KD and I went Up North in mid-October, for a week of reading. It looked like this outside:
and like this inside:
We had a lovely, restful time (and our thanks to our absent hosts!). The last evening we joked of all the ways we could manage to stay a little longer, by getting snowed in (hoped for, but we only got rain), by losing track of the days, etc.
So it was with a considerable start that I looked out the kitchen window the morning of our departure to see this:
There was, for a few moments, that wonderful, ghost-story moment of an observed phenomenon with no apparent rational explanation. We were completely alone, both in the cabin and on the road to it. The only people we had seen all week were in the town up the road. KD denied going out into the night to close the gate. As you can see in the first picture, the gate is usually fastened open. Indeed, I had never seen it closed, and did not know how to unfasten it; nor did KD. We both eventually recalled that the wind had howled prodigiously in the night, sounding like a far-off train before actually hitting against the sides of the cabin. But the gate was fastened with a loop of heavy wire - surely even a strong wind couldn't snap that. It looked for all the world as though the cabin wanted us to stay.
I blame the fact that I was more ready to consider the spirit of the house than a wandering human spirit on my fondness for the works of Barbara Michaels.
While we were packing up, the gate wandered further open, and then closed, and then back into the trees again - a slightly less spooky apparition than seeming to have locked us in. And when we ventured outside to pack up the car, we discovered that the wind had indeed snapped the wire. Instructional Note: do not run your hand down a twisted wire as if it were a particularly thick piece of wool. I had to go back into the cabin for some first aid before we drove off.