I was walking along the lake at sunset behind the National Spiritualist Association of Churches (NSAC) office in Lily Dale, New York, when I heard a clear voice say, “Pick up those doors for your cottage”. I had just noticed some rather garish gold-painted doors put out for the trash. I looked around, but no one was there. When I looked more carefully I saw they were French doors. But I did not have a cottage to put them in. I started to walk on, when distinctly, in a voice like a mother commanding a child, I heard, “Pick up those doors for your cottage.”
Spirit often speaks inside my brain, but that was just the second time I had heard a “direct voice.” I walked on up to Connie’s cottage and asked her if I could place a set of doors behind it, promising that I wouldn’t leave them there more than one year. She lent me her van, and we picked them up.
Later that night I thought about the idea of a cottage at Lily Dale and me. I recalled a “seed thought” that I may have planted 10 years before as I walked down Buffalo Street with Neal. He saw a for-sale sign, went inside, talked a while, then came out and said he had bought the house on his Master Card. Although I had since consciously forgotten the event, I now remembered that I had said, “When I can buy a cottage here, with cash, I will.”
The day after Connie had stored the doors for me, I brought the subject up with Charlie. He, logically and by appearances rightly, told me why we should just rent at Lily Dale for the summer and the reasons why my money should stay with the Vanguard account. I let the idea go for the moment.
Later that summer we were interviewing medium Ray Torrey for our book Guided by Spirit: A Journey into the Mind of the Medium. He was so interesting, but as he talked for the second hour I excused myself and took a shortcut from his place to ours. As I cut between the houses I saw a man hanging a for-sale sign on his place. When I asked about it, he said he was showing it to the two people beside him, British mediums. I asked if I could look too.
It looked slightly better inside than out. I had sat on our rental porch looking at the falling down shack-like room on the back of this place across the street for two summers. But it didn’t have a kitchen or bath, and both porches and the back room needed to be replaced.
Thinking about the possible message, “doors for my cottage,” I asked the owner if I could go in again and just sit in meditation. I thought maybe that voice would come to me. I was still neutral about purchasing anything, but I was open to guidance. So I sat in the living room that was bare except for 3 rocking chairs, a desk and a lamp. After sitting awhile in one rocking chair I opened my eyes and was surprised to see the other two chairs were rocking! I looked for an open window or other cause. There was none I could see. I closed my eyes, opened them again, and they were still rocking. So I asked, “How come?” and I heard just three words in my head (not the direct voice). Carter, Jimmy, Georgia. My logical mind thought, “I wanted a message; what does former President Jimmy Carter from Georgia have to do with Lily Dale and this cottage?” The rockers stopped rocking. When the owner returned I told him about the event. He said, “My Dad Jimmy died in that rocker, and this one came with the house. It belonged to the medium Georgia Carter who lived here for years”.
Phenomena are fairly common at Lily Dale, so I didn’t necessarily think I had my guidance about buying a cottage. But when I told Charlie, who loves the unexplainable, he said he wanted to look at it, and we bought it.
The following spring, after a new back room, 2 baths and kitchen were added, we walked over to Connie’s and got the two French doors. We discovered they fit perfectly, without planing or changing a hinge, into the space between the living room and kitchen. And this cottage dated from the early 1880s, when doors weren’t as standardized as they are today. They did need coats of white paint, instead of gold! Several years later we learned that Marion Skidmore had lived in our cottage. After a few years she had built the large house that is now home to the NSAC headquarters (the place that had put the doors out for trash pick-up). I now think that Marion ordered me with direct voice to restore the doors to their original home from where she had moved them. I would bet she is pleased that I listened.
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