I was immediately awake. . .and a little miffed. What a wonderful night's sleep I was having with dreams of my childhood playing in and around the buildings of our own Delta farm. What had awakened me with that loud thud?
Photo by the SHACK UP INN, Clarksdale, MS
Shack Up Inn
It was early the second morning of our stay at the Shack Up Inn located in Clarksdale, Mississippi. A real sharecropper's shack had been our home--just one among many shacks on the old Hopson cotton plantation. We were living the history of the early 20th century among the numerous buildings, the original cotton gin, seed houses, commissary and an undetermined number of rusting vintage vehicles and farm equipment. . .a unique experience for sure. . .not too different from our own 1930s HISTORIC FARMSTEAD but on a much larger scale.
Electric Blue Shack
The name of our sharecropper's shack for those three days was Electric Blue. . .and blue the exterior was. . .Inside, the 'decor' was a hodge-podge of make-do. . .comfortable and warm. . .but a very lived in look. . .not unlike a few of the farmhand places I remembered from the 1950s. . .On several occasions I had peered into COWBOY'S SHOTGUN HOUSE and Curtis's tenant house when I accompanied Daddy delivering Christmas gifts. . .And then there was Clara and Warner, who lived in a shotgun house two doors down from us. . .Clara was my baby-sitter in our home when Mom and Dad were out for the evening. . .I wasn't suppose to go into her house. . .but I did. . .I also wasn't suppose to climb her wonderfully climbable tree. . .but I did. . .
Guess I'm getting way off the subject, aren't I? . .Rambling. . .Back to the story. . .
Electric Blue was make-do on the highest level. . .but brought forth old memories for me. . .John had no history with such houses. . .but he was all in for the adventure. . .More than once he commented that our own present-day shotgun house at the farm was a Southern mansion compared to Electric Blue. . .All in fun. . .We loved our little shack. . .our home away from home for several days.
So it was there that I awoke to some loud muffled noise. . .I was immediately wide awake. . .I emphasize this because while relating this story to many. . .the popular comment seemed to go something like, 'Are you SURE you weren't asleep?'. .No. . .I assure you, I was NOT asleep. . .although it would be easier to explain if I had been.
I wasn't asleep but I WAS trying to figure out the location of that THUMP. . .the porch? . .the window? . .It was too early for anyone to be roaming around. I remained very still, waiting for the next thud to give me another clue. . .lying on my side facing the wall and window in case there was anyone on the outside trying to come in.
There was a warm glow on the wall from a night light through the door opening of the next room. . .I wondered if the sun would come up soon. . .as I laid there quiet as a mouse. . .waiting. . .
To my utter surprise I suddenly saw the silhouette of a cat. . .on the wall in front of me. . .First his head. . .then his body. . .and at last his tail waving in the air. . .walking slowly as if balancing himself. . . 'Okay' I said to myself. 'Must have been a cat OUTSIDE on the window sill. . .That explains the thump.
But wait a minute. . .the shadow wasn't at the window. . .It was on the wall. . .Was there a cat in the next room?. . .Was he walking across a table? . . Was I seeing his shadow through the door? . . And how did he get in anyway?
When your logical mind can't accept what the eye is seeing,
you go through a whole list of explanations.
With curiosity and without turning over, I twisted around to glance through the open door to the next room. . .Nope. . .No cat. . .Where WAS that critter? . . .Beginning to feel a little shaky, I turned my head back to the wall. . .Yep. . .The cat was still there. . .Like a flash I realized the cat was standing on the shadow of my own up-turned side. . .He had stopped for a moment--with paw in the air--from my movement. Still unbelieving, I reached out and touched the shadow on the wall. . .To my surprise, the cat's shadow continued his walk toward my feet. . .and then he was gone. . .and it was at that moment that I realized logic would never answer this one! Did I say earlier that I was still unbelieving? . .Well, let me tell you. . .I became a believer rather quickly at that point.
A few minutes later, I got out of bed and walked around the three rooms. . .to make sure what I had seen on the wall wasn't hidden somewhere. . .It was 5:00 a. m. . .How I would love to jump back in bed and go back to my dream but I knew sleep escaped me. . .I needed to talk. . .not sleep. . .I needed to tell John, who was still sound asleep. . .Just the night before we had discussed, 'If these walls could talk' and how many stories must fill the rooms about the people who had lived there over the years. . .We never thought of beloved animals. . .I could only imagine what his response to my encounter would be. . .I started perking the coffee in hopes the aroma would fill the rooms and maybe wake him up. . .I couldn't wait another minute. . .
Shack Up Inn
Gin, Shack Up Inn
Shack Up Inn
'Oh! Good Morning, Hon. . .Did I wake you? (wink). . .
Here's your coffee. . .Sit down for a minute. . .I have something to tell you. . .
You won't believe what happened to me. . .
THE WALLS TALKED. . .'
AS GOD IS MY WITNESS. . .
THIS IS A TRUE STORY. . .HONEST. . .
I couldn't help but wonder how many other GHOSTS must haunt these Sharecropper Shacks? Maybe one day we'll return and find out more about what the WALLS have to say. . .
For more about the Shack Up Inn, follow this link:
LIFE IS GOOD. . . .