The Suitcase Lady


October 26, 2010, 8:42 pm

Every issue of New Mexico Magazine that lands in my mailbox has some reference to ghosts.

For example, describing a historic home, the writer states,”you may even see a ghost of a former resident lurking in the shadows.” I don’t think so.

Ghosts fill my life, but they are not supernatural beings, they are memories. The older I get, the more ghosts I acquire.

I can’t drive down a particular stretch of Lincoln Avenue in West Allis without seeing the ghost of my Aunt Vi hiking in her high heels on her 10 mile daily hike.

My father’s ghost appears every time I see a Hershey Bar, while my mother visits when I underline passages in books. Her presence is especially felt when the passages are in library books. She is not happy.

Because I have been lucky to have traveled all my life, my ghosts are equally well traveled. Albuquerque and Tucson are thoroughly haunted. My Aunt Gladys lurks in Chantilly, a marvelous French bakery and cafe in the Duke City. My mother and father-in law continue to confound me whenever I drive in Tucson; they never made left turns, and I never learned the direct route to any place in that town.

As we age, our younger selves also join in the ghost parade. The towering redwoods in California conjure the ghost of a young mother holding her little daughter as she throws up into the majestic beauty. (The coast highway is an extremely twisting road.) The same ghosts then move to a laundromat in Eureka, California.

Halloween is near, and improbable tales of the supernatural will proliferate. I don’t need any more ghosts, thank you. I have plenty of my own.

3 Comments for this entry

  • Jen

    Very true! I have very real conversations with Grandma Vera everytime I make anise cookies or use her rolling pin. And the girl who puked in the Redwoods was reminded of said experience when she commiserated with her own puking daughter on the Hana Highway in Hawaii!

    I don’t really mind the ghosts.

  • Mary

    Jenny! Ahhhh! the Redwood and Hana Highway incidents do not bode well for your future grandchildren’s ability to weather curvy roads.

  • evie

    And thank you so much for your “pumpkin moon” card.