Wednesday, August 26, 2015


I knew Saturday was an unusual day but I couldn't put my finger on it. It's like having an itch you can't quite get to or trying to remember who played the blacksmith in the old Gunsmoke TV series (it was Burt Reynolds--I can't let this become a mindworm for you). For one thing, there have been some unusual noises around the house.

My old dresser, a beautiful cherry piece with smooth lines from around 1840, has been making noises. Naturally, I don't notice them until I go to bed because I don't spend that much time in the bedroom (hold your guffaws, please). But on nights when I'm especially agitated, it seems to sound especially loud with creaks and pops as if it too is settling in for a snooze after a long day. I might think it was cooling but it's on the northeast side of the house which tends to be cool anyway and there's seldom a ray of sunshine that hits it.

Then one evening last week, I was pretty sure I heard a whistle in the hallway. It's a very small hallway, about the size of a disappointing closet and right outside the bedroom door. All noses were accounted for, especially those prone to whistling snores and this seemed to just come out of the air. Well, no worries.

Friday night--technically Saturday morning, everyone woke up yelling because somehow the television in the bedroom had come on at 1:32 AM and everyone had been nicely asleep, even Louie. Saturday morning at a reasonable hour I found the TV remote on the headboard above my head and was pleased to conclude I had flung my arm up and unconsciously turned everything on. That was something of a relief.

Creaks, pops and whistles I'm OK with. The occasional phantom cat seen in the living room does not bother me. I'm quite sure that the late Normie, from whose estate we purchased the house, is happy we're here because we were kind to him while he was alive. But the TV thing. That was going to be a little too much like a Ghost Hunters all-nighter. I prefer to find the mundane solution first and I'm confident I did this time.

Still, it left me with a feeling Saturday of not-quite-unease. It was more like expectation, like waiting for a spoon to be nudged off a counter. Nothing big, just...something.

I had a reading with a repeat client midday and hoped that what I said was something they could make good use of. I'd purchased a cup of coffee and drank perhaps a third of it, tossing it on the way to the fabric store to look for something. I wasn't sure what, inspiration maybe. I did find a lovely bargain that was just the thing I had been thinking of for a couple of weeks.

"Do you have your Hancocks card?" the tiny service clerk asked. No, alas, I had lost my keys more than a year ago that had my little shoppers card on it. I gave her my telephone number and returned home with my purchase.

I hung out online a while and was inspired to write something funny, about what an automated answering system would sound like if you called heaven (local call from Ireland, of course).

"Hello, you've reached Heaven. Our options have changed recently so please listen carefully and choose one of the following. For St Anthony Miracles or Lost and Found, please dial 1 and have your credit or debit card ready. For Parking or Barbecue with St Laurence, please dial 2. For hopeless cases and/or casino assistance with St Jude, please dial 3. Cats, dogs and other small animal issues with St Francis or St Martin de Porres, please dial 4. Travelers, please be advised that St Christopher is no longer taking referrals. Please dial 5 and a saint will help you. Wait times maybe up to 30 minutes, so reservations and donations are recommended. If you just need someone to talk to, St Joan of Arc and Mother Theresa have limited hours. For more information, please dial 6...just one 6, please. All other questions, please dial 0. Have a wonderful life."

A couple of chats and a quick reading for a friend later, and I was still trying to figure out what the unease was. I made dinner plans for Sunday night, checked messages in email and social media.

What?? What was it? Had I forgotten something? In Lenormand, the Book represents a secret or mystery if not a literal book. One end is closed and can't be opened. The other end might be opened but in Lenormand is usually closed because it represents information not yet available, something hidden. For me, I couldn't even tell what was hidden, let alone where it was.

I paused in my marathon of Midsomer Murders, sent a note to Mary K. Greer about an episode with a Tarot reading in it since Mary "collects" representations of Tarot in art, film, etc. At least it was a Swiss 1JJ deck in a Celtic Cross, even if (bring up strains of "Danse Macabre") the final outcome card was Death. I groaned at the cliche. It's a murder mystery, after all. And I decided to change into my "soft clothes" for the evening and went to the bedroom with the sometimes-noisy dresser to root for a t-shirt and sweats.

Something fell on the floor with a crash. I looked down and saw keys. At first they didn't make sense to me. These weren't my everyday keys I use with a red and blue Snoopy-on-his-doghouse housekey and a couple of dangling plastic seashells, something big and obnoxious enough to find in the deep bucket of my purse. No, these were Other Keys. Those keys. I bent to pick them up, filled with curiosity and the culmination of the strangeness of the day.

These were my keys from a year and a half ago, finally slipped from the pocket of a blue denim jacket where they had slept all this time. I picked them up as if they were a baby bird. Were they even real? There was the Hancocks tag and a couple others, the leather tab with The Hanged Man tooled into it, the keys, the electronic fobs I was afraid were in someone else's hands or smashed in a landfill.

"My keys," I said stupidly. What was lost was found. Well, no need to call Heaven after all, I thought.

Book + Key is the Answered Question, the Solved Mystery, the Secret Revealed.

Now I have to figure out if they went through the wash and ruined the electronic fobs. I think in Lenormand as well as physics, everything has to be somewhere.

Best wishes.

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