A Childhood Adventure by Sarah McNeal
Luthersburg, is the last and only town I remember from the time when we lived in Pennsylvania. Even though my parents were born and raised in Pennsylvania and my sisters and I were all born there, most of my recollection of Pennsylvania is from visits to grandparents except for the village of Luthersburg. We lived in that quaint farming village for less than a year before the weather station, more like a wilderness outpost, closed and Pop moved us to North Carolina. Luthersburg was a quiet little place where nothing exciting happened, but there were plenty of adventures to be had for my sister and I. We were “free range” children in the terms of today’s social speak. I was four and my sister was five. In a time before computers, mobile phones, I Pads, or GPS, and in our family like most of our neighbors, no television, it was a necessary part of growing up to explore the outdoors for adventures. Imagine what a drag it would have been to be fenced in with only a backyard and the house to hold our attention.
Halloween brings to mind one of my sister’s and my adventures into the unknown. Near our property was an old abandoned, two story house. It had long held our interest, but when we discovered no one lived there, we felt free to enter that domain and give it a good look-see. Naturally, the door was unlocked. I’m not certain anyone really bothered locking their doors in that town. Our fascination grew when we discovered that all the furniture and household items had been abandoned along with the house. Dirty windows still allowed a clouded view of our house across the field. The furniture had fallen into disrepair from the time it was left there. I noticed the paint had peeled away from the wooden furniture as we made our way through the rooms to the kitchen in the back of the house. The old, rusting silverware still slept quietly in its dark drawer. I think I stole a butter knife from the drawer just before the sound of footsteps upstairs echoed through the house. Someone was up there!
My sister and I looked at one another with wide-eyed horror. It had to be a monster. What else could possible lurk in an old abandoned house. We made for the door like a couple of rockets. I don’t even remember looking back to see if IT was coming after us. We made a bee-line straight to our house, up the stairs to our room and under our beds. For my part, I don’t recall that we ever told our parents about our adventure or that someone or something must be living in that place. There are some adventures any kid knows not to talk about to their parents—and this was one of those.
Now that I’m an adult, I have enough experience and knowledge to know a little about the darker side of life. When I think about all the horrible things that could have happened to us in that old abandoned house, I shudder. There are all kinds of real monsters in the world, and some of them resemble human beings. Still, in the freedom and innocence of childhood, that old abandoned house was quite an adventure—one we never revisited.