We live in a house whose ‘doorbell’ was on the front door when Abraham Lincoln was in office. Yeah, you read that right, good old Abe, he of stern glance and furrowed brow. That doorbell always gets my curiosity up. Like about the woman who tended the kitchen here back then. Would she have voted for Abe? I know, I know, women couldn’t vote yet. But I’d like her thoughts on the matter.
And then, while raking the dead gunk out of the tiger lilies last fall, I found this dresser pull.
Just one. So what happened here? Did a stricken maiden yank it off and throw it out the upstairs bedroom window when her father discovered her elopement plans? And did it hit Romeo in the head and maybe his body is somewhere out in the soggy end of the garden? Hmmm. Perhaps.
Speaking of digging things up we’ve done a lot of that in the past 38 years. You have to when you own such an old place. And you find stuff. Like small blue marbles, steel combs, half of a shoe (small woman’s – maybe a child’s), and odd bits of old dishes and glass bottles. I’ve saved a lot of it. But one thing we didn’t save was the bag of bones.
Yup, bones. And this was a fairly recent discovery, say ten years ago. I was deep cleaning and had my hands and vacuum down inside a heating vent. The one over the part of the basement where there’s still some dirt. Suddenly something clanked against the end of the vacuum hose. I pulled it up and there hovered a bone. Ewww. A dried up old thing, rather large, but I wondered why it was there. Grabbed a flashlight and did some further exploring. Wow – a whole cache of bones. Dragged them up one by one and shivered.
I looked around in case the owner of the bones had now been summoned back to earth by my meddling. Maybe to say “Boo!” to the bone plucker – me. No spooky moaning ensued, still I wanted to know if these things were human. So I plopped the bones into a bag and over the weekend mentioned it at cards. One of our pinochle pals said she knew someone at her place of employment – our local community college – in the science department. He would probably take a look at them and hold forth on their origin. Awesome.
It took about a week to hear that it was just a bunch of old animal bones and I had to decide if I was disappointed or not. Had they been human a whole hoard of crime scene types might have stormed our castle. Looking for the skull. Perhaps of the clonked in the head lover of my stricken maiden, Clarice. I thought I’d give her a name so you’d have context.
Anyway, since that day I’ve kind of been on the lookout for more bones. After all, justice needs to be pursued for Clyde, the lover. He gets a name, too. Come to think of it maybe Clarice’s dad didn’t like the name and that’s why he put the kybosh on their elopement. Or it may have had something to do with Clyde’s other name – Clanker. Mr. and Mrs. Clyde Clanker. A double whammy. What decent father would want that for his daughter?
It just makes ya wonder, ya know?