dianne salerni author
dianne salerni author

As some of you may know, my family owns a condo on Jack Frost Mountain in the Poconos, which we rent out to vacationers as a little side business. We use the house ourselves a few times a year—enjoying a getaway and doing maintenance on the place, etc.
Recently, my husband had a conversation with the cleaner who services the house between tenants. “You realize your house has a presence in it, right?” she asked my husband. She told him that she is sensitive to spirits and among all the places she cleans, there are three houses with spirits in them. One (not ours) had scared off several cleaning services before her. “But they don’t bother me,” she said. “As soon as I go in, I call out, ‘Hello! It’s Judy! (not her real name) I’m just here to clean.’ And they don’t bother me, because they know I don’t mean any harm. Yours is male. He’s always there, but not always in the same room.”
When my husband shared this conversation with me, I laughed. We’ve had the house six years, and I’ve never sensed or seen a thing. But then again, as much as I’m interested in the supernatural, I know I’m not sensitive. A ghost could wear a sheet and rattle its chains in front of me, and I’d never see it. The most I can say is I’ve always felt a sense of happiness and well-being in the house. 
But this weekend when we went up to the mountains, I remembered Judy’s story, and as soon as I walked in, I called out, “Hello! It’s us—Bob and Dianne and the girls!”
Shortly after arriving, I realized I’d done something dumb—left the bag with all our bed sheets at home. I ransacked our storage closet, and turned up two spare sets of fitted and flat sheets, but no pillow cases. So, I pulled the decorative shams off the pillows and brought them downstairs to the washer. “I found sheets,” I told my husband, “but we’re hurting for pillow cases. We’ll have to use the shams.” I opened the door to the laundry closet and discovered a pillow case lying folded on top of the dryer.
“Well, here’s one,” I said. “Left behind by a tenant.” I threw it into the washer.  Then I went into my bedroom and pulled the comforter off the bed. Underneath, I found somebody had left a pillow case. I brought it out to the washer. “Funny. Here’s another one.”
I went back into the bedroom to unpack. When I opened the closet, I found two more pillow cases neatly folded and lying in a laundry basket. I showed them to Bob and added them to the washer.
“You’re kidding,” said my husband. “Ask for something else.”
“No,” I said. “I’m content.” 
There are four people in my family. We were provided with exactly four unexpected pillow cases.
Why? Maybe because we finally introduced ourselves.