And so… the story begins…


Livingroom Sunrise…

Perhaps you’re one of those deeply dedicated readers, you know, the people who catch every plot twist, long before it happens?  And perhaps, you dear reader,  (my only reader, whom I love and value so), caught the fact that I’d found myself sitting in meditation, talking to this house – long before I purchased it?

And if you did catch that fact, perhaps you think I was off my rocker long before the house and Bertha arrived.  And well, you may be right.  But whatever I had going on before moving into that house, was about to get a lot more interesting!

You see, once restored, the house was beyond magnificent.  It was also …

Well… lets just say I had to move out after three years.

For starters the previous owners, paranoid schizophrenia adult son would occasionally let himself in, claiming he’d come to feed the cat… a cat, I didn’t have.  But after the first few terrifying encounters,  I got used to that.

There was also a well-dressed male spirit who occasionally hung out in my daughter’s bedroom. She insisted on dressing and undressing in the bathroom, but other than that, he didn’t seem to cause much of a stir.

 I guess to fully understand the problem, you’d have to know a little more about the architecture and design of this place.  The foundation was basically a 25 X 25 foot concrete slab, precariously poured on the edge of a mountain.  From there, the east and west walls angled outward, expanding the square footage as they rose:  A series of arches stretched across a roof-top deck holding it all together.   (Think funnel or ice cream cone, and  you’ve basically got it.)  In addition, the east and west walls were predominately glass.  Huge Douglass Fir beams stretched across the entire expanse, continuing straight thru the house to support the wraparound decks outside.

Okay, so this is where it gets crazy.  It seemed that this strange combination of glass, wood, and a funnel shaped design – mixed with its position on the mountain created …well… a pretty extreme energy vortex. I know, right?  But I swear energy rushed thru this place, passing from top to bottom at an alarming rate.

 After spending eight years in a well-grounded suburban house,  the feeling when I first moved in was amazing. (Remember me saying I could sing and dance in the living room?)  But as time passed, it became… well… exhausting.  Imagine standing in a cool mountain stream on a hot day.   It feels great right?  Invigorating, refreshing, relaxing.   Now imagine sleeping in it.  See the problem?

The house also appeared to…well… it appeared to breath! I know right?  But seriously,  remember both ends of these huge Douglas Fir beams where exposed to the elements, while the center sections remained climate controlled.   As a result, the beams expanded and contracted as they heated and cooled, forcing the windows and doors to flexed in and out.  Of course, it wasn’t a consistent rhythmic breathing pattern, but movement became part of our daily life.

As a result, there were days (and times of the day), where the windows and door worked flawlessly.  Two hours later?  Yeah, good luck with that! Fortunately, because of the design and position of the house, there was no way (other than the front door) for an intruder to enter.  It was also simply too high off the ground for bugs to be a problem. As a result, if a sliding glass door wished to remain open, we simply left it open.

In addition, because so much of the house was glass, there was never a consistent view.  Think about this for a minute.  As I sit in my living room now, I see a painting I love.  Anytime day or night, the painting is there.  Firmly hung on an unchanging gray wall.  Although the lighting may vary – my painting remains just as I left it. There is comfort in this consistency.  But once the wall is removed, you’re pretty much out of luck.  Suddenly mother nature controls the scenery. And don’t get me wrong, she is magnificent!  But she is NEVER consistent!  No two sunrises are ever the same; the clouds – the leaves – the colors – everything in nature is in motion.

(BTW the sunrise photo above was taken from inside the living room.)

So there you have it.  A house that’s basically funneling energy from top to bottom, a diaphragm made of Douglas fir beams that expand and contract, windows and doors that open and close with a mind of their own, and two solid glass walls reflecting nothing but motion and change.

So, long story short I don’t know that it was the house that brought on my ability to channel Bertha.   But  I can’t deny that she arrived 6 months after I’d moved in and was gone, 6 months after I’d moved out.  Ironically, channeling a photographer and suddenly become an artist, was one of the more normal occurrences during our tenure there. But alas, I’m getting ahead of myself.

A diaphragm of Douglass Fir
Roof top deck with supporting arches

Side Note: My youngest son, Garrett (remember he was the only one living with me year round), appeared to be affected by the house as well. At 15, with no lessons, no prior interest or ability (and trust me we are NOT a musical family). Garrett picked up a guitar and began to play.  Fortunately, his artistic passion remains to this day.

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