Saturday, October 17, 2009

Good Deed Alert!

I posted a sign at work this evening. It read as follows...

Now accepting winter coats and shoes for low-income, disabled and seniors. Please see your trusty cashier, Pam

One of my regular customers saw it and went home and brought back 4 garbage bags full of coats, hoodies, pants and shoes. She even washed and dried them first. I know this because I was putting them out in the community room just now and the clothes are still warm. She is a wonderful woman who has always helped out whenever she has learned of one of our charitable causes at work. As I said, she is a customer not an employee.

Several other people said they would leave stuff for me over the next week. There have been times that I have given coats to people in the building over the summer and they have been reduced to tears. I see old people walking out in the snow to doctor appointments in houseshoes and moomooes because it is all they have.

If you have something in your closet you don't use anymore, please donate it to a shelter near you. People need this stuff.

I Love a Good Scare - oh yeah!

I have tried to recreate my Ouija board experience from my childhood several times with no success. The closest I ever came was I was with my 2 stepdaughters one time and we were doing the Ouija board. I started to ask for proof of the spirits existence and the board said that it would give us a sign in 10 minutes.

My stepdaughters and I sat there for 10 minutes wondering what would happen. Exactly when the second hand of the clock passed the 10 minute mark we heard a key in the door. This of course scared us silly. The front door openned and in walked their dad. He was home one hour early from work! None of us had any idea that he was coming home early. He wanted to suprise us. WELL HE SURE DID!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

A Memory

After my granny died, I wanted to remember her in my own way. I put on a nice dress and stopped by my mom's house on the way to granny's house. Out of the blue my mom offered to let me have the key to granny's house so that I could go in. This was something that I did not expect to happen because my mom doesn't usually do things like that.

I let myself into granny's house and went from room to room reliving childhood memories. The rooms were all empty because my mom had either sold or thrown away everything in the house. I went upstairs to my aunt's old room which had been granny's favorite. I stayed in there quite awhile just looking out the window at the view and remembering.

I started to walk out of the room and I thought to myself "no I can't leave yet." I turned around and went back in and just stood looking around some more. Then I walked over to the window and went I looked down there was a cross. I had just stood there for about 20 minutes and I hadn't noticed it. Yet there it was. The only thing of value in a house that had been stripped bare of everything.

My granny was a typical Aunt Bea kind of granny. She was very religious. She liked to act like Granny Clampett for fun - that's why we called her granny. She was always full of love. Everytime we went to her house there was a special cake or pie and my Aunt Mary Ann would have our favorite Lipton Lemon Ice Tea. I have no doubt that she left that cross there for me.

ANOTHER Real Life is Scary Story

My Aunt Mary and I used to drive cars to car auctions for my dad. One snowy, icy morning we took off for Columbus when nobody in the world had any business being on the highway. I was creeping along at a snail's pace because of the road conditions and she was in the passenger seat. On a particularly curvy patch of road about a 2 miles from my house all of a sudden a woman in an oncoming vehicle swerved into my lane.

I remember seeing the fear in her eyes as I am sure that she could see the same fear in mine. She was coming straight at me and my only options were to hit her headon or to swerve over the side of the mountain into the freezing river about 200 feet below. I opted to drive straight on and I just shut my eyes waiting for the impending crash. Of course this all seemed to take forever but it was over in seconds.

I remember thinking "where's the crash?" I openned my eyes and there was nothing but ice-covered, curvy road ahead of me. Somehow in the last second her car must have swerved back into her lane. Of course both Mary and I were almost reduced to tears. It was the closest thing to a head on collision that I have ever had. We were so close to that car that I still don't understand to this day how we managed to miss each other (and my aunt feels the same way).

I credit my mom for saving my life that day. For my second driving lesson she took me to a back road and we practiced all kinds of scenarios that could happen on the highway. While I was driving that day soft-hearted me swerved to miss a butterfly fluttering across the road and we almost went into a ditch. She told me " NEVER SWERVE TO MISS ANYTHING!" She said if you swerve off the road you are definitely going to hit something or worse yet go over the side of a mountain (We live in West Virginia you know). And she was so right. If I had swerved to miss that woman we would have ended up in the freezing river that day and more than likely been killed. If we would have hit each other; we were going so slow that even if we would have collided the injuries would have more than likely would have been minor and the biggest damage is that we would have banged up a couple of vehicles. NO BIG DEAL.


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Scariest Ouija Board Experience Ever!

When my friend Sherri and I were in the 6th. grade we were doing the Ouija board. No one else was home. I started to ask it questions about itself. The spirit said her name was Sandra Woodlawn and she was burned at the stake when she was 18 years old. I asked her to give us proof of her presence.

The board spelled out for us to go to the basement, wait 5 minutes, turn out the lights and shut the door and she would give us a sign. Sherri and I went to the basement, shut the door and turned out the lights and got scared and ran out after about 30 seconds. We went back to the Ouija board and asked her to make the time shorter. The Ouija board said for us to go to the basement, shut the door and turn out the lights and count to 10 and she would give us a sign. We complied even though we were absolutely scared out of our minds. We stood at the foot of the stairs, holding each others hands and counted to 10 out loud.

As soon as we said 10 there was a long scratch down the wall beside the door. It went from floor to ceiling (the ceiling is about 15 foot tall in that basement). It sounded like somebody scratching a chalkboard with their fingernails. Needless to say we were terrified. We hesitated at first to run out the door, but it was the only way out. We ran completely out of the house!

I had to figure out what to do because there was no way I was going to be able to sleep in my house that night. We went back to the Ouija board and it made all sorts of awful threats about what it was going to do that night. I asked how to get rid of the spirit in the house. It said to go in the basement and pour the water in a circle around one of the posts in there. Sherri refused to go back down there with me but she did agree to stand watch at the door while I carried out that dreaded task.

I raced down the stairs. I took a pitcher of water and I hurriedly poured it in a circle around the closest pole. I raced back out of the basement and Sherri slammed the door behind me! There was a gap at the bottom of the door about an inch wide. Sherri and I bent down and looked through the crack. There was steam rising in the corner of the basement.

To this very day when Sherri and I happen to run into each other and we are reminiscing about our childhood. When one of us says "Do you remember...". We both start laughing hysterically and our eyes shine with the knowledge that something absolutely mystical and awful happened to us that day.

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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

I learned about another old custom today

This picture was taken around 1950. It is my mom's family. That is her standing in front in the white dress. Apparently back then it was common for the family to pack a picnic lunch on Sunday and go to the cemetery and make a day of it. The kids would play all day while the adults visited each other and tended to the graves of their loved ones. It was viewed as just another way to spend the day with people you loved (meaning the dead people).

Granny would pack big, ole roast beef sandwiches made on homemade bread. Or she would take a jar of ham salad (homemade) and tomatoes and fresh bread that they put in a washtub with a block of ice from the ice man. They would take an ice pick to chip the ice up.

Mommy said they would go to a different cemetery every week. She was not sure where the one in the picture is. One of the cemetery's had tiers cut into the mountain with picnic tables on each tier and there were also shelters made out of timbers from the woods so they could have their picnics on rainy day.

I could never imagine playing and having fun in a graveyard but apparently that was a common way to spend Sunday after church in West Virginia back then. There were plenty of friends and family to spend the day with.