A Brain Trip

I sometimes wonder why my brain gets going at 100% as soon as I rise from my bed. I was using the ladies room and I was watching a video clip, mentally, of my brain. Sounds weird doesn’t it? I just decided to let it fly and see where it took me.

Thoughts of missing my brother came to mind first. Next I heard myself thanking God for a new day of opportunities. I realized I had a slight burning headache so asked for God’s healing.

I saw photos of going to my grandma’s  house. Today is Sunday, so my video clip involved all of us kids taking heaping fulls of food. My grandma was a terrific cook like most grandmas.

I saw my dad sitting at Zale drug store after church, drinking a cup of coffee with his buddies. The video clip switched to the present when I realized that discounted cut of beef needed to go in the crock pot right a way.

I saw my brain counting out the days until the next monthly pay check came in. I felt stress enter my head as I realized I need $59.00 for a new muffler on my car. It is broke and noisy and wondered where in the world the money was coming from.

I stopped the clip as I realized I had been from the 1960’s-present in less than five minutes. My mind goes a hundred miles per hour from waking to sleeping. I dream a lot but most of my dreams are nightmares with real people I know playing star parts.

I guess the nightmare thing comes from my neurological problems. Who knows, maybe the wild, crazy places my brain takes me to, is part of my illness too.

Well, time to wash my face, comb my hair and get dressed. The crock pot and the day is waiting for me.


Bring it up Front

I am a writer and I believe I think too much. Maybe this is what writers do; I am not sure. I find myself gazing at things around my room and something will catch my eye; and boom, I have a story to tell.

This happened this morning, in fact. I was sitting on my bed looking around at what I had left of my possessions that I truly cared for at heart. I looked at my low-boy dresser and suddenly was carried back to my youth.

I lived on a dead-end street in Warsaw, Indiana. Some of you from my city will probably remember the street; Oriole Lane. It was pretty close to the dead-end of the lane. We lived in a small house with a huge oak tree out front, that I can remember playing many times under with my dolls.

My brother and I would probably be looked down at now, or perhaps it would have been my parents that were looked at. I was 9-10 and he was 8-9 years old. We slept in the same bedroom in bunk beds. I slept on top and he had the bottom.

I had my dresser. In fact, I don’t remember any of my brother’s furniture. Maybe we shared the same dresser? I don’t know. Anyways, remember, I was staring at this dresser on my bed. I looked at the top drawer and then remembered one time my mom got really upset with me. Today, I don’t know why or understand. I think it was taboo or something.

I developed young. You know what I mean. That “special movie” hadn’t been presented in school yet and I think my mom didn’t expect something from me so young in age.

I got pretty scared and so when the evidence was seen with the naked eye; I hid all evidence. When my mom discovered it while putting clean clothes away; she found my items. She got angry and spouted off at me. Hey, I didn’t know what in the world was happening. For all I knew, I was dying.

Anyways, back to the presence, I laugh now as I think of that embarrassing moment in my young life. So many memories of my parents I savor today.

I am glad I am a thinker. I can revisit my memory box anytime I wish. I can bring it to the present and enjoy the times of being a kid.

Written by,
Terry Shepherd


Days of Yesterday

Summertime heat is what we in Indiana are experiencing lately. Today at lunch, the ladies I sit with were talking about when we were younger.

I told them when I graduated from high school, I had no doubt I could have been found down at the beach. I was free! No worries. I had a job, but it paid well back then and I just had to put gas in my car; so no money worries.

I loved the heat and I would put Iodine in my baby oil and lay out under that blistering sun all afternoon.

I was telling one of the ladies that back in March of this year when we had a few days of forty degree weather, I would see young  people out with shorts and sweatshirts on. I would look down at my own clothes and I would have a winter coat, boots and pants on.

They laughed as they said they did the same things. My, how times change. I still go out in the ninety degree weather, like today, but I don’t stay out long. I don’t put that swimsuit on. There is no baby oil. Instead I place that with a hat and I watch for my skin to start to turn red.

What is something you did when you were young that you absolutely don’t do today?



Daily Prompt/ One Word Prompt


The word for today; Conjoure

  1. 1.
    call upon (a spirit or ghost) to appear, by means of a magic ritual.
    “they hoped to conjure up the spirit of their dead friend”


Every day as I drove to work; my eyes gazed the old, white building.  Repeating thoughts arose. Who lived there? Why is it still abandoned? Doesn’t someone care?

The thoughts continually went back to my childhood where I wondered the same things about myself. Why did I live there? Why did they make me feel abandoned? Why didn’t they care?

I knew something was different by the age of three. When I tried expressing myself at that age, I was told to shut up. If I cried, they put me to bed. If they went out, I had a babysitter.

As I grew a little older, I learned to have imaginary friends with me at all times. There was Betsy. She was my favorite. She always greeted me with a big smile. She enjoyed my company and we played lots of games.betsy 2

Then there was Betty Sue. She let me lay my head in her lap when I was tired or sad. She would run her fingers through my blonde, curly hair until I fell asleep or felt better.betsy 3

Then there was Bobby. Sometimes Bobby scared me. I asked him different times to leave me alone; but he wouldn’t. He seemed to always show up when I was sitting around just thinking. It was like he could read my mind.betsy 4

He would come into my room on a weird kind of looking sled. He would spin upside down and do tricks I could never do. He would show me visions of mazes and tell me about this old, white house that set right in the middle of the screen. I never recognized the house; but the paths of the maze felt familiar but confusing.

It was a Fall, crisp day. I had worked too many hours so was told to go home early and return on Monday. I was driving and saw the familiar site. I glanced at my watch. Yes, I have time. I am going to get this settled. I am going to find out the story within the walls.

I pulled up the dirt, curvy driveway. I turned off my engine and sat there looking dead on the white house. Quiet, quiet screamed all around me and yet there were these invisible fingers prodding at me saying, Come on little one. Step onto the porch steps. Learn the truth.

I took my keys out of the ignition.  I locked my purse inside the car. With keys in hand, I pulled my sweater a little closer to me. I walked slowly, one foot in front of the other, until I reached the first  porch step.

I turned back as if afraid of what I couldn’t see, but once again, those fingers prodding at my soul. I stepped onto that first step, then another and stepped onto the porch landing. The door slowly and creakily opened.

I could see a golden ray of light and without hesitation; I followed it. Once inside, my fears left. The prodding fingers disappeared. My soul felt lightened. There on the walls of this abandoned house were the answers to all of my questions.

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Trust, Faith, Hope and Prayers

I am what some would say,”Addicted to Facebook.” Maybe I am, maybe I am not. Your call on that one. I do know that I read a lot of what streams and I also advocate for Multiple System Atrophy. I also belong to several MSA groups along with Parkinson’s and Ataxia groups. There is so much support from these wonderful people; because we understand each other’s symptoms. It is a great place to go for answers, a shoulder to cry on, a place to vent, and make good friends.


I get so aggravated at the name calling, people thinking that they are the only ones who are correct and swear words. During the streaming process, I ignore some gross stuff, laugh at others, pray for all, and shake my head at the politics.


I hear it everywhere. People where I live discuss it often. There are Veteran’s here who reside and they have very outstanding remarks about our past and present President’s. They chat openly about the wars they were in, and I listen in awe as they bring their memories to life.

A Veteran is a dictionary

With incredible stories

True life history

No stones left unturned

A Veteran is my history friend.

Written by,

Terry Shepherd



Now, it’s a different story on Facebook. It seems everything goes. Nothing is sacred. I do believe we are all free to our speech. We do live in America. I don’t believe we should bully, block people, unfriend friends over politics.


Isn’t it more important that we gather together in common ground and think positive thoughts for our government and pray for their thoughts and actions? We, the people, can not change so many things in life, but we can come together for the better of our future.


I admit I get nervous. Their is so much talk about big cut backs for government programs. I know for me for instance, I have little funds, I depend on their help for medical expenses. I wish I didn’t have to, but my illness prevents me from doing so much in life.


What I have to do is; pick out information that is important and let the rest race out my other ear. There is  much gossip that spreads from mouth to mouth. What do we really know is truth or lie? I have to trust that our President, Donald Trump, has our best interest at heart, and with all the pushing and shoving he is faced with daily, he will give it his best shot.


Trust, this is what is needed

Hope is what we must carry

Pray is a must

And leave the rest to God.


Written by,

Terry Shepherd






Memorial Day


Soon it will be Memorial Day
A day of picnics and fun
A day of rest and remembering
In the bright and glorious sun.

A day of saluting our special ones
A day of standing in place
Taking a moment to give your thanks
To our veterans who fought with grace.

We tend to take life for granted
We forget how we came to be
We must love our country’s fighters
And what they did for you and me.

So when you fill your plate full
And you sit around together
Take a moment and bow your heads
And be grateful for now and ever.

Written by,
Terry Shepherd



ants 2

The Living Thing

The house stood back a mile from the road. Gravel covered the path leading to the rickety, front, paint-free door. Shutters slammed against the weathered siding in the strong winds. I stood in front of the once famous estate.

Now people-free. Only the spirits of once residing residents remained. It was if you could almost see them, their moans were so loud.

I went up to the door. I didn’t have to turn the knob, as it gently rocked to and fro in rhythm with the wind. I stepped over creaky boards and stood in the middle of the living room.

Furniture draped with off-white sheets. Spiders taking care of their young in beautifully built webs. What was once heavy velvet draperies, now hung to the side, shattered and torn.

Above the fireplace, there was a large oil painting of the couple who had built this home. He had built it as a wedding gift for his beloved.

He wondered what stories the painting could speak of. He was sure he would love to hear them. He walked into the kitchen and everything was in its place. Nothing standing on the cupboards, the table empty.

The strange thing though was, although there was no living person around besides himself, there obviously was something living within these walls.

When you looked up and down at the walls and the windows, they were graced with beautiful Ivy. It had made its home to the entire room.

Looking to mate with each vine, they had intertwined themselves and weaved a delicate scene display all across the ceiling.

He stood back a little as this wondrous sight gave him slight shivers. He took one more glance and then turned and walked towards the strong, detailed oak stair case.

One step in front of the other, he made his way to the top. The Ivy had extended its beauty into each of the four bedrooms, gracing the doorways, running through the floorboards, and covering each glass window pane.

He saw something. He walked closer to the glass. How intricate, he thought. In each pane was a form. Yes, a human form. There were multiple head shapes of people. He remembered the paintings on the stair wall and rushed back to them.

Standing and mentally memorizing each photo, he went back to the room with all the windows. Oh my gosh, he thought, these precisely woven vines had carved out faces. Each of these faces matched the photos he had just looked at on the staircase.

He was astounded. He stood their taking in all the details when suddenly he felt a choking hold around his neck. He instantly placed his hands to his throat, trying to force what had a hold of him.

He squirmed and twisted but with each turn, the rope got tighter. With all his might, he thrust himself backwards. He fell with such force, he nearly knocked himself out when his head hit the floor.

He sat up and looked at what had grabbed hold of him. Ivy, Ivy had tried to attack him. He scrambled to his feet and he could hear moaning. A moaning of someone starving. It was as if the stomach acid was churning from lack of nourishment.

This house wasn’t haunted. The souls of each person whom once lived here, were still alive within the walls. The Ivy was their guardian, nurturing, feeding, and training them.

He turned and ran out of the house as fast as he could. He never looked back and he never returned.

Written by,
Terry Shepherd



The House Waiting For The Bride

This is a photo I took of a home not from from me. I have always thought this home was so red house 8

beautiful. I have never spoken to the owners but I have heard the story plenty of times throughout the years. I will share with you the story that is found online. One day I would love to be able to go through the house to just look; but I doubt if I ever will be allowed.


Love Yet Abides though Wedding Never Occurred-
Aged Couple makes Regular Pilgrimages

Here Blighted Romance Lies Buried
Winona Lake’s Mystery House Which Has Stood Fifteen Years Silently Beckoning for a Bride that will not come

Under the willows that feather Bruning’s Point,” on the shore of Lake Winona, stands “The Mystery House” its doors locked, its windows sealed. “It has stood so for fifteen years, waiting for something,” say the cottagers of Winona Lake, the little Indiana resort town. None of the scant 50 Winter villagers or the thousands of Summer visitors who gape and gossip about it know exactly what this “something” is.

They are told it is a “bride.” They are told a romantic story-a real romance. They have never seen within the house and never expect to. They get the story from the carpenter, the plumber and the piano tuner, told when they returned from their thrilling assignments to repair the interior of the mysterious dwelling.

These men brought back the heart-stirring information that the house was completely and lavishly furnished, that tinder and logs stood on the hearth, ready for the match, that a silver service for two was set on the dinner table, that two leather chairs were waiting under a reading lamp, that the piano stood, top lifted, keys ready for human hands; that two sleeping rooms, beds made, combs and brushes on chiffoniers, slippers laid out, everything ready for occupancy, were arrayed.

Who Built Mansion
“And,” said the favored artisans, “one of the rooms is for a woman, because there are dressing tables in it, covered with these slim, ivory backed things that women use for their hands and hair.”

The townspeople know that W. H. Bruning, the wealthy President of the F. J. Bruning and Son Company, spice and tea, wholesale merchants of Evansville, Ind., and New York, built the mysterious mansion in 1903, calling it “Merbrink” because it stood on the brink of the lake and that twice every month since erecting it, fifteen years ago, he comes back to visit it.

He has never spent a night in it. The week-ends in Winona Lake he spends in the “Swiss Terrace” Hotel, which is managed by Mrs. John Cooper and her daughter, Miss Nellie Cooper.

The cottagers of the resort came in time to recognize that deep and sincere affection existed between this dignified man of the outer world and Miss Nellie Cooper. On Sunday afternoons it was the habit of the woman and her mother to accompany their guest to the “Mystery House” to enter with him via the one key for the door which he carried and on such occasions the villagers, making it their business to pass by, could hear the piano within, awakening under the younger woman’s fingers.

Pilgrimages Discontinued
Only within the last year has this ceremonial been discontinued, the failure of Mrs. Cooper’s health causing the daughter to remain at home while Mr. Bruning makes his pilgrimage to the closed house alone.

The cottagers long ago handed the story about that the owner of “The Mystery House” was waiting for Miss Cooper to marry him. They told visitors that it was she, for whom the bridal house had been prepared.

But time has worked to show their early prophecies were slow in coming true. Fifteen summers have passed and still no wedding occurs to satisfy the pleading silence of the house.

The onlookers have seen age creep on the three who used to listen to the piano behind the closest blinds. The mother of Miss Cooper is now an invalid, close to 90. Miss Cooper herself nearing 60, for all the beautiful frost in her hair, has youthfulness of spirit as though some strange inner peace buoyed her through the years.

Bruning, straight to, immaculate, impressive, bears seventy snows in his thick hair without bending. His charities are as numerous as his words are infrequent. Reputed a millionaire, his gifts to the religious organizations of Winona Lake have borne out in fact, the impressions of his kindliness.

He is the friend and fellow board member of William Jennings Bryan, serving as a director of the Winona Assembly and Bible Conference, of which the “Commoner” is president. His business wisdom and foresight make him the pillar upon which the clergymen in the management lean.

The Real Story
And when the women lodgers at “Swiss Terrace” grow confidential with Miss Nellie Cooper and helpless before their own burning curiosity, seek to gain the story from her, she avoids any answer with the sweet, serene smile that has earned for her the title “the best loved woman in Winona.”

This then, it seems, might be all Winona Lake knows. It regards the secret with romantic affection. The house is not a forbidding spot, for all its blind windows. The townspeople recite this much of the story with pride.

The real story, which is obtained from friends and admirers of both Mr. Bruning and Miss Cooper, is far more romantic than even Winona Lake’s imagination has made it.

Although all attempts to gain statements from both parties yesterday failed, owing to Miss Cooper’s inability to leave the bedside of her mother, who is dangerously ill, and Mr. Bruning’s absence from Evansville on a business trip, the following series of facts, establishing the story as one of the most remarkable to ever occur in real life, were substantiated by friends of both:

Forty years ago John Cooper, an educator of New York, although no longer a young man, followed the Greenley injunction, then quite popular, and came West. He brought with him his wife and daughter Nellie, then a girl of 18. Evansville, Ind., recognize his worth and made him superintendent of schools.

The Bachelor Arrives
For some three years he lived so, his family happy and the way clear before him. Then his health began to fail and his wife and daughter sought to stem adversity by taking boarders.

Among the first to come was W. H. Bruning, a bachelor of 30, and partner with his father in the town’s oldest tea and spice store. It is said that he loved Nellie Cooper from the first, that she loved him and that they became engaged directly both recognized the fact. But something interposed.

Their friends believed the girl felt it her duty to remain with her parents in their difficulties. At any rate she went with them to Winona Lake in 1901 when Mrs. Cooper decided to maintain a hotel at that resort, then opening for its first season.

Their cottage was named “The Homestead,” and, though small, was popular with the vacation hunters. An old-world courtesy and charm hovered around their rooms and brought local fame to them.

A year passed and John Cooper died. With the widow and daughter, Bruning grieved as a son, and to aid them in meeting the world he built a magnificent cottage, capable of housing some hundred guests, named it “The Swiss Terrace,” and installed in it the two women as proprietors.

They have managed it as their own since that day and among the cottagers it is always “Cooper’s Swiss Terrace” and never Bruning’s”.

That same summer Bruning bought a lot on the point where the bathing harbor curves out to the more rugged shoreline. For weeks the place teemed with dredges and drays, as he built out and filled in making “Bruning’s Point.” When a new acre was made, he imported carpenters and on plans which he himself and perhaps another had drawn up, began the erection of the fated house.

Into it went the best timber, the most ultra-modern conveniences. In that economical day its cost, $10,000 made it the show place of the town.

Its weatherboarding was lined with mineral wool, its chimneys were bottomed with wide fireplaces. Cheveal mirrors, chandeliers, thick Brussels rugs, ensignia of luxury in those times, filled it.

Art went on its walls, a bluish gray scheme of color, subdued and beautiful, ran through its living rooms. Twenty-one rocking chairs are scattered through it. Gas lights were ready, fires were laid on the hearths, and a magnificent silver dinner set was placed beside rare china in the cupboards.

Bride never Came
Why Miss Nellie never came down to take the place, now known to have been meant for her, is known to none but herself and Mr. Bruning. No explanation was ever given. In fact their engagement was never announced. No one knows if such a pledge was ever formally given, but certain it is that true love, has throughout the years existed between them.

The lover’s attitude announces this to the world, although he makes no reference to it. He is ever the suitor, the admirer, bringing at each trip (and he has never in these years missed his regular bi-weekly visit) a box of candy, presenting it to Miss Cooper with the manner of the story book swain.

He allows no decay to creep into it–“The Mystery House.” Each year it is painted anew, the piano tuned, the water and gas pipes examined and any loose boards replaced. Twice in the fifteen years new draperies have been carried in. The house is as ready today for occupancy as when it was built. The stone sun-dial which Bruning set up on the lawn a few years back is kept in as perfect alignment as though there were owners to run out from the house behind at any moment to note upon its face the progress of the day.

The grass in summer is mown weekly, the snow and sleet which in winter blow across the wide veranda are cleaned away by a workman who knows no more of the building’s interior than do his neighbors.

When the willow trees drop their leaves and twigs he cleans them away punctiliously, much as might a servant expecting his master and mistress home on the morrow.

When the waves cast driftwood over the concrete wall, Bruning built against the blue lake, the caretaker carries the wood away as though a lady from the house within might open her eyes in the morning and be offended by the litter. The workman is hired by Mr. Bruning to “keep the lawn clear” and nothing more. This he does and no more.

Where Lovers Meet
One thing and one only betrays time’s flight. This is the names and carving on the planks that board the windows. These boards are thick and stout, for curiosity seekers are constantly prying at them, striving to see behind. Over them are scores of lovers’ names, written and carved in the fashion of “seventeen.”

In summer the boys and girls wander down to the point and hand in hand circle “The Mystery House” or sit on the veranda steps.

There has never been a “No Trespass” sign on the premises for such as they. At least three times these boards have been replaced so whittled were they by the knives of young lovers, carving entwined hearts, linked names and all the lazy, dreamy, totem-pole symbols to which aimless-youth-in-love is addicted.

What irony this is, graven on the house that waits for love, can only be told by the man and the woman, if indeed, they ever tell at all.


Credit; Chicago American, May 10, 1918 page 11 “Fiction Page”



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