Ruby J and I head for Fredericksburg, TX for a little R&R, shopping, wine tasting and some much needed sister time. I found a beautiful Bed and Breakfast just blocks from shopping and comfort food. As always, we have our two year survival luggage, food and CD’s. It’s a beautiful trip down US Hwy. 291 where we drive through small quaint towns with towering historical court houses and old fashioned squares. We cut over in Johnson City, take 290 right into Fredericksburg proper. The Victorian Rose Suite at the Das College Haus was everything we could have imagined. It had a parlor with a fireplace and large bedroom plus a private bath, we were giddy! We unpack, and then head out to get staples. It’s getting late so we decide to make ourselves a cheese tray with grapes and crackers, and of course wine. There is a chill in the air and I can’t wait to get back to build a fire.
As we start to leave my handbag knocks over a small metal tray sitting on the nightstand with 4 pennies in it. Toni and I scramble to pick them up and place them back on the night stand. We had just talked about how odd it was to have the tray there and could not guess what the significant could be? Surely that was not the tip the last tenant left, was it? Maybe, it means, “hey don’t be cheap, we’re starving here.” Or, possibly a penny for your thoughts and that was all they could come up with-4. Before we leave we make one more scan to make sure we didn’t miss any and off we go.
Excited to find a local store that had exactly what we wanted, we rushed back to our room to assemble our cheese tray. Ruby J walks into the bedroom and calls for me to come quick. As I walk in she says, “Venus, the penny I picked up before we left is back on the floor exactly where it was before I picked it up.” I said, “Ruby, are you sure, when we left there were four pennies in the tray, how many are there now?” THERE WERE ONLY THREE! All of a sudden the whole room gets thick, we can’t move, much less breathe. It was like we were frozen, staring at each other, reading each other’s mind. At precisely the exact moment, we scream, turn, and clear the door at the same time and land 15 feet away on the parlor couch, feet tucked up under us as if they would be wacked off if they hung towards the floor.
We are cry-talking at the same time until we both run out of breath for what seemed like 20 minutes. Then we attempt to gain some sense of composure and think logically-not happening. Terrified of the supernatural, I call Loretta to get our physic friend Raquel’s phone number. Trying to explain to Raquel in cry-talk language is not helping her understand our dilemma. Finally as if a light-bulb goes off Raquel screams, “Pennies from Heaven!!!” This quickly get’s my attention and I say (through sniffs) “Wut’s that?” Raquel explains this is an awesome gift we have received from good spirits. I scream, “Raquel, there is nothing GOOD about this, your saying we should be grateful we’ve had the shit scared out of us, I mean I’ll need to change my pants and Ruby J looks like the Grim Reaper with mascara streaming down her mortified, we’re gonna die tonight, face .”
Raquel explains (more calmly now) that Pennies from Heaven (in her world) means finding pennies is a sign that someone from the other side is showing their loved ones they are still around & they are watching out for us and we should consider this a great gift. Well, I don’t want to appear ungrateful or anything but, “I don’t want a gift, didn’t ask for a gift, take the damn gift back, no gifts-period.” I communicate with my loved ones (on the so called other side) just fine like everyone else….not by leaving freaking pennies. What kind of statement is that anyway? Hey, l left you a penny-think about me. That’s just scary. Now if it had been a $100 bill, I might feel differently. If it was a $1000 bill, I’d do a jig for you and scream your name so you could hear it (on the other side)-try me.
Now understand, I’m trying to translate all this to Grim Reaper, mascara dripper girl, huddled in the corner of the couch with a pillow covering almost every inch of her exposed flesh-like that’s gonna protect her. Can you imagine how that sounds?
“Now Ruby J, these are good pennies-not bad pennies-good not bad-good, good. That means we don’t have to sleep in the car tonight because someone on the OTHER SIDE is a FREAKING COMEDIAN and wanted to subtly let us know they are on this trip with us. Did they not get the “Pledge notice” after all we are freaking out of the county and this trip is supposed to be about us…what the hell, where’s the damn wine?"
As you can see myself and Ruby J are still not satisfied with Raquel’s explanation so we call the owner and ask if she has ever had any problems with ghosts in her establishment. What a good impression that made. She’s got some psycho dames living in her B&B for how many days? Poised she says, "No," and explains she just bought the property six months ago. She can clearly hear through my cry-talking that this will not make me feel better, so she does the only logical thing and say’s, “Girls, there is a bottle of Fredericksburg Peach wine in the kitchen, get it and drink the whole bottle-you’ll feel better.” Side by side Ruby J and I slither through the house to the kitchen. You could not slide a hair between us. We find the wine and tiptoe back to our room, open, pour and do exactly as instructed. Ok, we are starting to feel a little braver, so we turn on every light in the house, close and lock every door, turn on the TV, all the while moving as one being before crawling quickly into bed. By the way Ruby J will never forgive me for making her sleep on the closet side….it had no light. We laid there until sleep overtook us, in what appeared to happen as we were talking in mid stream.
The day we left, I walked in to pay the bill and the owner cheerfully (in an alien kind of way) handed me my receipt and said, “Look at the window sill.” I did and saw a penny. When I turned back to her she said, “ For six months now, since I’ve owned this property, each day when I open up I find a new penny laying exactly right there.” Twilight Zone goose bumps overtook me. I don’t remember leaving or know how I got out of there and into the car. Ruby J just remembers me cry-talking while urgently motioning for her to get the hell out of there. For the next several hours the two of us drive home bitching about the gall of some uninvited “other side” guest trying to horn in own our girls-get-away trip. The nerve!