My New ‘Apartment’ Has Drawbacks


I was in North Florida last week, helping out at the antiques mall because there was a festival going on in town. We always get a lot of people in the store when this happens.

The minute we open our doors, in the first half-hour, the street booth vendors come in because they forgot to bring change, so they buy something for 99 cents and pay with a $100 bill. We keep rolls of singles on hand for them.

In the second half-hour, all the parents who brought their children downtown to watch the parade come in because their children have to use the bathroom. We keep rolls of toilet paper on hand for them.

In the third half-hour, serious customers come in, wondering why we don’t have any singles or toilet paper. It’s the same every year.

What’s different this year is that Mark and I no longer own a home up here. Instead, we are staying in a cozy apartment he built in the back of the store last summer.

Loyal readers may frown and say, “But Deb, didn’t you once tell us that your store was formerly a funeral home?” and I will say, “You are right, Loyal Reader.” Then you will certainly say, “But doesn’t that put your ‘cozy apartment’ in the former embalming room?” and I will say, “Yeah. So what’s your point?” You will respond with, “But didn’t that paranormal TV show come out and set up their equipment and tell you the place was loaded with ghosts?” and I will say, “I didn’t say I believed them.”


But I will admit that, even though this apartment is the coziest thing ever, and decorated with all my favorite things like Oriental rugs and candelabras and ornate carved mirrors and poetry books in French, I was still a tiny bit wary of sleeping there the first night. What if the experts were right? What if the place was loaded with malcontent spirits from the Great Beyond?

“Don’t be ridiculous,” my husband said. “That was just television. Of course they’re going to say there are ghosts.”

“But what if there really are?” I asked, one eyebrow raised, one eye over my shoulder in case they were listening.

“There aren’t.”

I wanted to believe him, I really did.

Either way, I was going to find out.

So I took my shower, snuggled down under the covers and waited for the sounds of wailing or rattling chains. Nothing.

I fell promptly asleep and remained happily so.

Until morning.

In the morning I was jerked out of Dreamland by the sound of a giant metal coffin falling from the sky and hitting the ground right outside my window — BAAAMM! I awoke, sitting bolt upright, eyes wide open, heart no longer beating.

I looked around wildly and I must say, no French poetry book on Earth can restore calm to a nervous system jangled by a forklift operator dropping an extra-large Dumpster outside your bedroom window at dawn.

So, even with its candelabras, the apartment has some drawbacks.