Now what with this being almost Halloween and the fact that I grew up in a very old farm house, I thought I would tell a tale from my childhood. You can let me know what you think.......
My parents named the place Tiptop. A play on our last name (Tipton)
and the fact the house was set on top of a small hill.
I was raised in a large, old, and somewhat rundown farm house built in the early 1800's. There was no doubt it was old and built to less exacting standards than today. One window would be three inches from the ceiling, another one five inches. The walls were made from plaster held together with horse hair, there was a fireplace in almost every room since the house pre-dated modern heating, and the windows had bluish panes that clearly showed the bubbles of being hand blown. It had gorgeous pine floors that creaked when you walked on them. The house had a decided slant front to back where it had settled poorly. The basement walls were made of large fieldstones and if it rained too much a small stream ran across the basement floor. It was and still is a lot of work to maintain (my sister owns it now and lives there), but I was a kid and didn't care about such things.
My parents bought this place in the mid 1950s. The house was set on ten acres of land that had been used as a nursery for a while. It had a garage, a run down little barn, and a small second house that was once used by the caretaker of the nursery. It is a very unique property and a great place to grow up! Best of all, my parents loved animals! Because the area was rural, I was always surrounded by dogs, cats, horses, and whatever other animal needed a home at the moment.
The small caretaker's house, which we called George's
after the man who once lived there.
When I was a very young child, my parents bought a German Shepherd puppy that we named Storm. My very first memory in life was this puppy! I actually remember bringing the puppy home from wherever they got him, but then no other memories until he and I were quite a bit older.
|The little urchin on the right is me!|
Being such an old house, it came with many creaks and groans as more settling occurred or the wind whistled through the eaves. Doors would open on their own or swing on their hinges for no apparent reason. Just many odd sounds that didn't always seem to have a rhyme or reason.
The house was a classic colonial style inside. A wide front hallway with rooms off to the left and right. At the back of the hall, the main staircase lead upstairs, with a landing three quarters of the way up, turning to the left and going up a bit more.
While our dogs spent a lot of time outside thanks to living in the country, they still had the option to be indoors with us. I was playing in the front part of the hallway one day and Storm was hanging out, where else for a dog, but in the kitchen. Storm walked out into the hall from the kitchen which put him at the base of the stairs. He looked at me, probably hoping I was eating something. He turned back and looked up the steps. He just stood for a couple of minutes, transfixed, staring at the top of the steps where the landing was. My mother was in the kitchen, no one was upstairs.....Storm stood locked in place long enough my mother came out to the hallway. As my mother and I watched, Storm's head bounced like he was watching someone walk down the stairs. When the angle of his head pointed to one of the lower steps, the fur on his hackles rose straight up, he issued a long, deep growl, and then turned and fled from the house!!!! My mother and I were so spooked by his behavior, we ran out right behind him!
|Storm was a very protective GSD and normally guarded|
his family closely. On this particular day, he abandoned ship!
This was not the only odd occurance to happen in our old house, there were many, but is one that is deeply etched in my memory! So what do you think happened? What was Storm reacting to?