled back to me, "Did you hear that???".
I laughed at them, "It's the wind, you weirdos!".

Later, after they were all back at the car and I was on the porch taking these pictures, I heard "Bam! Bam! Bam!"
It was the roof, but there was no wind. It was completely still.
I'm pretty level-headed but I figured my picturing-taking was done.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Moving On

I didn't think I was ready for another dog and maybe I'm not. But I was thinking differently when I was walking into my local Petco.
A local rescue group was visiting with their adoptable dogs. I couldn't stop myself from going over to the cages of homeless dogs and that's when I saw her. A 7 pound Papillon that could be Piper's sister (if Piper had a tan and white sister).
Before I knew it, I was filling out an application to adopt her.
I don't think Madonna had to give so much information before she took a Malawi kid home.
After playing with the dog and filling out pages and pages of personal information and answering questions like "What causes heartworms?" and "What are good reasons to give a dog up?", I was able to hold her and play with her a little. I was then told they would let me know at the end of the week.

Now, they're going to call my apartment manager, my vet, my first grade teacher and my pastor (ok I'm kidding on the last two....I think).

The problem is that someone else filled out an application for the same dog right after I did and I think she might have a better shot.
I might be a wonderful dog owner but I think she looks better on paper.
Of course, I had that thought last night while I was hand-feeding Piper her kibble.

Update: I guess I didn't look like a good enough pet owner. They gave her to someone else. Bummer.