Happy Little Cottages By The Sea

Cottage Charm, Coastal Calm

Cottage Cheese: My Own Private Paranormal

Friday again…wonder what Cottage Cheese has for us this week!

I often wonder…does everybody, from time to time, hear the theme from The Twilight Zone in their heads, or just me? We won’t go into everything I “hear”, but just suffice it to say I primarily travel alone with anywhere from one to three of my dogs, depending on whether any or all of them have recently been visited by SATAN!  This way the only arguments I generally referee or participate in are between the dogs (until they settle in for the trip) and those with myself.  I can be so mean to me, sometimes. and the name calling! Let’s just say, sometimes it’s days before I speak to myself again… until I get a sincere apology.
     When I’m by myself, I can conjure up the most beautiful images of living in a large, stately coastal home. Raised up above other mere mortals, from whence I can conduct my audiences on the veranda. Rarely, descending down the ivory steps to mingle with the masses. But, when I’m travelling with my three Children of the Corn  canines I just say the heck with it! I opt for a ground floor, one story dwelling with a fenced yard where I can let them out just by opening the back door.  Schlepping up and down stairs is way overated.  Phooey on playing Rapunzel, high up in the tower.
     Thus began a recent adventure to Tybee Island, where I became charmed and enthralled with my vintage cottage, Flip Flop.  One story? Check. White picket fenced yard?  Check.  Back door access to the huge yard? Check.  Warm, breezy, soothing Tybee weather? Check!  Just turn off the AC, open the doors, and breathe. Ohmmm.  Peace be still.

     Flip Flop is one of the many wonderful getaways you can reserve through Mermaid Cottages on Tybee Island.  Its curb appeal draws you into the 50s world of clean, tree lined streets, where everyone throws up their hand to wave and say hi as they pass by.  At first glance, one would think it’s just a quaint little house. But, once inside, the rooms open up into spacious views all the way through the home, punctuated with cheerful, island colors, fixtures, and textures…so homey and welcoming.  Every bedroom beckoning you to plop right down, kick your shoes off, and smell the sunshine and the fresh linens.

     It even has a separate wing with a laundry room by the back door and an adjacent bedroom flanked by the same type of twin beds I used to have in my childhood bedroom.  The temple of my familiar. I could see it from the hallway as I peeked out from the doorway and stepped down into the laundry room. There would begin my adventure into the netherword from whence voices called to me from beyond the realm of this dimension called Earth.

“What is your command?”  A monotone female announced from within the walls as soon  as I stepped down. Now, I already told ya’ll I was travelling alone.  Like most pet owners, I think my dogs are the smartest and brightest dogs on the planet…when they’re not possessed by the devil.  However, even I know they can’t talk. Imagine my surprise to then hear, “To whom do you wish to speak?”
     Now, don’t even begin to try and tell me it must have been the TV.  The TV was on.  I know it was on…it was a James Bond marathon weekend.  For me, watching James Bond is like eating pizza.  When it’s good it’s real good and when it’s bad, it’s still pretty good. Slowly, I turned. Step by step. Inch by inch. Then, I got my wits about me and decided to step down into the laundry room again.

     “Waiting for your command, “came the stilted female voice again.  Funny how it filled the small area of the laundry room.  Funny how it seemed to be coming right through the walls. Now, just like in movies, right before Michael Myers or Freddy Krueger gets somebody, why doesn’t that person heed the warnings and leave?  If a person hears something out of the ordinary shouldn’t they high tail it out instead of standing there waiting for a machete to cut an arm or a leg off and send blood spurting all over the screen?  And, if I hear a woman talking to me every time I step down into the laundry room shouldn’t I interpret that as “GET OUT!” and vacate the premises? Ya’ll just don’t appreciate how much I’ll put up with when I can let my dogs out directly into a  fenced yard without so much as clipping on their leashes. “Who dat?  Anybody in here that ought not be?  Go ‘way, now. SHOO!”, I said.
     So, for the next few days we struck an uneasy alliance.  As much as I was skeered to find out who was talking to me, I was also determined to use that back door to let my dogs in and out.  Every time I stepped down into the laundry room to open that back door, that heifer was asking me to whom I wished to contact.  I didn’t engage her in conversation one bit. She might have been a portal into heaven, but it would be just my luck that she could be a private line directly into where the devil lives. I wasn’t biting.  She’d talk and I’d listen, but never respond.

     I even offered up to the folks at Mermaid Cottages, “Flip Flop is a vortex over the entrance to HELL”, but they just stared, shook their heads and mumbled, “Pitiful…pitiful.”  Seems there was one other time that I had made the same declaration about another cottage a few years back.  I once witnessed the toilet as it flushed itself counter clockwise.  It was The Exorcist on Tybee. How was I supposed to know that any old yahoo could go into a home supply store and buy a counter clockwise flushing toilet?  It just ain’t natural! The next day, I went with a friend into Savannah and we met up with yet another friend to share lunch. I made myself comfortable at the table and crossed my legs. I’m 6’4″ and my legs have to go somewhere, so I usually wad them up under me.  Especially after another unfortunate incident, where I let them wander in the aisle once where the waiter found them. He tripped and sailed across the room, dishes and glassware flying about, food and drink splattering a nearby table. As I crossed my legs that siren of a voice bellowed, “To Whom Do You Wish To Speak!”

     Egads!  The portal to Hell was widening and now covered a section of Savannah! Just then a cell phone peaked from my pocket.  The screen was lit.  That sucker was on! Again, she said, “Waiting for your command…”
     Who in this world had recently hooked me up with a cell phone that has a voice activation feature?  Why in the world would anybody do such a thing? My dining buddy was Diane Kaufman, Head Mermaid at Mermaid Cottages! When I came on the island she had given me one of her Guest Services phones, so I could interview other guests on Tybee about their experiences. She was doubled over with laughter.  I had been carrying that extra phone in my pocket amongst all the other crap I had in there.  Each time I stepped down at the cottage or crossed my legs my keys had activated the voice command on the phone! 
     I was now 0 for 2 on the Ghost Hunt!  Can you spell L-O-S-E-R? All was not lost, though. You see, Diane had treated me to lunch at Back In The Day Bakery. I had the Soppresata Sandwich with fontina cheese, olive oil, and roasted peppers. I topped that off with their world famous banana pudding. It was a culimary experience that was out of this world!

I had, afterall, my very own private paranormal experience… and it was ethereal. Actually, other worldly and beyond belief fantastic! It was food prepared by the happy, loving, accomplished, soon-to-be published owners, chefs, and staff at Back In The Day Bakery.

It’s about keeping your wits about you, and allowing for things you cannot explain.  It’s about owning the reputation you make for yourself.  It’s about knowing that something good always happens to those who look for it.  It’s Cottage Cheese!

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