Wednesday was Stephen King's 69th birthday so Burt picked three sunflowers in his honor. As you might expect, Bag of Bones is Burt's favorite novel and there's a creepy reference to sunflowers in it. Unlike the flowers in the story, Burt's are obviously not the size of searchlights and just in case anyone happens to be wondering, these didn't grow up through the floorboards of our porch either.
A sunflower did grow up and bloom in a rain gutter at my parents house once.
That was scary in so many, many ways.
I had to admire it's tenacity!
Ivy is also a big fan of Stephen King and thought the flowers were a terrific way to commemorate the horror master. It is her favorite book but she only indulges in frightening literature during the daylight hours of the summer, preferably at the beach with lots of people around.
I have a sort of, eerie tale to tell about my own house, specifically our possessed kitchen.
Many years ago just after we moved to town, we found this cute little home for sale.
The kitchen was terrible, the appliances were vintage 70's
and the cupboards and sink had been there since it was built in 1929, but
since it needed to be completely redone we could do whatever we wanted.
It also needed some paint and a few repairs but the price was right so we bought it.
As it turned out, there were lots of things that needed immediate attention,
way more than we had first imagined so it took a few years
before we finally got around to remodeling the kitchen.
The temperature had soared to the mid 90's that day in early May
when the designer came to measure our kitchen for it's big makeover,
and we were very surprised to discover that our furnace had turned itself on
and was blasting away yet more heat into an already stifling situation.
No matter how hard we tried we couldn't get it turned off.
Eventually a repairman got it under control by shutting off the gas to the whole house.
So the kitchen went on hold while the furnace and air conditioner were replaced.
A year went by and on the day we were going to approve the plans and choose new cabinets,
two tiles fell off the upstairs bathroom wall just above the bathtub faucet
and water started streaming out.
Again the kitchen plans were shelved while we attended to the bathroom.
I came home from work one day during the renovation to find two bathtubs in the dining room,
a 4'x6' hole in the kitchen wall, half of the pantry ceiling gone
and plaster dust covering every surface on both floors.
I had just missed the two bats that flew out of the bathroom wall
when they opened it up to work on the plumbing.
A couple months after the bathroom was finished we were more determined than ever
to get back to work on the kitchen since it was now in even worse shape than before.
We made an appointment with the designer but had to cancel
because we had been awakened at 4:30 am when the smoke detectors went off
because our house was on fire.
Luckily, it was confined to our sunroom and we all got out alive, including our pets,
but smoke goes everywhere and gets into everything, makes a really horrible mess
that smells awful and takes nearly a year to fix.
When our house inexplicably caught on fire everyone blamed us,
especially our insurance adjuster, who kept asking us why the fire started in our sunroom.
He finally gave up accusing us of setting it deliberately
(in the middle of the night when we were all asleep in the house)
when I flatly stated that if we were going to set a room on fire it would be the kitchen.
He took a good look at the kitchen and was very helpful from then on.
It seemed like every time we started to work on the kitchen
something else would come up that was more urgent.
That's when I got the notion that maybe the kitchen didn't want to be remodeled,
maybe it didn't want to be expanded and shiny and improved. Was it cursed?
Or maybe, it was possessed.
So I gave up on installing shiny new gleaming white cabinets and came up with a plan
to keep most of the original ones and have new ones made to match the old.
I didn't want to make it angry, maybe it just wanted to be accepted for itself.
We decided to just refinish the original floor (an impractical decision),
junk the ancient appliances and spend a small fortune on a new sink that looked old.
I wondered if we should get a priest in to perform an exorcism
but settled on buying a new broom and sweeping the floor.
Did that break the curse? Drive out the evil?
Nope. The first day work started on the kitchen a pipe broke
which led to the discovery that all of our plumbing needed to be replaced
and eventually the electrical wiring, too. The whole process was plagued with problems,
it took nearly six months (over the winter) and cost three times the original estimate.
So when anyone asks me if my house is haunted I say no but
my kitchen is definitely possessed.
As a postscript to my possessed kitchen tale I should say that we had a few peaceful years
with our kitchen until a month ago when the dishwasher had to be replaced. Then
at the start of the Labor Day holiday the hot water heater sprung a leak, here we go again!
A belated Happy Haunted Humpday to everyone and thanks for stopping by!
So what's your favorite Stephen King novel?