Christopher Creek received its very own October surprise early this week. By noon on Monday the rainfall total hit exactly one inch. That was somewhat more than expected and entirely welcome. Later, if you watched real closely, you may have seen a snow flurry or two. What followed on that afternoon and overnight was not expected at all. Temperatures began to fall and the winds increased. Then, in the middle of the night came the power outage, something we have become accustomed to over the years. So, there you have it — up to 20-mile-per-hour wind gusts, a damp 24 degrees temperature meaning a 10-degree wind chill, and no electric to power your furnace.
By noon on Tuesday, the winds had subsided and the temperature had climbed back above freezing. Reports from up on Acorn Drive, near the Funderburks and the Werlingers, said that a ponderosa pine and an oak tree had been toppled in the winds.
Equally surprising may be what didn’t happen. Here we are in the last week of October and the trees have yet to begin to shed their leaves in earnest. While there are many displaying fall colors, many of the remainder still have green leaves. The combination of warm and dry weather so late into autumn has made for some strange experiences. Will this brief cold snap hasten the turning of the leaves? Will the interrupted rut resume?
By the end of this week, the afternoon temperatures have popped up like a cork. Saturday will again see around 70 for the high, which will make for a pleasant evening on the Landmark patio for its Halloween festivities. The Creek has long had a reputation for great Halloween celebrations, with the adults going all out with their costumes. That party kicks off at 7 p.m., with the Greg Paul band entertaining.
Weather was certainly not an issue during last Saturday’s Halloween party for the children. It was an interesting concept, foregoing the traditional hay-wagon ride through the community. The residents of Creekside RV Park, in cooperation with the Christopher Creek Homeowners Association, hosted a walk-through, trick-or-treat event. A dozen or so homeowners set up their candy stations among the park residents’ elaborately decorated spaces. 75 kids enjoyed the highly successful idea. Then nearly half of the youngsters were off to the Landmark’s cookie decorating party. There was much sugar-induced dancing and frivolity to the musical sounds of the season. And then, the highlight of my day was when 6-year-old Lizzie presented me with a cookie she, herself, had decorated.
Last Saturday afternoon saw a patio full of friends, family, and former employees of Olive Matus join together at Creekside Restaurant. James Haviland and his staff really stepped up in hosting this opportunity to honor the founder and former owner of this iconic Rim Country venue. Many in attendance rose to share their stories and memories. The turnout was wonderful and the comment heard most often was the get-together was fun. Knowing that would make Olive happy.
About the only time you can relate a story such as this is on the eve of a Halloween, but truly only on one with a full moon. To do otherwise is just asking for it. This is not for young children, particularly those between the ages of 6 and 10 and should the story be shared with them ... well, they need to take great care. If one were to Google “the ghosts of Christopher Creek” it is highly unlikely you would discover anything, as Google is known to suppress vital information. A search of the first 37 pages of items revealed nothing.
We have it on good authority from Caren, yes, the same of Sam and Caren who live on the ridge, that information has recently come to light. She has learned that the ghosts in question may, or may not, indeed reside in the water pipes beneath the homes and cabins of Christopher Creek. In an interview held in a restaurant in Payson, far away from the prying ears of said spooks, she revealed that the aforementioned was true and her source was the water man named Jeff. It seems that in the process of investigating for leaks, his highly sensitive listening equipment could hear conversations though the water pipes. And he himself had engaged in one such conversation. When the ghost was heard to say, “Hellooo,” Jeff had answered “Hellooo” back.
Were ghosts actually living in the water pipes? We know of at least five possibilities. Each has been documented on prior occasions, the first one being “The Cook.” As a mortal, he was often seen in the kitchen of the old Landmark, at the butcher block with a meat cleaver, chopping, chopping, and chopping. Next would be the “Old Homesteader” and his wife. She mostly rocked her days away, grieving over a lost grandchild. He was said to talk with words so vile as to peel the paint right off the wall. “The Digger” was a man by the name of White who had machines that dug holes all around the Creek and may have been the one to have buried all of the water pipes.
And, perhaps the most mysterious one of all is the “Little Girl in the Long White Dress.” Is she speaking of evil when she pokes her finger in the air and whispers, “It’s up there?”
Thus, we leave you with this warning for those of you at that vulnerable age. Be extra careful when washing your hands, or, perhaps, helping with the dishes. And, while staying up here in this town, do not ever, ever take a bath ... and that’s another week in the Creek.