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?

 

School & Other Things

I finally heard back from my bank, they couldn’t approve a student line of credit, which to be honest I expected due to our car payments, rent and what we make. I should have a better chance with a government student loan I think. I finished my application for that the other day and am just in the process of waiting now. I am set to start on June 1st. I spoke to someone in financing at the university and filled out the enrollment in the classes, I am going to start out taking 3 classes the first semester online. If my student loan falls through for some reason I have been told I can drop two of the classes if I still want to do some schooling and just pay for the one class at a time. So at least I have a fall back if everything else fails because one course at a time money wise we can handle and then I can reassess on finances and loans/lines of credits again later on.

In the meantime, I have registered online for Khan Academy which is a really good online tutoring/education site so that I can brush up on things like high school, and early university math, grammar, computing, etc. Math is my week spot and always has been but I love how you have everything from kindergarten to university level stuff on Khan Academy all free (no this is not sponsored, I just really like the site). I feel like I need some brushing up on basic math concepts and things like that and I have a few months before I’m supposed to start school.


I mentioned a while back I got a new laptop for myself for Christmas, a touch screen 2-in-1 that functions as a tablet as well. It came with a pen that I could not get to work and later found out was actually the wrong pen for the laptop. I found the one above on Amazon.ca and it had great reviews and works on any touch screen so I decided to try it. I had an Adonit Jot Mini 3 before and loved it. Eventually, I want a Wacom tablet but for now, I figure this would be a good start. Got them in the mail yesterday (2 pens for less than one Adonit Jot Mini) and we’ve been playing with them. I took the pink and Eddie the black. I love it. I just realized something though. I’ve forgotten how to draw. I don’t even know where to begin and I’ve never drawn digitally really I used the old pen more for handwriting things than drawing. Still, though I am excited to keep trying and excited to have the pens. Eddie loves to draw so even if I get nothing out of it I still consider it a win. I want him to draw something for me I can put on here

Learning and re-learning to code

Image Credit: Pixabay
I started designing websites back in 2000 when living with my ex-boyfriend who was a computer science major at UNB in New Brunswick. He taught me HTML and CSS and set me up with a self-hosted website and domain name after a few months of playing around on Geocities and Angelfire. That’s when my love of blogging began.

At some point a few years later I took Web Design and Internet publishing through an online distance education school in Halifax. It was a 2-year degree in HTML, CSS, Dreamweaver, Photoshop and basic design principals but this was before WordPress. I used something called Greymatter pre-WordPress and used it for a few years for my blogs.

Over the years between 2000 and 2009 when I first purchased storyboutagirl.org, I had owned a number of domain names. I won’t bother mentioning any specific ones as honestly, I can’t remember and they don’t really matter. All were hosted WordPress sites, most of which were hosted where this one is now. At first, I mostly used themes that I got off the WordPress theme repository or free or paid themes online even though I was pretty much able to make my own or customize ones quite a bit. I started a few years ago mostly making my own themes.

Over the last few months, I have been re-teaching myself HTML, CSS, PHP and JavaScript and I’m not going to stop there. I have been mostly using w3schools and SoloLearn as well as YouTube video tutorials. As SoloLearn is completely free I plan to do everything they have to offer and the same with w3schools even if a lot of it is the same between both. I have also been reading the WordPress Theme Developer Handbook and the WordPress codex as well as taking some courses through Udemy. I plan to completely teach myself everything I can find online for free or cheap having to do with PHP, Java, Java Script, SQL, jQuery, C++, Ruby, etc.

While continuing to concentrate on WordPress theme development as well as design. I plan to eventually start selling pre-made themes and offering some free ones along with web hosting (which I sell now) and custom design which I am already doing mostly for friends and family on a relatively small basis. I really want to switch to full-time web design and theme development, maybe I will even tackle Joomla! as well at some point. Something I haven’t done beyond installing it for testing purposes.

I am really excited and hoping to take my career eventually in another direction on a part-time basis for a while continuing to work at the bank and maybe eventually down the road I will make it a full-time career. I would love to go back to school full-time and take something somewhere but it’s just not an option and I think I will do better just continuing to teach myself.