THE LITTLE YELLOW HOUSE
I moved to Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn in 1997. I ran nearly every morning, drawn in the direction of Pratt Institute. I would circle the campus and head home past the cutest little yellow wood frame house with a Mansard roof. This house had a hold on me and no run was complete till I gave it a nod on my way home.
Eventually I grew ready to leave my starter studio in Bed-Stuy – looking for a space with more light. In those days, pre-Craigslist, apartment searchers in the know would head to a news stand near Cooper Square to wait on the “Village Voice” line. It was the first stop the trucks made Tuesday nights, carrying the latest paper, which, at the time – was THE link to affordable apartments. I immediately searched the warm newspaper looking for my next studio. When I’d found what appeared to be a perfect listing, I raced across the street to a pay phone and made an appointment to see it. When I arrived, I was stunned to discover, the sweet, little yellow house. Its owner, Margaret Othrow, became my landlord, and now longtime mentor and friend – or as my family and I refer to her, our Fairy Godmother.
I’d always admired Marge’s intuition. Once, when my cat fell off the back roof, Marge meditated on my predicament and intuited that kitty was fine but scared and had an injury to her hip. It took me a couple of trips to the backyard to find and retrieve kitty and when I got her upstairs she did indeed have a limp. An x-ray later concluded kitty had suffered a contused hip.
CUE TWILIGHT ZONE MUSIC
In 2013, I began my journey toward self, focusing on developing my psychic medium abilities. When I told Marge that I was going in this direction she gave me a pleasant shock. After she'd moved into the little yellow house in 1964, she befriended a Pratt painting professor, Walter Steinhilber. As a child, he had lived in Williamsburg and went to the Clinton Hill neighborhood to play, around 1914–15. He passed Marge's [then future] house often and would see on the porch a posted schedule for psychic readings by a resident Spiritualist. So potent was his memory of this, that he memorialized it in a painting which he gave to Marge, and which Marge has given to me.
Prior to Marge owning the house, the previous owner, was a 'fortune teller' who rented to Pratt students. She told a next door neighbor that God had told her to “Move to California!” So she put the house in the hands of a real estate agent and that’s how Marge came into ownership. A number of years back, Marge informed me of her intent to leave her home to me, which will make me the 4th generation of women psychic mediums to own the cutest little yellow wood frame house with the Mansard roof.
For many years, I juggled being a spiritual student – attracted to all things mystical, serendipitous and unexplained – with my career in corporate design. I longed to make sense of myself and make peace with my own profound psychic experiences, like the one that brought me to Marge's doorstep.
During this time, I’d visit Marge for lunch. We’d discuss everything under the sun and usually land on the universal question of: What’s My Purpose? After one of our lunches, I felt myself longing for a mentor. The thought popped in my mind that perhaps that person was Marge. I had long admired her clarity, wit and intuitive abilities. I also marveled at what an extraordinary circumstance the universe created so that we could meet.
Even with all of this evidence of fate, I was flummoxed by the thought of becoming a professional intuitive. I was afraid of others opinions of me and afraid of where this journey would take me. Fear ruled me and chronic health problems ensued, till I felt that pursuing this path were a matter of life or death. Either I become who I am or perish.
And so began my journey toward developing my intuitive abilities. I earned a Certificate in Psychic-Mediumship at the Holistic Studies Institute in NYC. The institute is based on the principles and beliefs of the Spiritualist Church. While I do not observe a particular religion, my intuitive abilities are rooted in my spiritual practice and manifest in study, meditation and yoga. Nearest to my heart is my family and a profound awe, love and respect for what I don’t know.
So, why do I call myself relatively normal? Because, just like my clients, I wrangle with the same human trials that they do: love, loss, uncertainty and anxiety to name a few. The deep empathy and compassion I offer, is born of experience. Gratefully, with age, I’ve earned wisdom and my life experiences have taught me, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that I can trust in my intuition.