“Mom, Was That You?”

As some of my readers know, my mother passed away a few years ago after a long repeat battle with cancer.

With that fact as a backdrop, I’d like to share something odd that happened to me recently.

So I was in the garage with Dublin, our family Doberman. She has a dark leather couch in there that she likes to lounge on and I was making over her a bit. I was first introduced to Dobermans by my mother, who owned and trained them. Let me tell you, with leather sofas and Doberman dogs, you better get used to revitalizing a leather sofa frequently if you’re wanting your sofa to stay in pristine condition. (Her first love was horses. For a few years she was a professional barrel racer on the rodeo circuit, competing against riders most often much younger than her. She even continued to break horses well into her 60’s, but had to finally give it up after being thrown and badly trampled. Some of the premise for my novel, THE IRISH COWBOY is taken from my mom’s experiences.)

I was semi-crouched over Dublin massaging her behind the ears and then I stood up. As soon as I did so, I felt the hair on the top of my head move around, as if someone was lightly scratching my scalp with their fingers. This wasn’t something a spider or bug could do. I literally felt a portion of my hair move. My right hand instinctively went to the top of my head and then I whirled around to see if someone had somehow crept up behind me.

No one was there.

Now here’s where this little story gets a bit eerie.

My mother was not an overly affectionate woman. That is not to say she wasn’t loving, but rather that she was tough and sometimes quick to anger. (A trait which runs through both sides of my family, actually.)

One of her few repeated physical gestures of affection when I was younger was to give the top of my head a quick scratch with her fingers.

But wait, it gets even more peculiar.

Ma was also a longtime, heavy smoker. I will assume most of you are familiar with the very pungent and unique scent that is cigarette smoke. I don’t smoke, nor does my wife or our kids. (And I’m pretty sure Dublin the Dobie hasn’t secretly taken up the habit either.)

At the very moment I turned around, I was hit by the unmistakable and powerful smell of cigarette smoke. I could even taste it in my mouth. The aroma remained for a good five seconds or so, and then just like that, vanished.

As I stood there wondering what the hell had just happened, I recalled a song I had kept playing and re-playing (and singing along to) not more than an hour earlier in the garage as I was working on the dinghy we sometimes store in there when it’s not being used on the water.

THIS song…

Coincidence? Perhaps.

Then again, perhaps not…



THE IRISH COWBOY: A tale of lost love, regret, and personal redemption…

A touching, heartfelt tale of lost love, regret, and personal redemption.

The government wanted his land. He just wanted to be left alone.

Hap Wilkes is a spiritually fractured Montana rancher facing a painful past, an increasingly uncertain future, who now fights with everything left in a broken and failing body to keep the one thing still left to him – his pride.

The Irish Cowboy is a family drama spanning decades from the time of lost love, to a family found, and finally spiritual redemption and the always-present human yearning for love and forgiveness that marks the most personal novel to date from bestselling author, D.W. Ulsterman.

E-Book available: HERE

Paperback available: HERE