Trudy Appleby: Little Girl Gone: 20 years

We are quickly approaching the 20 year anniversary of the disappearance of Trudy Appleby.  Trudy Appleby went missing from her home in Moline, IL on August 21st 1996.  She was last seen that morning leaving her driveway in a grey/silver car.  The driver appeared to be a male, in his 20’s with dark, curly hair and a baseball cap.  This was in the area of 41st St and 21st Ave in Moline, IL.  She has never been seen or heard from since.  Those are the facts in a nutshell.  Now, it’s about to get a bit more personal.

Trudy Appleby is not just a name or a statistic.  Trudy Appleby was a real little girl, who at the time of her disappearance was 11 years old, and just 2 weeks shy of turning 12.

Trudy had a family, and lots of friends.  She was my neighbor, and spent a lot of time at my house.  I first met Trudy sometime after we moved into this neighborhood.  She was outside in my yard one day, and I opened the door and she said “Hi, my name’s Trudy…you got any kids?”.  The rest was history.   She became fast friends with my oldest daughter, and was over to the house quite often.  Trudy was a little spitfire of a girl.  She was outgoing, friendly, loving, and very bright.

I last saw Trudy on August 20th, 1996, when she was over at the house.  It was a usual Trudy visit, complete with rollerblading out front, eating hot dogs, talking about the upcoming school year and vacations.  My daughter walked her home about 8 pm as usual.  Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think that would be the last time we were to see Trudy Appleby.  But, the next morning, everything changed.

I got a call at work, and life as we knew it in this quiet, safe little neighborhood had changed forever.  We had a missing child.  Trudy was gone.  Hours turned into days, days into weeks, weeks into months, months into years, and years into decades.  We passed out hundreds and hundreds of flyers, we searched everywhere, kept our eyes and ears open, hoping for any bit of news, or a phone call, or to see her skipping down the road.  We watched our children much more closely, afraid to even let them play out in the yard by themselves.

I have played the evening of August 20th, 1996 in my head over and over during the past 20 years, trying to recall anything out of the ordinary.   For instance, was there a strange vehicle in the neighborhood?  Did Trudy say anything about seeing a stranger?  But, there was nothing out of the ordinary about that evening.

What happened to Trudy?  We do not know.  Her family doesn’t know, her friends don’t know, and this neighborhood does not know.  Someone knows, though.  That someone needs to come forward and make that call.  Make an anonymous call if necessary.  Tell the authorities what happened to Trudy Appleby.  20 years of not knowing is awful.  It’s worse than awful.  It’s time to bring Trudy home, don’t you think?

Don’t think it can’t happen to someone you know.  Don’t think it can’t happen in your neighborhood.  It happened in mine. trudy flyer

My Killing Zombies with Nail Polish Dream

We are all together in this huge house…(And by we, I mean myself, hubby, kids, grandkids and a few friends).  Suddenly, on the radio is a bulletin.  Zombies are coming, and the only way to kill them is with nail polish, and not just any nail polish.  You must use orange, cream and light blue, and you have to coat your hands and slap them somewhere.  The nail polish stuns them into an almost paralytic state, thus giving you time to stab them in the head.

We are preparing for the zombie intrusion, with the grandkids hidden carefully under some endtables in the main living area, protected by their moms and uncle.  Suddenly out the window, we see them, so we coat our hands with the nail polish, and start slapping the hell out of the zombies.  Then we immediately take our screwdrivers and scissors that we have carefully laid out next to our nail polish bottles and stab them in the heads.

After successfully defeating the zombies that intruded the house, we step outside to find a little boy hiding on the porch.  He said “Look over there!”  Where we see big bright lit areas off to the right, in the sky over a big field.  There are words, German words, which of course nobody can read, because none of us are German.  Suddenly the words break apart, and they are formed by giant black birds.  The birds fly around and around and eventually leave.

The boy goes to the big body of water off the front of the house just past another field.  There is a large crowd of people in the water, and the boy walks right in, and is sucked under by something.  A friend jumps in to save him, because we hear that there may be zombies in the deeps of the water.

He saves the boy, and we have all saved the day.

My Ghosts in a Mansion Dream

I am in a beautiful old mansion with some of my family.  It has beautiful huge rooms.  The rooms that stand out to me the most are a formal setting room, with 3 huge, beautiful windows (the kind that have the built in cushioned benches covered in red), a fireplace, and a lovely ornate chandelier.  The view from the windows is of a hospital.  There is also the room with a grand piano, a formal dining room, a guest bedroom that is split into 2 sections, and another room that is somewhat like a bar/lounge.  It consists of round tables, comfy seating, a bar and a jukebox.  I start out in the setting room, showing the family around, then on to the dining room and the piano room.  Suddenly, someone says they hear a noise coming out of the guest bedroom.

I enter the guest bedroom, which as I said, consists of 2 sections…a “living” area of the bedroom if you will (couch, chair, etc) and then the actual bedroom part is thru a doorway.  I go to the doorway, and hear children.  Funny thing is there are no children in the house at that time.  Suddenly, I hear a little voice…he said his name was Nathan.  He told me he was a spirit and had died in the house many many centuries ago, and wanted me to see him.  He was on the bed, cute as can be…a toe headed blonde boy who looked to be about 5 or 6 years old.  He had friends he said, and they were all nice kids.  But, he said to be careful of the ones in the lounge area.  They were older and sometimes not very nice.

I move into the lounge area room, where I did have the encounter with the older and sometimes not very nice spirits.  (There were about 4 or 5 of them.) Turns out they were not evil spirits, or mean, just ornery.  They liked to play tricks to “scare” people they said.  I informed them I was entertaining folks and we were going to use that room, so to try and be on their best behavior.

Well, the company is enjoying their snacks and drinks, and the ornery spirits are being quiet….but when I went to take a drink of my cocktail, my straw did not work.  I pulled it out and it had been tied in a knot at the bottom.  I heard a little laughing sound….those ornery ones decided to prank me.  “Oh, really funny!”  I said…and the funny thing was, it was funny and I ended up laughing with them.

Trudy’s Mom

Wednesday, they laid someone to rest. Her name is Brenda. I knew her as Brenda, but I also knew her as Trudy’s mom. The rest of the people here know of her as the mother of Trudy Appleby, the Moline girl who went missing 18 years ago. Brenda was a very softspoken, sweet person and Trudy was her only child. She spent the last 18 years of her life looking for her daughter…never knowing where she was, or what happened to her, but never completely giving up the hope that Trudy is out there somewhere still, and that we would one day find her. Brenda met with a tragic fate, and left this Earth very unexpectedly, as she was hit by someone driving under the influence. She passed never knowing the truth about what happened to her daughter, and her family is now dealing with another unexpected, sudden loss. I know, that out there somewhere is someone who knows the truth about what happened to our little Trudy 18 years ago. That someone has chosen not to come forward as of yet, and in turn caused 18 years of the pain of not knowing. Now a mother has passed, never to have found her answer to her question of where her daughter is. What will it take for that someone to come forward? I don’t know how that someone sleeps at night, and quite frankly, now…I hope they don’t.

My motorcycle ridin’, Lorne Greene, Q on the drums dream

We are all riding our motorcycles home from somewhere when we come to a building.  We are in the building and the only way out is to get off your bike, go into a room on one of the top floors and stand side by side (in a pair) up against this wall in a small compartment of this room.  You have to stand facing the wall, with your hands on the wall, and upon closing your eyes, you “drop” to the exit floor where your motorcycle will be for you to pick up and ride off.  Mine, however is not there.  “Quick” my husband says “We gotta go out back.”  We go out back to the picnic table area, and up walks our uncle with a piece of yellow paper.  We take the paper and walk around front, and out there is a new motorcycle with my sidecar.  It’s a big girl bike!  We ride that off down the highway, until we come to a farmhouse.

In this farmhouse is a family that very closely resembles my own.  I suddenly realize that many of these people are my siblings and we are playing parts in a movie.  In this movie, the characters are trying to get their father (played by Lorne Greene) to get back to the farm.   He has been in ill health, and they need to get him to see a doctor.   They come up with the ploy that one of the eldest brothers (played by Q of Impractical Jokers) has taken ill with some sort of mystery ailment.  So, they send word to the Ponderosa that this sibling is very ill, and Pa and Hoss need to come back asap.

I am sent to fetch them, since we have not heard back in the next24 hours.  I get to the Ponderosa (which is actually set in the house I grew up in, but on a big ranch).  Pa (Lorne Greene) is so distraught that he hadn’t slept yet.  Hoss (for lack of a better name, since this guy looked just like Dan Blocker), said Pa was afraid to leave the house.  We finally got them to go, with them on their horses and me on my motorcycle.  First I called ahead to warn the family we were on the way.  My actual brother Mike answered….”Get everyone in place” I said…”We are on the way and should be there in a few hours.” (Fast horses).   Well, my brother informs me that the family is at an audition where they are singing, and Q is playing the drums.  Q, to my surprise, in the dream kicked arse on the drums!!!

The family gets back to the farmhouse, as I had arrived before Pa and Hoss (evidently their horses were not as fast as my motorcycle).  We quickly were trying to devise a plan, as I was transplanting hostas and repacking suitcases.  But Pa and Hoss arrived before we could get Q back into bed looking like death warmed over.  So, my sister shouts out “It’s a miracle!  The Dr. just looked at him and said it’s a miracle.  Yesterday he was within days of his deathbed, but today, he is all but cured!”  And then we had a party.

A Christmas Memory

Visiting with my little brother (even though, technically he isn’t so little anymore) last night we reminisced on something.  I asked him “Willy, (I will always call him Willy), do you remember that Christmas when ‘Santa’ was stomping around on the roof outside your room and you and Ambrose came running down the stairs?”  His eyes got big as saucers, I swear, and he was “Oh, yeah, I remember that.”  So, I told the story for his daughter to hear.

When Ambrose and Willy were little guys, probably about 9 or so, you know that age where you want to believe in Santa, but at the same time, you want proof.  It was Christmas Eve and those two would not go to sleep for anything.  A bunch of us “older” people were sitting at the kitchen table (the usual gathering place for the Roland clan), and mom kept telling them Santa would not come until they were asleep.  But they would NOT go to sleep.  So, “someone” started stomping around on the roof.  The two boys came racing down the stairs….looked all around the table, carefully counting, trying to figure out who was missing from the table.  Their eyes got big as saucers, their mouths wide open, because everyone was still at the table.  They both then stated “Uh….we’re going to bed now!” and ran back up the stairs like 2 scared little kids.  I then asked my little brother if he knew who that was on the roof.  He had never been able to figure it out.  I told him it was our brother David.  He shimmied up the drain on the side of the porch, stomped around on the roof, then shimmied back down and took his place at the table without even breaking a sweat.  Then, we got to tell his daughter about her uncle David and what a cool guy he was.  Our brother David passed in 1987…I still can’t believe he kept that little incident a secret from those boys until now. It was quite a surprise to my little brother, and it was nice to see the little gleam in his eye.  Merry Christmas to us from David Roland.


My dream about my dad.

My dream started at the house we all grew up in (aka 548), and all of us kids were standing in the kitchen. The house was pretty much torn up, so I am guessing it was in it’s pre-tearing down stage after Walgreens purchased it.  I had just finished reattaching the old brown and white paneling on the kitchen walls.  My brother Will said “Nice job, I like what you did.”  Then, we started talking about Dad, who had been in the hospital, something to do with his hip.  Upon discharge he would be going back to the little red house behind the old dairy queen.  (The house the folks bought when Walgreens took over 548.)  We were all worried about who would take care of him, since I don’t live basically down the avenue from that house anymore.

We decided it was time to leave 548 and come up with a plan.  After walking outside, we turned around to find the back porch was completely gone and the kitchen door was boarded up.  A car then pulls in the driveway and it is my niece, her fiance, my nephew and his wife, their mother and her hubby.  When my niece’s fiance gets out of the car, all these papers blow out into the alley at 548.  “What the heck is that?” we all asked. To which my niece replies “They are all car insurance cards….he saves every one of them!  Uggghhh.”

We all get in our respective vehicles and drive to the little red house.  While there, we are talking to someone about whether or not dad will need care after he gets home.  In the shadows of the kitchen we see someone in a hat with his back to us.  At first I think it’s my brother Will.  He turns around and it’s our Dad!  He looks great, wearing his old light colored 10 gallon hat, a white shirt, black cowboy tie, black pants and his black cowboy boots.  He walks over, standing straight, not limping anymore.  I looked at him and said “Daddy!  What are you doing here already?  We were so worried…I thought you were dying.”  He gave me a big old hug and said “I’m here to tell you I’m ok and so is your mom.  Everything is going to be fine.  You don’t have to worry so much anymore.”  In the middle of the hug, I woke up.  It felt so real, I was looking around for him. My dad passed away in 2007.