I’m officially a university student!

Well almost, the very last thing is the final approval for my loan but I am 100% registered, got my class schedule for my first semester, my student email account set up and Office 365 downloaded and installed, and I even have access to classes as of today. I can get started anytime. I just can’t submit anything, contact the professor or take tests until my final loan approval (as they had to update the amount) and until I receive it and pay tuition. Which should be roughly 10 days before my official start date.

I am so excited! I will be getting started as soon as I get back today from driving my husband to work. He works 2-8 so I plan to spend the whole time looking over the course information, syllabus, study guide, and maybe start on the actual course today. It’s been so long since I was in school and I never finished community college and it’s so different now anyways that I might need today to get acclimated and get an idea of what the process is for doing the work online. But that’s okay, I am just so excited to get myself started and praying that last step goes smoothly.

If for some reason it doesn’t I know I can drop any courses I can’t afford, switch to part-time and pay for one course or two at a time with our Visa paying them off before taking the next one(s). But we are not going to think about that right now right? Positive thoughts. It’s been approved basically anyways, they just need to change the amount, and it is going down not up as they would only let me apply for 2 semesters at a time but the university does it one at a time so you have to apply for two, wait for them to approve, send to the university, the university responds with the updated dates and amounts sends it back (which was done last week) and then student loans reviews and gives final approval. So I am thinking it shouldn’t be an issue.

So, yeah, I am so thrilled and so proud of myself!

Oh and btw, my mom started university today at the University of Manitoba (online) so we are both full-time university students! One almost 40 and the other almost 66!

Who is Edith?

I have mentioned my parent’s house before in my blog. The picture above is a house similar to theirs only theirs has been added onto on the right-hand side of the house (if you’re facing the house) in a couple of sections. The house was built sometime in the 1840s-1860s, we don’t know the exact date. It’s beautiful and old. I have also mentioned before about it being haunted by a woman who at the time we were told was named Ethel (or Edna, poor ghosts been called all kinds of things). I want to tell you a bit more about the haunting(s) and some stories about things that have happened in the house since they moved in. I believe I might have mentioned in a previous post about one of the earlier things that happened, however, I can’t remember if I have so if this is not new, I’m sorry

My parents moved into the house knowing it was supposedly haunted. For the first few weeks, they didn’t sense, hear, or see anything at all, and neither did we when we visited or stayed over. Within a few weeks though, they started hearing some footsteps upstairs. Nothing too alarming just steps when they knew there was no one up there, knowing the history of the experiences past owners had of the house they didn’t think a whole lot about it.

Within the first few months of living in the house, something rather spectacular happened, depending on how you look at it. My parents were asleep in the house one night when my Mom was woken up by knocking on the wall above her bed. She described it to me later as three knocks in a row, followed by quiet and then repeated. This went on for a little while becoming more insistent over time. Knowing the stories about the house Mom said somewhat jokingly “Ethel, what in the hell do you want?” After that, she said the knocking stopped for a bit. The master bedroom basically covers the whole left side of the top floor when looking at the house from the front. Their bed was against the back wall of the house at that time and the knocking started over her head, but she said it sounded like it was coming from the outside of the house. Well, that would be on the second floor.

It continued and started to move around the side of the house onto the left side of the bedroom, so Mom woke my dad and he listened and said he heard it too. Being skeptic he assumed someone was outside trying to steal something and the sound was echoing up to them. He woke up my younger brother who lives at home and they went outside and looked around, not finding anything at all. They headed back into the house and back to bed. As Dad was falling back to sleep they heard the knocking again, they talked a bit trying to ignore it but it was still quite insistent. Dad grudgingly got back up, got my brother again who said he could also hear it, it was echoing. They headed back outside again to look around and on the side of the house, they found the electricity wires going into the box on the side of the house on fire and sparking and the siding starting to melt.

My brother took off running into the house, called 911 asking them to send the fire department, yelled for my Mom to get dressed fast and get downstairs while my Dad grabbed a ladder. The fire department showed up in a few minutes as they were just down the road about a kilometer and a half, they put out the fire, turned off the electricity and told my parents to call Nova Scotia Power and an electrician before it could be turned back on. One of the firefighters asked my parents how in the middle of the night while asleep did they manage to wake up and find it and my parents said: “You wouldn’t believe us if we told you”.

The next day they moved into the house we are in now temporarily which they own and they called me and told me and my husband what happened, all of it including the knocks, the fire, everything Mom was convinced they were being warned of danger. Even my Dad seemed to think that “Ethel” the ghost was trying to warn them of what was about to happen and trying to get them to save her house and to save themselves and I have to say, I agree. After that, even Dad seemed to enjoy their housemate and talk to her when he thought she might be listening. They thanked her and things quieted down for a time. During this time they were told by the previous owner that her name was Edith not Ethel. Mom never really questioned if this was a name they were told by someone or if it was a name they gave her but we both really feel that it’s the correct name. Odd as that sounds.

More recently my parents have been experiencing things again at the house. I have also had a few experiences as well before we started social distancing. Things had settled down between then and recently however, they still heard footprints, had the feeling they weren’t alone but never felt uneasy during the time in between. Instead, they said they felt welcome and felt that there was someone watching over them and the house and felt peaceful and comfortable in the house. They have never felt anything menacing or felt overly uneasy beyond the idea of sharing the house with someone who left the world years ago. In fact, Mom said numerous times she would wake up to a warm feeling after feeling cold and more than once woke up to watch a blanket being pulled up after falling off her by an invisible hand and feeling comforted by it.

So over the last few months, my Dad has been having issues with his legs due to a slipped disk causing issues with going up and down the stairs which are steep and narrow. The upstairs landing has a small alcove, if you look at the image above which is similar to their house it would be where the window is upstairs on the front, so the stairs and landing or hall area or whatever you call it are in the middle of that section of the house and there is a low railing all along with the stair opening so you don’t fall down. The flooring is tilted toward the railing and it gives you the feeling of being in a funhouse in a fair or theme park. It’s a bit unsettling and combined with the stairs makes it unsafe for Dad to go up and down right now so they have been sleeping on the couches downstairs (which are thankfully recliners) in the living room under the master bedroom on the bottom floor. This is significant for the next part of the story I am going to tell you because if they were upstairs I don’t think they would be experiencing it.

Since sleeping downstairs Mom said she has been seeing a light shining in the window waking her up early every morning before the sun was even coming up. She described the light to me as a lantern light when she finally told me about it. It actually took her a few months to tell me. It’s been months of it every morning at the same exact time. At first, she was scared and woke my Dad up and he saw it numerous times as well and says the same thing, that it’s a flickering lantern-like light. Thinking someone was trying to break in and they scared them off they went back to sleep. After a few times of this happening, they started to realize it was the same time every morning at exactly 4 a.m. and they started feeling less afraid and more intrigued. They never told me though, not at that point. It was a few months before they finally told me about it. It’s still happening to this day but they are no longer afraid.

Before they actually started experiencing the light in the window I actually experienced something that was outside the window on the lawn when I was in the kitchen downstairs, which I never told them about as I thought my Dad was uneasy about everything and because my brother gets really freaked out by some of it, so I kept it to myself. Over Christmas Edward and I stayed a few nights. The night before Christmas Eve I woke up in the middle of the night to use the washroom. I don’t like the one upstairs, it’s small, claustrophobic and I have to walk the part of the landing area I don’t particularly like to walk on so I usually go downstairs to the one down there.

I went down the stairs, across the kitchen, and turned the kitchen light on. The bathroom downstairs is off the kitchen which is on the right side of the house under my brother’s bedroom and the spare bedroom we sleep in when we stay there for the night. It’s in one of the add-on parts to the right of the main original part of the house and so I used the washroom, left, turned the kitchen light off, and turned towards the front window in the kitchen and out on the lawn out front was a floating light. It looked like a lantern, I say this because it was more yellow then white which a newer led flashlight would be, it was flickering like a flame but also bouncing up and down while basically going across the lawn.

I never really thought much of it and just sort of shrugged it off. No one else at that point was mentioning having any experiences other than the footsteps, which I had heard as well, but stuff like that never bothered me as I experienced it before when we lived in Germany and also when we lived in my grandparent’s house on Digby Neck when I was in high school. I’ll tell that story and some other ones another day. On the property behind the house there is a path down through the backyard, then woods, then a field and down to the beach. I think they mentioned it’s a little over a kilometer. Over the summer camping there I found the woods sometimes I felt like I was being watched but again I never really felt more than slightly uncomfortable. I still felt and I think we all feel that whatever presence is protective extends out there even if the actual spirit can’t.

It wasn’t until about 2 weeks ago when Mom and I were having a conversation that she finally told me. The day before she told me about a dream she had one night a few weeks ago. I don’t remember the exact conversation but in the dream, there was a poem and when she woke up she felt she needed to write it down, so she did:

RAY OF LIGHT

He came to me on a ray of light
He came to chat in the middle of the night
He came to say God needs me home
Where God needs me I will roam

He took me home on his wings of white
All the way on that ray of light
To see my family again at last
All of them who have previously passed

Mom and Dad were there
And my brothers too
With open arms
That said we all missed you

Smiles and hugs all around
Love and joy did abound
God said you have family here
But your earthly family also cares

If you feel they need you still
It can be arranged with your free will
I had the choice to stay or go
My earthly family still needs me so

I still had things to do down there
Before my time on earth was done
He said the choice was mine to make
All the time I needed I could take

I hugged my family and said goodbye
My time left on earth would surely fly
He took me back through the ray of light
To my earthly home on his wings of white

To finish what I started there
And for my earthly family to prepare
For my journey on earth would soon be done
And I would then be in my heavenly home

At first, the night she sent me the poem I was concerned about her. I thought it was about her as she has two brothers in heaven but no sisters. Her sisters are alive and both her parents have passed on (third paragraph). I don’t know what I thought but it didn’t sit right with me at the time. Then the next day she told me about what was happening at 4 a.m. and what she thought it meant and that Dad agreed with her and that they both believe that the poem was not about Mom, that it was about her, about Edith. I’ll go into that a bit more near the end.

They believe that the person or spirit outside the house is likely the husband of the woman inside the house and is looking for her and that they either don’t know each other is there or that they can see each other but can’t interact for some reason or something similar. They have the feeling they both want to. It kind of fits with stories we have heard from the previous owners about a Sea Captain and his wife. That his wife passed away while he was out to sea and she was put in a shed waiting for him and for the ground to thaw out as it was winter. A common practice in the Maritimes at the time they would have been alive.

Mom did some research on a genweb website for the area and found some couples who she believes lived in the house or on the property around the time the house was built and one of the women was named Edith, her husband William. I was able to pull up quite a bit of information on the couple with Ancestry.ca and Ancestry.com as well as some other sites including the dates they were born, their parent’s names, and addresses. His parents actually correspond with the right timeframe the house would have been built and are listed as living at what would be the address now. Her parents were from the next community over and she was born there and married him in their early 20s in a church close by. After that though, it doesn’t quite seem to fit as they moved to Massachusetts.

She died in Massachusetts in her late 40’s leaving behind 2 young kids. He didn’t die until his 80s also in Massachusetts. There is no record of where she was buried even though there are records for him and both children as well as a baby they lost in between the two children, all buried in Massachusetts except her, or at least as I said there is no record of her being buried there that I can find. Somehow it makes Mom and I both wonder if she was sent back to Nova Scotia for some reason for burial. William’s brother got the property we believe is Mom and Dad’s house. We are wondering if she was sent to be buried on the land or maybe her parent’s land or a cemetery here. I plan to go looking when we finally can get out.

I don’t know why but I really think we are onto something but at the same time, there are a lot of things that don’t quite fit. Mom feels the same. As mom said she felt the poem was about Edith, in fact she said she feels Edith gave her the poem. I didn’t mention it above but after Mom told me she wrote it, that it was not a poem someone else wrote but that she wrote based on the dream I literally looked the poem up line by line on google trying to find it, trying to find proof that someone else wrote it. I couldn’t find anything at all. It appears she did write it, or Edith did. Of everything, it’s the one thing that really unsettles me. It’s a beautiful poem but at the same time, I did not want it to be about Mom or Edith, who at this point feels like family, and interestingly enough we did find out that the Edith we researched is related. So maybe there is something in that?

 

Mixed emotions and surrealism


This is a meme going around Facebook right now and it couldn’t be more appropriate for what the last two weeks have looked like. I have to admit when I first saw it I laughed. I am not laughing anymore. It’s been two weeks of mixed emotions and a completely surreal feeling. The Coronavirus and Covid-19 have been in our vocabulary for a while now but as I am pretty sure all of you know by now watching it unfold from a distance is one thing, but when it becomes your reality it’s a whole different thing, and it shouldn’t be. I mean it’s not like we didn’t know it was coming, we did, we knew, but again having no cases of it here and watching it unfold elsewhere is terrifying and unsettling but you can’t help but still have that little tiny part of you that says, well, maybe it won’t actually happen here or maybe it won’t be so bad.

Having never been through an epidemic myself before really, never mind a pandemic I guess I was one of those ones that watched in almost fascinated horror wondering how it could be happening but compartmentalized it because I had never really lived through anything similar. We never really got affected by SARS in 2003. H1N1, I don’t know but it just never seemed that bad here in Nova Scotia and I was also half a world away in Afghanistan. So this is really the only one that I can actually remember the province actually doing anything about. And doing something about it we are. Today they declared a State of Emergency in Nova Scotia. We had no cases on March 14th, 2020, three presumed on March 15th, 2020 and now 7 days later we have 28 cases. I honestly don’t know how that compares to other places, so don’t ask me… I really don’t know.

For a week officially we have been practicing social distancing. However, Edward and I have been doing it longer since I was concerned about my parents who live close to us and are in their mid to late 60’s and not in the greatest health and also because Eddie and I both have Asthma and I am a diabetic. Two days ago (I think, the days are all starting to melt together and it’s only been a week) our Prime Minister (of Canada) closed our borders to non-Canadian and told all Canadians overseas it was time to come home and also that if they didn’t they may risk not being able to get home for a while.

Today the Province has banned any gatherings of more than 5 people, including stores (exceptions would be essential stores like grocery or pharmacies where we still have to practice social distancing), workplaces, etc. Schools were closed earlier in the week for at least a weeks, probably longer. A few days ago to was anything over 150 people. They have closed all beaches and provincial parks in the province. They have told all workplaces to shut down and move people to work from home if at all possible and implemented fines for not social distancing or self-isolation if you came from out of province within the last 14 days. They have advised us to stay in our neighbourhoods and not travel around the province and closed our provincial borders and stay at home as much as possible and have one person do groceries alone and isolate anyone who is sick within the home as much as possible.

And, of course, I have been sick for almost 3 weeks now with a cold or flu. I am not sure which as I seem to have all symptoms of both and of Covid-19 as well. I can’t be tested though because I haven’t travelled outside the province. We can’t isolate me any further within the house as our whole house is super tiny. We are following all other precautions and staying 6ft apart and facing away from each other when sleeping. We also have not seen my parents in almost 2 weeks other than the one or two times Eddie has seen mom or dad at Walmart as he still has to work.

All of this is necessary and most of us, myself and Eddie and my parents included have been calling for the government to do this for almost 3 weeks or even since the first cases started in Canada because we know our healthcare system would quickly become overwhelmed and people would die. This is all in hopes that we can slow the curve so the health care system can deal with it better and provide the best care possible while not having to make the decisions that officials in Italy have had to make over the last few weeks. We will know for sure in a few weeks to a month or so if it’s working.

Today though, the province decided to take that extra step as people were not listening and ignoring what they were being asked to do. Mentally I am not sure how I am doing. I am having so many feelings and emotions. I actually got approved for my government student loan. Even though schools are closed mine is actually an online school based in Alberta and so far is not affected by all the closures and the couple of provinces that have also declared states of emergencies, at least not yet. We have no physical classes, all virtual so for now we are safe and my start date should be June 1st, 2020. I’m excited and happy about that but feel a bit guilty being happy about something when everything else is going on all over the world right now.

This has been such a bad year the whole world over. I really hope that the countries, WHO and medical officials worldwide can get this under control but we are being told it could be the end of summer or even longer and to prepare for the worst-case scenario just in case we stay in a state of emergency for longer. I’m scared but also know I am not alone and that probably everyone I know and everyone reading this is probably dealing with the same thing or similar right now or will be soon or have already been dealing with it. So I know I am not alone but that doesn’t make me feel any better knowing other people are feeling the same uncertainty and fear I am.

Oh yeah and the end of the meme? The snow? Well, we are getting a storm Tuesday and it’s calling for strong winds again (anyone who’s read any of my posts since the beginning of last summer knows we’ve been hit hard this year with storms), heavy rain and a ton of snow again. So yeah. It does kinda feel like life is being written by a 4th grader at the moment.