by dave ammenheuser
On December 13, 1969, a couple and their young children (two pre-teens and an infant) moved into their newly constructed home along Creagerstown Road.
Prior to moving into the home, that family—my parents and my brothers—had lived for a few years in an apartment building on the square in Creagerstown.
On August 30, 2021, a couple and their young children (two pre-teens and an infant) moved into the same home along Creagerstown Road.
Prior to moving into the home, that family—whom I had never previously met—lived in the same apartment building on the square of Creagerstown where my family did in the 1960s.
Sometimes life can go full circle.
After both of my parents died in 2020, I spent the next 12 months clearing my childhood home. It was emotionally difficult selling their possessions and treasures. It was even more difficult signing over the house deed to Rachel Kirkpatrick and her family on August 30, just two days short of the one-year anniversary of my father’s death.
Without any advertising, we had many offers for the house. In this booming real estate market, I turned down dozens of “cash-only” deals from brokers and flippers. I chose not to use a real estate agent and to sell the home myself.
I met Rachel purely by chance. Her mother-in-law went to school with my brother, Bob. Rachel and her family asked if the house was available. The house negotiation was quick and easy.
By our third meeting, there was no doubt in my mind that it was the right choice.
How did I know? On this particular visit, Rachel came for the septic test. She brought along her two pre-teen boys. While the septic test was conducted, the two boys ran around the backyard, chasing each other. At one point, the older boy pulled out his smart phone and started chasing something that I couldn’t see.
I asked Rachel what he was doing. Oh, he has a phone app for ghost hunting?
“Mom, I found one,” the boy shouted. “It says he was born in 1930-something.”
My jaw dropped. I stared at the boy. Stunned, I looked at Rusty Yates, my late father’s best friend and next-door neighbor who had dropped by to chat.
My father was born in 1938. My father was an avid ghost hunter, who bought all kinds of “Ghostbuster” gizmos to track ghosts on the Gettysburg battlefields.
Was my father sending me a message?
After a year of upheaval and sadness, was my father giving me a message that the toughest year of my life was over?
That he’d watch over the property, and it was time for me to resume my life?
My father was a firm believer in the afterlife.
Me? Meh. At least, not until that recent summer day. Rachel Kirkpatrick and Dave Ammenheuser in front of Rachel’s new home (and Dave’s childhood home) near Creagerstown