I Talk to Dead People

  • May 22, 2015

bushey 2I talk to dead people.

Now–hang on a second–before you call the loony bin and have me committed, you should hear me out… I talk to dead people, but the dead people don’t always talk back. I mean, sometimes they do. Sometimes they give me a nudge in the right direction. Sometimes they whisper through a gust of wind. Sometimes they manifest as a crow perched in tree–constantly heckling and shouting commands. Granted, this is usually when I’m all by myself at some abandoned homestead–with no one to confirm the phenomena–but I assure you that I’m not making this stuff up.

Yesterday was a horrible day–the sort of day that brings you to your breaking point. One of my most recent challenges has been getting my son to daycare. I know that sounds kind of silly–you go, you drop the kid off, you leave. But when your kid is crumpled in the corner, eyes glistening with tears, and hiding his face behind a pizza Lunchable–its not as easy as drop off and leave.

What kind of mother would I be if I just ignored that quivering little lip? My son is one of the most sensitive, sweet, and reserved little boys. But recently, he has had a few mishaps with a more rowdy kid in his class. From what I’m told, the two usually get along… when the other child isn’t slapping him in the face, throwing a toy at his head, or stomping on his fingers. (I think this may be a contributing factor to the emotional torment when I mention school.) 

ashtonYesterday, we had a rough day–even rougher than normal. As a result, I didn’t even get him to daycare until 10AM. I battled with him the entire morning, making my best effort to be encouraging and supporting… but the little guy just cried and cried and cried. As a matter of fact, he was still crying when I left him at daycare. I somehow managed to hold it together until I climbed into my Subaru… but then I lost it. Most parents know that emotional drain of seeing your child hurting–its pretty much brutal.

At that point, I realized that driving to the office and arriving at 11AM would probably be more detrimental than productive. So I drove home and by the time I got home, I was still crying. (I’m such a sucker, I know.) The first thing I did after my little meltdown was call the daycare to check on my son. He was fine. He was happy and playing with his friends. That made me feel a little better. Of course, then I had a whole afternoon to waste until I had to pick the little booger up.

That’s right… a whole afternoon with no children. You can probably guess the second thing I did: I went digging. I loaded up the four detectors, the hand diggers, the shovel, and the husband and set off for some much-needed dirt therapy.

Without the kids tagging along, our pick of destinations were limitless. No restrictions. I didn’t have to worry about my husband wandering into oncoming traffic or tumbling down a ravine like I would need to with the kids.

After some debate, we eventually settled on a local homesite that I’d recently acquired permission for–and by recently, I mean Tuesday when I stopped and pleaded with the owner… No, not really. There was no pleading. The homeowner was exceedingly gracious considering my uncle warned me that anyone who stepped foot on that property was pelted with buckshot. There was no buckshot. In fact, the property owner even offered Sweet Sis and I some bottled water for the road. You could file that one under “fairy-tale-door-knocking”–because it rarely happens that way.

BUSHEY HOMEThis property has a long history–by US standards anyway. The original cabin was built during the earlier half of the nineteenth century and then replaced with a brick home in 1874. In addition to the home, the property includes an old schoolhouse that served as the church every Sunday. The graveyard beside the schoolhouse-slash-church has stones that date to the late 1700s–including the final resting place of a revolutionary war veteran. Fortunately, the woman I spoke with on Tuesday owns it all–which makes for a busy summer of searching.

With a little sweet talk, my husband let me use his XP Deus. He chose the Whites MXT which is on loan from a fellow hobbyist.

After we geared up, we headed in opposite directions. He chose to detect around the stone barn. I–being a smidge overly ambitious–chose to battle my way through the overgrowth and detect the the old brick home.

Once my husband disappeared from view, I started my dialogue with the previous homeowners–the Bushey Family. I guess some might find my approach a little strange, but I always value that connection with the previous residents. I assured the family that I meant no disrespect–unlike the dozens of teenagers who trespassed before me and left their mark of destruction on the walls and the shutters. I explained that I was only there to dig up their history and tell their story before all traces were corroded and forgotten underground.

Not everyone experiences that same connection with the past, but there is something so surreal about taking just a few moments to appreciate those who came before you and left an impression on a property. That impression or event or whatever is a ripple of energy that–when you open yourself upyou can feel.

Whether you believe that spirits still roam the property or not, you must believe that a living person once roamed the property–that is the past. That is indisputable. When you take a moment to consider all that happened on the property and all the memories that were forged there, the whole metal detecting experience becomes so much more fulfilling–at least in my experience anyway.

Yesterday may have been a horrible day but despite my frustrations and silly tribulations, I still took that moment to appreciate the grandeur of this home and everything that it stood for–all the gatherings, all the celebrations, all the sadness, the excitement, and the emotion. Would you believe it… as I’m chit-chatting away to these dead people, I discover the remnants of a bracelet or hair pin. Granted, the poor thing is in sad shape… but it still charged with history. I could almost imagine the woman who lost it guiding me to that exact location beside the porch.

The bottom line is…. I talk to dead people… and sometimes they talk back.

(At the time of writing this post, I do not have a photo of the bracelet/hairpin available. Make sure you like RelicRecoverist on Facebook to see the upcoming post.)