Merry Christmas! This is our fifth year living in Oregon, and we’re excited to celebrate the holidays.
Our first Christmas here was rough. We were in the middle of moving 1500 miles from Tucson, Arizona to the northern Oregon coast. My husband ended up moving here first for a job opportunity, while my seven-year-old twin boys and I stayed behind to sell the house and so I could fulfill my job contract. We missed each other and were grateful to be able to spend Christmas together.
At the time, my husband had rented a tiny one bedroom apartment in an old Victorian in Astoria. It was a cool building, even if the apartment was sparsely furnished. On Christmas Eve, we were in the middle of tucking our children in bed when one of our sons suddenly sat up and said, “Who’s that man in the hallway?”
My husband and I looked at each other and then stared out into the hallway. We couldn’t see anyone, and we knew no one but the four of us were there. The only other rooms in the apartment were the living room, the bathroom, and a small kitchen. We knew we had locked the front door and all the windows were closed.
We asked our son to describe the man, but he shrugged. “It was just a man, walking down the hall.” We turned to our other son and asked if he had seen anyone. He hadn’t.
I recently asked my son, now twelve, if he remembered this happening when he was seven. He nodded. “Yeah, that was so creepy.”
I wondered if, now that he was older, he could describe what he saw. “It was this shadowy man,” he said, “wearing a trenchcoat.”
I have no idea who our Christmas Eve visitor might have been, but it sure wasn’t Santa Claus.
© Melissa Eskue Ousley 2015