Monday, June 23, 2008

The Third Story Window

Our funeral home is a historic home in our small town. The home was built by a very wealthy oilman in 1917. The original structure had three levels with the third level frequently used for ballroom dances and fancy parties held in the 1920's. A tornado damaged the original structure and the home was moved to the current location on our downtown main street. It was purchased for the purpose of a funeral home in the 30's. The funeral home operated on the bottom floor, the family lived on the second floor and the third floor became storage.
In 1977 the funeral home was purchased for the third time. A casket selection room and other offices were put to use on the second floor. The third floor remained storage.
I have always had an eerie fasination with the third floor. The first time I ever opened the creaking door and stepped on the old winding staircase I felt this strange nervous sensation. It is like stepping back into time as you step on the dusty staircase. There is no electricity. The cobwebs and dust wave in the shadows and amongst the boxes, old magazines and furniture you can glimpse the vintage cots that picked up countless bodies over the years. At one time the abandoned floor represented two bedrooms, one bath and a huge ballroom that once overflowed with music, dancing and laughter. The bathroom has original hot and cold knobs for the sink and tiny checked tile that is broken and aged by the years.
In one of the bedrooms there is an old window. The poor thing has not aged well. Chipped paint and rusty hindges hold it in place. She hasn't been opened in years. It has to be lonely... no one around anymore to share the view of the sunshine with.
Every three months or so I wander upstairs to the third floor to look around. Just before I go back downstairs I always go to my window and pay her a visit.
One cold snowy day in December of 2006 I stepped up the dusty stairs and sensed a strange breeze. I could hear the sound of papers swirling around on the floor and I could feel the chill of the December air at my feet. As I followed the sound of the wind it called me into the bedroom with the window.
And there she was, wide open.
There was no explaination for this for if you tried to open it, it would take a crowbar to do it and besides, no one but me went up there every now and then.
It actually scared me and I ran downstairs to show the owner. He went back upstairs with me and we both stood dumbfounded. It took both of us to get it shut and latched.
To this day it remains closed.
(*Tomorrow, I will take and post a picture of the window so you can see her with your own eyes..)


Brooke said...

Only you would go up freak! Ha Ha... :)

Annie said...

You know me!! Ask Phenix sometime~we couldnt believe it!! miss you!!

Cindy Grubb said...

you never told me that I want to see