Ollie & Vin

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In my short story Henry forgot to write “eat, eat”  I wrote “There are ghosts in my kitchen. I know who these ghosts are. They are familiar to me”, and chronicled various family members who turn up from time to time.
But there are ghosts who weren’t familiar to me. Ollie whose kitchen in fact it was until 1980, and her husband Vin. One of the wonderful things about Ollie is she isn’t pushy. It’s taken us a while to get to know her.
It was only during our last visit to Taylors Arm earlier this month, chatting briefly to an ex-local, Peter, we became on a first name basis with our predecessors Ollie & Vin. Peter who by his surname is a relative of theirs, lived his early life in successive houses and was an apprentice baker in the village. He resided next door at the time of Ollie’s death in 1980. She died from a heart attack in the front bedroom. Our bedroom now.
Our house was built in the 1930’s. We knew the first occupants by their surname only and were told they raised 8 children in our 3 bedroom house. As was common practice it also once had part of the verandah closed off as a sleep-out.
Courtesy of Google I was able to find some of Ollie & Vin’s family history. Ollie & Vin were married in 1925. They both came from local families. Their various family names abound locally still.
Ollie’s husband Vincent, 6 years older than her, died 6 years before in 1974. They were both 73 when they died.
Although she was yet to be introduced to us, the G.O. and I had started to wonder about Ollie’s influence. Along with the many other old floral pictures we or our ghosts have a penchant for, we have in 8 years of our residence acquired several old religious pictures, starting with a simple small God Bless This House which cost a dollar.
Both the G.O. and I have Anglican family heritage but the pictures we’ve acquired are quite Catholic, Ollie & Vin’s religion. To this day, they and their family’s names appear in the weekly parish bulletin under “Praying for Holy Souls”. As I imagine they were regular church-goers, the Catholic Church conveniently for them is one house up from ours. It’s the church we attend at Christmas & Easter but all, regardless of denomination, are welcome any time. It’s the local church.
Only days before my chat with Peter the G.O. surprised me with several gifts for my birthday, one of which was a print of (I now know) Saint Therese. The gift was a surprise because I had been mulling over its purchase for a while. When we were in Macksville en route to TA I went to the shop to buy it but there was only an empty hook on the wall. Somehow sometime the G.O. bought & got it home without my knowledge.
Saint Therese
Saint Therese


Our St. Therese now resides over the kitchen door, flanked by flowery renditions of The Lord will Provide and The Lord is my Shepherd.
As the G.O. hung St. Therese in place on the Saturday, we wondered about the original owners of the house and if this was their influence. Our suspicions were confirmed the next morning.
When the G.O. joined Peter and I in conversation and was told Ollie and Vin’s names the expression on his face must have echoed mine. Since I met the G.O. in 1990, his nickname for me has been Ol’ short for Ollie, and his pseudonym in my short story Reprise is Vin, named for Vincent, his grandfather.
No wonder it feels like home.

26 thoughts on “Ollie & Vin

    davidprosser said:
    December 13, 2013 at 11:31 pm

    It’s funny sometimes the coincidences that come and go during life. I’m sure Ollie and Vin are grateful that someone so caring, who provides their house with it’s calming influence have bought it. To provide them with their affirming artwork must be satisfying even if you don’t share the same beliefs. And you of course have the benefit of beautiful pictures to look at when you visit.
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx


      EllaDee responded:
      December 14, 2013 at 6:47 am

      The coincidences and paths we tread are fascinating. From the first time many years before I was resident there the house had a special quality. I’m happy it ended up being home 🙂


    acflory said:
    December 14, 2013 at 12:13 am

    I hope that one day my house will have new owners as empathic as you and the G.O. Oh, and Happy Birthday!


      EllaDee responded:
      December 14, 2013 at 6:50 am

      Thank you 🙂 I think we leaves traces of ourselves, our energies, behind. I’m sure you’ll be a wonderful influence on the one-day denizens of your house.


        acflory said:
        December 14, 2013 at 10:41 am

        I hope so. 🙂 There’s been a lot of love in this house and I suspect there will be a whole lot more before I’m done.


    cecilia said:
    December 14, 2013 at 2:42 am

    I have never considered how the ghosts of previous dwellers could influence your choices now.. this is a very interesting concept.. and a very sweet story. hope you have been down to light a candle in the catholic church down the road! . c


      EllaDee responded:
      December 14, 2013 at 6:55 am

      Thank you. I’ve never lit a candle in the church – it’s a big old white timber building, and we’re all a little careful about flame… but have enjoyed the services, gazing at the frescoes inside and out through the bottle green glass windows.
      Your house looks like it would have some stories to tell, and of course there will be your own legacy…


    philosophermouseofthehedge said:
    December 14, 2013 at 2:47 am

    Happy Birthday. It is a gorgeous print – obviously it was waiting for you. Somehow things end up in the right place – including people. Comforting you are there and welcomed.(It does make a difference – no matter what anyone says.)
    Remarkable story.


      EllaDee responded:
      December 14, 2013 at 7:01 am

      Thank you – I liked the print when I saw it but thought it, and the combined effect, may be a little OTT. And I prefer to buy after the little orange sale sticker goes on… The G.O. however knew it was ours 🙂
      We call our house The Grand Old Lady, because that is the feeling you get. She waits patiently when we are away, and welcomes us home. We’re happy to be caretakers.


    Vicky said:
    December 14, 2013 at 5:42 am

    I’m a firm believer in the spirit world. There is no explanation for the strange feeling that you’re not alone, when you are.
    How wonderful that Ollie and Vin’s sprits appear to be with you.

    The house I live in was new when we moved in, so no chance of past residents, but I’m convinced the ground it stands on hides untold stories.
    Many years ago, well before she’d started school, Deb, my younger daughter woke in the early hours shouting there was a metal man standing on her bed.
    A few years later returning home from school, she announced she’d seen that man in a book during a school history lesson.
    I was still very sceptical, until my recent interest in the history of the battles fought in this area during the fifteenth century.


      EllaDee responded:
      December 14, 2013 at 7:07 am

      As I read the words ‘metal man’ the hairs on my arm stood up. The energies definitely linger on.
      The G.O. also years ago before I was there, saw a little girl ghost twice but no sign of her since. Now we know a little more of the family history, we think we may know who she was but I need to investigate further.
      We enjoy the energy of our house and that it & the other ‘ghosts’ continue to influence us. I certainly never imagined I would have a collection of religious pictures 🙂


    ardysez said:
    December 14, 2013 at 7:01 am

    When you first started to describe that you were living in a house in which someone died, I thought “I don’t know if I could do that”, but what a nice story! I can see why you feel at home there. It is really amazing when life presents us with these little gifts. Belated happy birthday too!


      EllaDee responded:
      December 14, 2013 at 7:13 am

      Thank you 🙂 I would probably have thought the same except I know the house has only good energies. I then thought about my grandmothers who died in their own homes, as they would have wanted. I would be happy if it was the same for me.
      I quite like having the energies around me, and their gifts.


    dadirri7 said:
    December 15, 2013 at 6:12 pm

    yes I am sure we leave our energetic patterns behind, or we all live in streams of energy, light, that cause ‘co-incidences’ to occur, how thrilling to feel you are in harmony with Ollie and Vin, confirmation you are in the ‘right’ place … and there is not really any such thing as time, everything is all occurring simultaneously, so of course they are there too … everything just as it is, perfect, all the time 🙂


      EllaDee responded:
      December 16, 2013 at 5:59 am

      Thank you 🙂 I’m sure there is much more going on ‘next door’ in the time-space continuum that is apparent from here & now.
      And yes, it’s lovely to feel that here & now is just as it should be.


    roughseasinthemed said:
    December 15, 2013 at 7:37 pm

    I think the names are the spookiest aspect of the story. Religious pix in homes aren’t my thing, mainly cos they often look gloomy – but I like looking at them in churches and art galleries. I like pix with some life in them, and religious ones always seem to look gloomy. I don’t know about any previous owners passing down good – or bad – vibes to us. We’ve had two properties where the banks forced the owners to sell because they couldn’t pay the mortgages – fortunately they didn’t pass their financial lack of acumen down to us in those houses. if it works for you, and you get a good feeling from it, I think that’s great though.


      EllaDee responded:
      December 16, 2013 at 6:13 am

      The house has a lovely feel, and we’ve commented from time to time about the influence of the original residents but were both equally taken aback at the coincidence of the names.
      No gloomy religious pics have found there way into our house just flowery I’m happy to say 🙂
      It’s interesting the impact on selling a house its history has. A few years ago a law was passed in Australia where the agent has to disclose relevant history which might affect the value, such as if someone was murdered in it, which came about from that very circumstance where a buyer was unaware until after purchase, and then unhappy. Some people, like me, would not want that property, and others just see an opportunity for a bargain.


    Lori D said:
    December 16, 2013 at 4:32 am

    Cool! I love ghost stories. It seems like Vin & Ollie had a hand in getting you into their home as well. Good story. Thanks for sharing it.


      EllaDee responded:
      December 16, 2013 at 6:04 am

      It’s funny how things work out, and it’s taken us 8 years to puzzle the story together 🙂


    metan said:
    December 16, 2013 at 7:58 pm

    It is nice that you have benevolent spirits to share your home with and what an amazing bit of serendipity their names are. 🙂

    Although I’m not really big on saints I like the idea of Saint Therese’s ‘little ways’, if everyone tried to do lots of small positive things how different the world would be! 🙂


      EllaDee responded:
      December 17, 2013 at 6:00 am

      I’m thought the St Therese picture might be a bit OTT but after some consideration, the flowers won me over, and the G.O. took matters into his own hands anyway 🙂


    Kourtney Heintz said:
    December 17, 2013 at 3:46 am

    Too many coincidences. Definitely something cool at work here. How cool to discover so many ties between the former owners and yourself. Especially that they lived a long life together. 🙂


      EllaDee responded:
      December 17, 2013 at 6:23 am

      Fate is an interesting thing. You think you’re making your own way, and then there it is, waiting patiently for you to arrive 🙂


    ChgoJohn said:
    December 17, 2013 at 8:27 am

    Fascinating.My neighbor was a very little girl when homes in this area were built, in the late 1920’s, before the Depression. One evening she told me of this building’s former owners & occupants, nothing but good stories, like that of Ollie and Vin. It’s comforting to know that those that have lived here did so happily.
    By the way, that’s a St. Therese of the Little Flower. Catholics were required to choose names of saints for their young and Mom was named after her. 🙂


      EllaDee responded:
      December 17, 2013 at 9:28 am

      Wonderful you have a neighbour who was able to tell you the history, and good stories. I’m sure there are others that something they could share about our house but I just haven’t managed to chat to them yet.
      I really like the St. Therese picture, and her story, so am really happy that your Mom has her name also 🙂


    Undress Me | Author Edna Stewart: Deep Writings said:
    December 24, 2013 at 10:01 am

    […] Ollie & Vin (elladeewords.wordpress.com) […]


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