GETTYSBURG, HERE WE COME!

DAY #1:
I’d wondered whether or not a trip consisting of two adults and a big dog in a 25 foot motor home might not be a little bit difficult, but August 04th rolled around and during the wee-morning-hours we embarked on our trip to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

DSC_0126Our first day on the road meant a lot of driving and riding. Along the way into Iowa I’d decided to “try” to use our motor home bathroom. (We were moving along on a freeway at the time.) I got out of my seat in the front and hung-onto whatever I could as I meandered my way to the back where the bathroom is located.

So, there I was, closing the bathroom door. I should never have released my grip on the bathroom door knob after closing it tightly. Just as I released my grip on the knob, Ralph turned onto an extremely bumpy freeway exit. As I lost my balance I desperately grabbed ahold of one of the towel racks with one hand, and the shower curtain with my other hand. Down they both went; along with me as I tumbled backward into the shower. It wasn’t a bad landing, but as I shouted, “Ouch” from the shower floor, I realized that my husband could not have heard me over all of the road noise and rattling sounds a motor home makes while in-transit.

No other recourse left to me, I carefully climbed out of the shower, returned to the cab and sat down beside Dazie, The Pit Bull and Ralph. We finally stopped at a KOA Campground in Crawfordsville, IN where Ralph hooked-up the electric. We went to bed for the night.

DAY #2:
We awakened early the following morning. It was a tight squeeze passing each other from one end of the motor home to the other. In fact, it was so tight that I decided to get up before Ralph. That way I could get cleaned-up, make coffee, get something out for breakfast and work on the finishing touches of my book manuscript.

So, here we are, trying to get ready to get back on the road in our tight, 25 foot quarters with coffee sitting on the small dining table waiting for us. I sat down at the table so that my six-foot-four-inch tall husband would be able to walk past me to the kitchen sink. (This motor home has cupboard doors that open outward and upward. I’m only five-feet-three inches tall and shrinking so I really don’t see the cupboard doors once I’ve opened them – to the ceiling.)

So, what happened next? Ralph walked right smack-dab into the cupboard door I’d left open. Now I don’t often hear my husband swear, but his response to the experience went something like this, “#!!*!!@**!?##*” I thought to myself, “Uh-oh” and apologized. So much for a “Good Morning.”

DAY #3:
The following day was filled with more riding and driving when Ralph announced, “We’re in West Virginia!” We both were hungry. I noticed a large billboard that read, “Biscuit World” and suggested we stop there for a quick lunch. Ralph proceeded to walk Dazie and he suggested I go ahead inside the restaurant. Thus began my waking nightmare.

I opened the restaurant door and entered a very dirty fast-food joint. A woman shouted from behind a counter (in her high-pitched southern twang,) “Can I help you honey?” Little did I know that I should never have replied to her question with, “No thank you. I’m just waiting for my husband to come in.” The moment I’d finished the last word of my sentence, from around the corner burst this huge young guy who had frizzy hair that stuck-out all over the place, dressed in scrubby-looking clothing who stopped three feet short of where I stood. He proceeded to stand there and gawk at me, (as though I were the one from some other planet) wide-eyed and without blinking even once. Thank goodness the dirty look I gave him seemed to register and he went back around the same corner.

Ralph then entered Biscuit World and I pleaded with him never to leave me alone again on this trip. He agreed. We ate a little of the food, and got out of there as fast as we could.  (Actually, if I never see West Virginia again, it will be too soon!)

Later on into the evening we pulled into another KOA Campground where, once Ralph had hooked-up the electric, we three bedded-down for the night in Greenwood, Virginia.

DAY #4:
The following morning, I arose first and made coffee. Once again, I’d forgotten about that darn cupboard door and you’ll never guess what happened! Yep! Poor Ralph walked right into it again! (Now I’m one of those misguided people who wants to laugh and laugh at anything even remotely related to slap-stick comedy.) Needless to say, I held-in my uproarious laughter.

Ralph and I stopped and visited an enormous antique mall where we spent nearly the entire afternoon.  (The antique malls out east are enormous with thousands of items for sale!)

 My high school best friend and I had been maintaining contact via cell phone, and I phoned to let her know that we were getting nearer Pennsylvania (where she and her husband live). Kathy and I had booked a ghost tour together at Gettysburg as well as a Paranormal Investigation after dark by the Gettysburg Battlefield. I’d also booked an afternoon air-conditioned bus tour of the battlefield for Ralph and I. We were both getting excited. (We hadn’t seen each other in over six years when I was vacationing in Washington DC.)Kathy & Jeanie by her horse barn

Once again, we drove and rode all day long.

DAY #5:
By now we were getting much nearer our destination. We’d made it to Williamsburg, Virginia. We both wanted to spend some time in Colonial Williamsburg where we visited the first English Settlement in 1607 of Yorktown and then Jamestown. (Fortunately, Ralph has done a lot of traveling and knew to avoid all the tourist traps in both locales. We went, instead, directly to the State Park where the real (i.e. original) history lies.)

My favorite spots there were Black Point which we walked out to the end of and which is documented to be quite haunted. It was beautiful. In Yorktown, it was extremely fascinating to see the first English Settlement (markers where the original buildings stood) and to imagine everything as it was way back then.Black Point DSC_0199

DAY #6:
At last, we made it all the way out to Pennsylvania. Kathy lives way outside of town so she insisted on meeting us at the bottom of the freeway exit in York Springs, PA. I really enjoyed riding over the enormous hills out there. She and her husband live way out among many beautiful apple orchards.

Tonight was to be our Ghost Tour in Gettysburg. We toured a large area near Cemetery Hill and then a large house that was standing there during the Civil War. It still has the bullet holes in the outside walls to prove it! Many wounded soldiers had hidden in the attic of the house where many died.

DAY #7:
The following afternoon Ralph and I took the bus tour of Gettysburg Battlefield. Our tour guide did an excellent job describing the battle that took place at Gettysburg and the story of the 50,000 soldiers who’d lain slaughtered there. Their bodies and the bodies of countless horses they’d ridden laid out in the sun decomposing for several days, since the living had to remain in the town tending to the wounded.

When they were finally able to bury the 50,000 dead soldiers, they dug only six inch graves and buried them right where they lay. Shortly thereafter the rains came. All the soil that had covered the dead was washed away and the hogs and dogs ate what was left. Only miscellaneous bones were found later and given a proper burial.DSC_0114 DSC_0047

I found walking on the battlefield to be a very sobering experience. I felt my heart grow heavy with sadness and an acute awareness that I was walking on hallowed ground.

DAY #8:
Kathy and I embarked on our Private Paranormal Investigation after dark. Our tour guides were from the Mason Dixon Paranormal Society and did a fantastic job. We visited the Sachs Covered Bridge beside the battlefield which is well-documented to be quite haunted.Kathy and an Orb on Sachs Bridge Gettysburg

It was a great trip, but we’re all happy to get home.  All in all, we both felt that our trip had been an enormous success!

Copyright 2014 by JC Fredlund ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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Aside

Psychic Phenomena: I Know They Were Here

Losing someone we love is very difficult, at best. Losing my grandmother who raised me was one of the two most difficult deaths I have experienced. Years after she and my father’s deaths, I have concluded that we really never lose someone we love. No, not even through death!

Following two very fascinating experiences that I believe involved what people consider paranormal, my views and beliefs have changed quite dramatically. Let me preface this by explaining my conviction to you about that which a human being consists of: A body, mind and spirit (or that which many think of as a “soul”. So, you may ask, “What in the world is a soul?” To me, a soul is the same as a spirit and is that which gives our body life, and lives within the body. Now, permit me to share what took place with my grandmother, following her death . . .

It was the night of her funeral. I entered my bedroom and sat down on the edge of my bed. I was sitting there, alone in the darkness, gazing out our bedroom window. My grief was intense at the time, but I’d finally felt cried-out. I was reminiscing about my grandmother, how she’d raised my sister and I when we were little, and about how very much I’d loved her. Suddenly, it was as if I wasn’t sitting in my bedroom at all. It was as if I was sitting on the bed in the bedroom in which I’d slept as a small girl, in my grandmother’s house; as if I was gazing out her bedroom window at the night, the way I so often had long ago. I missed her terribly.
Not long after, I was shopping one day in a drug store. I’d stopped to look at the greeting cards, searching for just the right one for my mother. My eyes fell upon a birthday greeting card ‘To Grandmother’. The card contained a lovely, heartfelt message. Suddenly I realized that I was standing right there in that store, getting all choked-up. I’d realized, while reading that card, that I hadn’t given her half the attention or greeting cards during her later years that I should have.

Within moments, it was as if I could feel her presence right there beside me. It was also as if I could hear her soft, loving voice saying to me, “It’s okay JC, I always knew how very much you loved me.” An instantaneous sense of peacefulness and calmness came over me and it has been as if I’ve been able to feel the presence of my grandmother’s spirit right here with me, ever since.

The above experience was the beginning of my firm belief that those we love, never really leave us, at all. But, that their spirit merely leaves their physical body behind once it has either become too old to go on, or has worn out for other reasons.

I’ve referred many times when talking with friends, to the many guardian angels I believe surround me. I’ve believed that for a very specific reason. That reason is that as a recovering alcoholic, there were a number of times in my life when there is simply no other explanation for the fact that I lived through experiences that fly-in-the-face of the fact that I am still alive today. Yet, here I am! I continue to believe that those guardian angels are my grandmother, my father and two favorite uncles.

Now, let me share with you the experience with my father. About ten years ago, I was going through a very painful, traumatic time in my life. One afternoon, I fell asleep on the living room sofa, crying and calling-out my father’s name, “Daddy, Daddy.” I don’t know how long I slept, but I awoke feeling soothed and comforted. While sleeping, my father had come me, stood next to the sofa, bent down and placed a warm, gentle kiss on my cheek. Yes! His had been a “warm, gentle” kiss that I could still feel upon my cheek as I awoke, and I was able to feel his presence even after the dream!
I performed a great deal of research on the subject of paranormal experiences (which included book titled ‘Ghosts Among Us’ by James VanPraagh) and learned that a dream that manifests itself in this real and authentic way is actually defined by experts as a “dream visit.” Do I believe that my father’s spirit visited me that afternoon right there in my living room? Absolutely! Can I prove this? I cannot!

That which cannot be seen with the naked eye, is quite impossible to prove. Yet, we certainly have electricity (which cannot be seen) and yet it provides light, heat and other electrically powered manmade inventions. Do we accept the electricity we cannot see? Yes, we do! Can we see love with the naked eye? No! Yet, we do not question it’s existence. So, I ask you, is it really so preposterous to accept these psychic phenomena mysteries that we cannot see with the naked eye? I think not!

(Copyright 2014 by JC Fredlund) Copyright 1974 – 2014 by JC Fredlund (JC Eberhart, Past Pen Name): ©JC Fredlund and JC Fredlund’s Artistry Blog, 1974 – 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to JC Fredlund and the link to http://www.JCFredlund.wordpress.com blog is included with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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