Signals from a dark place

Snow melting in a ditch
Snow melting in a ditch

I took this picture on the way home from my sister’s house. I would like to go back to this corner when the snow is gone. I caught a glimpse of it once earlier in the year when it was only the ditch, some plant life, and with some water in the bottom of it. I would like to get a shot of that. When I uploaded the picture to our PC I first brightened the image and saved that copy, but I decided to use this photo because the darker drab sky and subject matter better matched my mood that afternoon.


It started when my sister, She Who Must Not Be Named, ┬ásat down beside me on the couch to put on her shoes. My mother looked at my sister’s feet and observed, “She’s wearing black socks and I’m wearing white. I wonder what that means.”

I pretty much ignored what she had said because I was getting used to her saying cryptic things. My sister and I went on discussing where things were located, what food was available, and other things that I would need to know while I adult sat with my Mom.

When my sister left, my mom said, “She signals them with her socks.”

“What? With her socks? She signals who?

“Them,” she gestured out the sliding glass door towards a house in a lot that backed my sister’s. “And sometimes she signals the people next door.”

I looked out the window and decided that if she was signaling them, they would need to be watching with high-powered binoculars. “Why would she signal anyone with her socks? Why wouldn’t she just call them?”

“She doesn’t want me to know what they’re saying. It has something to do with politics. It started when your cousin Bill visited us. He was sitting where you are. He reached down and twisted the top of his sock, and she did the same.”

“Mom, I think that you’re imagining this.”

She looked at me and asked, “When did she convince you that I’m crazy?”

“She has never said that you’re crazy, and I don’t think that you are.”

“She hasn’t? I think that she wants you to think that I’m crazy.”

“No, Mom.”

“There are a lot of strong Republicans around here. They go to that mailbox tube out there,” she gestured to a nonexistent mailbox, “and buy the socks for a dollar a pair. They use the money to spend against Democrats who are running for office.”

I decided to remain silent.

“Did he flash you?” she asked.

An aside: When my mom said “flash” she wasn’t talking about a man in a raincoat who was opening the coat to show you something that you had no desire to see. She meant a bright flash of light used to send a signal.

“Flash me? Who”

“The man in that house across the street, or maybe from another house three doors down on another street.”

“Why would anyone flash me?”

“So he did flash you?”

“No, Mom. No one flashed me. No one has any reason to flash me. What sense would it make for anyone to flash me?”

“I don’t know. This is a strange house. There are a lot of mysteries going on here.”

That was the start of my day.