The Usual and Unusual

Sandy Jordan
Neosho Daily News

    There is a line in the movie “Casablanca” that is infamous; “round up the usual suspects”. That was exactly what I needed to do. I had a night that flashed back to diapers and bottles. Every hour to two hours the dogs catapulted off the bed hysterically barking. Finished, the incoming barrage hit hard as my two twenty-pound monsters returned to bulldoze their way back under the covers, pulling them off my back.

    Was it the cute raccoon? This small masked bandit that hung from the awning to taunt them, or would scratch at the door wanting them to come out to play. Or was it Mr. Possum who I had seen perched on the newly opened dog food sack, happily munching away.

    The bear had been quiet as had the panther. I hadn’t been hearing the coyote choir.  Maybe it was the silky rag mop that could bark louder than the dynamic duo? She was trying to adopt me.

    Or was it the unusual and unseen. Those are often more apt to set them off than anything. You know, those who passed from here but seem to linger? A dear friend of mine lost her husband. He had spent his last two years putting puzzles together. After his passing she found puzzle pieces in the oddest and most meaningful places.

    My daughter bought her house from an elderly gentleman who left nearly everything behind, including his wife. She looked over the place until he died.  We all know about the old house in the north end that predates the Civil War. It has a grave in the front yard and a young servant girl seen at the front door and walking about the property.

    Let’s not forget the German soldier, some say headless, wandering the environs of Crowder Collage. These are on the most part friendly and begin.

    Uncle Elmer, fondly known as Uncle Fudge, hung around here. For years we smelled his coffee brewing, his beans cooking and his cherry tobacco. He was a real prankster. Once I had a check laid out, with my business, to deposit. It vanished, only to reappear weeks later drifting out of the blue. Then there was my five dollar bill, when I reached for it in the store I found four ones and change. Then there was all the different noises, including glass rattling explosions with no source.

    Since my husbands passing he has grown quiet. Of course now, I have a broken music box that plays to remind me that he hasn’t left. Perhaps I wouldn’t be so calm about all that but I grew up with Caspar the friendly ghost and Scooby Doo.

    What relevance does all this have? Is the virus, mud slinging politicians and Trumps latest faux pas more important? I don’t think so, they all keep you awake. But, at least I can do something about this, so “Scooby Doo where are you, I have a mystery to solve!”

-Sandy Jordan is an area writer and a founding editor of The Crowder Quill. She writes a weekly column for The Neosho Daily News and on occasion for The Aurora Advertiser.