Strange Coincidence?

Things about my house's past totally freak me out. Things about my house's previous owners freak me out. Way back when we first bought the house, I even purchased this book from the historical society: Bournedale the forgotten village, which recounts the story of the families of Bournedale, including the man who built our house.

But I haven't been able to stop thinking about what happened Monday night.

My zumba/belly dance instructor Christine came to pick me up for an African dance class we were going to together. But when I hopped in her car, she said, "I think I've been to one of your neighbor's houses... maybe 10 years ago when I did meals on wheels. Is there an old lady that lives over there?"

She gestured to my neighbor's house.

"Not for a long time," I replied. "The owner of that house just recently passed away maybe 6 months ago." Then something struck me.

"Mrs. Thompson?" I asked.

"YES! That was it."

I gasped. That was my house. That was the previous owner, who had outlived her husband and died just previous to us purchasing the house. Of course she'd never recognize the house in its present state... plus it was dark outside. "That was my house," I said in disbelief.

"I only went there once, but I was in there talking to the woman for over an hour," Christine went on. "Then as I was leaving, the VNA nurse came in and told me, 'If you want to come here, you have to come all the time - every day. You can't let her down.' So I didn't go back." She frowned. "I just couldn't make that commitment."

It seems like a very small coincidence. I mean, Bourne is a small town. But still... I couldn't stop thinking about it. "You have to come in - do you mind?" I asked Christine on our way home after the class. "We've done so much work... you won't believe it."

To expect someone to remember a house they were in for an hour 10 years after the fact is a bit of a stretch, but I couldn't help it. She had remembered being there, after all. And when we went in she couldn't recognize a thing until I prompted her... "and this room was covered in wood paneling..."

"Yes, and it was very dark!"

Of course Mrs Thompson would have never given her the grand tour, but I certainly did. I couldn't help myself. And I just yacked and yacked away about this and that, before and after. At the end of the tour I remembered I had a "before" picture of the outside of the house hanging up in the living room. I pulled it down and showed her.

"That was it. Oh my god."

I thought about it long after Christine had gone. It doesn't creep me out as much as it just amazes me. The prior life of the house I live in. I wish I had access to more pictures... stories... something. I'd probably seem psycho trying to hunt them down from the Thompson kids. (They had three boys who no longer live in the area.) I have so many questions....

Why is there only one garage door? Why was the chimney cut off and walled off? How did you survive with three boys and no washer/dryer? What was the condition of the house like when you renovated it in 1955? What was the bathroom like before it was pink and green? And who picked out those colors? Who's idea was it to stick a clock over the hole in the kitchen wall? Where did you keep your towels? When did you stop burying your trash? Or did you.... What was up with all those dang tires in the backyard? I don't even know what the Thompsons look like.

I had forgotten about all these questions until I talked to Christine.