All posts by Susan Barnett

Ghost stories

Ghost stories

I saw something once. Just once. I was waiting for a client at an isolated house that was for sale. I was early, and I saw the owner, an elderly man, walk out the back door and down to what looked like a workshop. Rather than interrupt him, I waited for my clients. When they arrived, I explained that the owner appeared to be home, and I’d go find him to make sure we were expected. I walked to that workshop. No one was there. The place had clearly been empty for a long time.

Stress

Stress

I know if I unplugged, if I looked away, I’d feel better. But I also know that if I look away, if I make myself feel temporarily better, there will be one less voice raised in opposition when trial balloons are launched for things I believe are morally wrong.

Old house

Old house

You could have a rambling Victorian on a corner lot with a big, double backyard in a village that is on the National Historic Registry. Your driveway would butt up against your neighbor’s, and your backyard extends behind the house around the corner. But there’s something about that big front porch, that screened in side porch, that private deck out back, that make living in a village look very appealing.

Still isolating

Still isolating

Caution makes sense to me, as we’re still not Covid-free. Just yesterday someone at a restaurant in Binghamton tested positive for Covid 19, and everyone who’s gone there in the recent past is encouraged to get tested. Binghamton isn’t any farther from here than Kingston is, or the Capital District, and lots of locals go there to visit the “big” stores.

Search for that swimming hole

Search for that swimming hole

I live right down the road from the East Sidney Dam, and anyone can swim or boat there for a price. But it’s a public beach. That’s not what I’m looking for. I want the deep spots in a creek or river, or the pool made by a waterfall, or even a good, deep pond. And I don’t want to see other people.

I was very, very lucky

I was very, very lucky

I got out of the car, in the middle of absolute nowhere, and walked back to that building with the neon beer sign. I hesitated on the porch. I was a 17-year-old girl, alone, walking into a bar in a very, very remote place. But this was the world before mobile phones, and if I was going to get help I was going to have to ask strangers.

Now I just breathe

Now I just breathe

My grandchildren were recently here, and they were absolutely delighted when we ate dinner outside. They’ve been cooped up in a suburban condo in Connecticut for much of the pandemic. Their outdoor space is limited. “It feels good to be out,” my son, their father, explained. “It feels good to be anywhere new.”

I have stories to tell

I have stories to tell

I’ve been discouraged. I have been writing for years, and I’ve been lucky enough to have a few short stories published in various literary publications and websites, but I’ve not been so fortunate with my novels. Yes, there are several of them. How many? At last count, six. But I suffer from a genetic family disorder – an overreaction to rejection.

Threatening behavior

Threatening behavior

She didn’t know if calling the police and reporting the incident was the right thing to do. The police, she knew, were not exactly sympathetic to her political point of view. She had no confidence that they’d put professionalism before politics to protect her family, because she’s heard stories about the local police that made it very possible they wouldn’t.

Once more, with feeling

Once more, with feeling

I just saw that a Fox news anchor was fired for sexual harassment. His co-anchor had to read that announcement. She read it with professionalism, but the clip I saw showed just a moment as she stopped, where her expression said something. I will not presume to know what it said. But she was thinking and feeling something she didn’t express.