Life with an Angel (Chapter 9, page 1 of 14)

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Chapter 9

"In Heaven there is no loneness, no jealousies, no fear, and no sadness..." MM It occurred during that same summer. I continued my regular milk route that took me right in the middle of downtown Shelbyville. On Washington Street, I had several customers. Some of those homes were what we considered mansions. They were huge and beautifully designed. They were all two or three stories high, had big wraparound porches, were beautifully landscaped, and one could tell the owners spared no expense at the decorations, both inside and out. When we used to go trickor- treating, we would have our folks drop us off in the area of these big expensive homes. They would always give the best treats. I remember one house gave us each a silver dollar, that was a big deal for us.

However, there was one mansion that we avoided. It was probably one of the biggest of all of these homes, but it was starting to appear neglected and uncared for. The shrubs and trees were overgrown, giving it a very eerie, scary, forlorn look. Of course, we knew the house had to be haunted. There was an old lady that lived there that everyone was afraid of. I'm not sure why we were afraid of her. I suppose it was just because of all the talk and the way kids would exaggerate the stories about her. One story was the police were called there on a report of a women screaming. When they got there, they found her in front of her house sitting up in a tree, yelling at cars going by. Or the story that she was seen in her back yard yelling at some men's clothes that were hanging on the clothesline. As she would beat on the clothesline yelling, the clothes would bounce down the line at the other end. She would then yell, "You come back here while I'm talkin' to you." She would beat on the line some more, and the clothes would bounce back down to her.

She would occasionally be seen walking down the street, pulling a two-wheeled wire basket. Boys would drive by her, yelling and teasing her. I am happy to say that I never took part in that sort of activity, and never understood why they would pick on her. I thought it best to avoid her.

But she was one of my milk customers and I had to confront one of my childhood fears, which was going to the front door that I always avoided as a young trick-or-treater.

The good thing was, I never had to actually deal with her directly. I would put her milk in the milk box on her porch, where she promptly left her payment. She always included an extra dollar tip. That is when I figured that a lot of the rumors I heard were untrue. It reminded me of what Pastor Jake said, "We should see others for who they are, and not who we think they are." I thought how lonely it must be to live in that super-large house all by herself; I was soon to find out.

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