The Cottage and the Kids

Jessie Lynn R. shared her Back to the Past spacetime slip on the about.com website in 2015.  Her TWIDDER took place when she was eight years old.  What is incredibly rare is that Jessie enjoyed this time slip daily for an entire summer.  Believing, as I do, in a heavenly Father and angels, could the Lord have had a hand in helping ease the loneliness of this little girl that special summer???

It was mid-August and we had just moved from the city into a large, old, country home in upstate New York. I was an only child and we now had very few close neighbors with children. I was very lonely. I missed the city and my friends. I spent my days having pretend tea parties with my dolls on our front porch. I was bored, alone and very depressed.

One day when I was just moping on the porch, my mother suggested I take a walk with our dog down the long country lane beyond our house. She said it would be an adventure. I agreed to go, but I definitely did not see it as an adventure. Taking a walk with the dog just sounded like more boredom and loneliness to me. But I said I would go, so I went.

I walked past the house of one of our elderly neighbors, who had no interest in conversing with an eight-year-old child.

And I walked past one of several abandoned farmhouses in various states of disrepair. The abandoned houses only increased my sense of loneliness and depression.

After walking for about a quarter of a mile, I came upon a delightful cottage that appeared to be basking in the sunlight. 214600-bigthumbnailThe cottage was surrounded by gorgeous flowers everywhere. It looked like a house you would see in a magazine. It was small but simply adorable. It reminded me of a gingerbread house.  I was intrigued.

Suddenly, the front door of the cottage burst open and five young children, all close in age, ran outside, shouting greetings to me and asking me if I wanted to play. There were eight-year-old twin boys, the same age as me. Their names were Aidan and Quentin. There was a seven-year-old girl and a nine-year-old girl, whose names were Marabelle and Dawn. And last, there was the oldest 10-year-old brother named Colin.

These children were as bright, sunny and rosy as their beautiful little cottage, so of course I wanted to play with them. We played circle games, tag, hide and seek, and took turns pushing each other on the tire swing hanging from a large silver maple tree  in their front yard. The children and I played and laughed; they were never cross with each other. I really enjoyed being with them.

When their mom opened the front door to call them in for lunch, I was going to head home. But she, their father and the children begged me to stay for lunch with them, so I did. Our lunch was homemade baked beans, coleslaw, and huge warm biscuits fresh from the oven. Now, if my mother had made me a lunch like that I would never have eaten it. I would have thought that it sounded awful. But after playing hard with five children all morning, all the food smelled delicious — and tasted even better than it smelled. For dessert we had homemade cinnamon buns, again warm and fresh from the oven.

After lunch, we played some more. But then I realized that I had been gone a long time and better head home or my mother would be very worried. And so I went home happy and anxious to tell my mother all about my new friends. She just smiled and nodded, but didn’t say much, except, “Gee… I don’t think any other kids live on this lane.”

But I was sure happy and for the remainder of the summer I happily played with the Chandler children, and enjoyed eating their strange lunches. On several occasions, I asked the children to come to my house and meet my parents, but we had so much fun that it seemed we never got around to it.

Anyway, I knew that school would begin soon and I figured that my parents would meet the Chandler kids when we all walked to the school bus stop together. I was excited to begin school with my new friends.

The day before school was set to begin, I only spent about an hour with the Chandler kids because my mom said we were driving into town to get the rest of my school supplies. I asked the Chandler kids if they were ready for school and they just smiled but didn’t really answer. When I left their house that day, I called out, “See you at the bus stop tomorrow!” They just smiled and waved at me.

The next morning the Chandler kids were not at the bus stop. I thought maybe their parents drove them the first day. But when I got to school, they weren’t there at all. Strange, I thought! But I made lots of new friends at my new school and, all in all, I had a great day.

After school, I ran to their house to see why they were not at school that first day. But when I got to their yard, I stopped dead in my tracks. There was nothing but a foundation… no house. There were no flowers anymore… anywhere. And the tire swing that I rode everyday was now nothing but a small frayed rope hanging high up in the tree.

I thought I was crazy. I walked further down the lane thinking I had the wrong property… but I did not. I came back and walked around the empty Chandler yard, wondering where everyone had gone. Remember, I was only eight years old, so I was more confused than freaked out.

Finally, I went home and told my mother what had happened. My mother asked me what their last name was again and I said, “Chandler.” My mother gasped and said that the elderly neighbor told her that a Chandler family had lived on the lane years earlier, but the entire family died in a house fire 15 years ago.

“That’s impossible,” I screamed. And I began to cry. They were my friends and now they were gone. My mother thought that I had somehow heard about a large family living there at one time, so I invented them as my imaginary friends.  I doubt it. Everything and everyone was sure real to me. I played with them every day from mid-August until school began in September.

Twenty-five years have now past, but I can still see their faces, still smell and taste their food. No way did I imagine them. So what did happen?  Again, I don’t know. But whatever happened that summer, I will be eternally grateful to the lovely family who helped to cheer up a very depressed and lonely little girl. Thank you, Chandler family. Thank you, my dearest friends!

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About aloholmes

We live in a wondrous universe, and I love learning about it. Spacetime slips are one facet of existence that fascinate me. As a retired teacher I enjoy researching this topic and sharing the information I garner.
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