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The downside of driving a work vehicle out in public while attending to work errands is that it opens you up to situations like this:
I suppose that’s also the downside of being incredibly cute.
But seriously. Eek. And just to clarify: you did offer to unload our vehicle for us. We just politely pretended we didn’t hear your offer because it was totally uncomfortable when you interjected in our conversation with the Home Depot employees who loaded our vehicle.
Other things you could have done which I would have found acceptable:
Forgotten the name of my company.
Not tracked me down via my social media internet profile
Maybe if it had been the attractive Home Depot associate who tracked me down… Actually, no. Not even then. He should just wait until the next time we’re in the store.
And now I’m feeling a little bad… because at least he gave it some effort, right? I mean, he showed some serious initiative. And he had an adorable son. Isn’t this how chick flicks start? Then again, I’m pretty sure this is how most episodes of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit start, too.
The Trivette Clinic in Hamptonville, NC was built in 1932 by Dr. William Trivette. It served as a hospital until the good doctor’s death in 1938. He was 50 years old. The building was then turned into a supper club and alcohol detoxification facility before it became a nursing home until the 1950s. Since then, it has had a turn as an office as well as a private residence. It is also haunted.
My father came out to celebrate my birthday this weekend, and a group of us decided to take a tour of the old clinic. It did not disappoint.
Tim and Doug, the current owners of Harmony Gardens Nursery and the Trivette Clinic are familiar with the history of both the building and many of the ghosts who call the clinic home. They are warm, inviting, and polite hosts gently encouraging the ghosts to participate in the tour of the facility. They were interviewed for “My Ghost Story” on the Biography channel. Watch for it to air sometime this season.
I took lots of pictures, and as one would expect there were lots of “orbs” present in many shots. But those can be explained scientifically as light reflecting off dust particles in the air most of the time. So I don’t generally put too much stock in them. But, they are fun to look at anyway.
The first thing we did was get a tour and history of the entire building, room by room.
Following our tour, during which all the exterior doors were locked and secured (keeping us inside) we returned to the basement. They said they do that so we know if we hear anything upstairs its not going to be someone coming inside inadvertently; it is one of the inmates. Doug and Tim placed flashlights in various places throughout the room, and then we sat in the dark while they called to any of the ghosts who might be present in the house with us to turn on the flashlights.
It really wasn’t long before someone or something did.
See the ball in the picture above? There is a ghost child, a little girl named Majesty (might be a nickname), who likes to play ball on occasion with guests on the tour. At some point, the ball was passed to my hands and offered to Majesty to play. At one point, it felt like something was moving the ball, but the movement was so slight, I attributed it to the drafty air in the basement, so I said nothing. Shortly after, I passed the ball to someone else.
The flashlight continued to flicker on and off, remaining illuminated for short periods of time. At one point, the people in our group on the other side of the room said it suddenly got pitch black. I looked around to see what they were referring to, but couldn’t. I could see the flashlight continued to flicker on and off, remaining illuminated for short periods of time.
A while later, I was nominated to take the ball to the top of the staircase to see if anyone wanted to play. My fellow ghost hunter gang illuminated my path with their own cell phones and flashlights as the flashlight on the stairs had been turned off. As I began to ascend the staircase, I noticed a much smaller shadow that was not mine ascending with me. No sooner did I notice, than I came to a complete stop; the shadow disappeared and the flashlight on the stairs illuminated again. I told the group I’d seen a shadow that wasn’t mine, and a few confirmed they’d seen the same thing. But it was gone, and I convinced myself it was a trick of the lights and my imagination.
At the top of the stairs, they invited any other presences in the home to knock on the basement door. I was relieved when none did. I don’t know how long it was, but it didn’t seem like too much time had passed before I felt that same hesitant pressure on the ball. I didn’t feel a draft, but my hands were as cold as ice. I gently whispered encouragement to whatever was there on the stairs with me, and pushed back against the pressure, enough to convince myself that it wasn’t air movement or muscle fatigue that was causing the ball to move in my hand. I eventually released the back pressure and allowed the ball to be pushed from my hand. It bounced down the stairs and rolled to a stop just in front of the chair where I’d been sitting.
A few more minutes of calling to other ghosts to turn on other lights with no response, and we decided to move the party to the top floor of the house. Almost as soon as we were situated, Tim or Doug called out to Phil to turn on the light in the operating room. It came on almost immediately, and was much brighter and stronger than the hesitant, flickering light from the flashlight on the stairs. Two of us walked down the dark hallway to join Phil in the room. We held out our hands offering to let him touch them. The light turned on and off while we were there. I felt an almost electric pulse in mine, but I can’t say for sure it wasn’t just the way my hand was held. The girl next to me felt a brief touch on the tip of her finger. At one point, she asked Phil to turn on the light if he wanted her to leave, and it came on immediately. She hopped off the table and I was left alone in the old operating room with the ghost.
Apart from Phil and Majesty, no other ghosts made their presence known. From the stories of others in the party, a few may have made their presence felt. But this is my blog, and I didn’t feel them, so I’m not writing about them. You’ll have to track down the blogs of the other members of our group to read about their stories.
Before we knew it, three hours had passed, and several in our party were ready to call it a night. My father had already fallen asleep for several minutes in a chair; I guess ghost hunting is tiring for the old man. On the way out, several of us discussed it, and decided on our next move:
A sleepover in the clinic.
I cannot wait to blog about that particular event (just as soon as we can make it happen)! Stay tuned for part two of the Haunting at Trivette Clinic.
What an awesome way to celebrate a birthday!
P.S. Speaking of birthdays, The Stubby Thumb turned a year old recently. Who’d have thought we’d make it this far, Hitchhikers? Let’s keep going, shall we?
P.P.S. For those of you who missed my birthday, or The Stubby Thumb’s birthday… we are still accepting gifts and groveling for the foreseeable future. ;) Thanks again for stopping by!
I know the sound of bombs exploding all too well. I am familiar with the wall of heat that moves in and dissipates almost as rapidly. I know how percussion waves feel. I know the smell of blood and of death. And I have looked into the eyes of the people who are willing to resort to such frightening tactics; I have seen The Nothing that exists in their souls. It is The Nothing that scares me most. For when people have lost every hope, they reflect emptiness instead of light.
I watched footage today from the Boston Marathon and I was instantly transported back in time. I have battled with myself over The Nothing.
He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.
I’ve spent a large portion of my adult life both fighting monsters and gazing into the abyss. I once visibly aged ten years in the space of two weeks. Today as I watched footage and looked at pictures from today’s tragedy, I found myself in a state of nothing. I felt numbness in lieu of sadness.
As a child I was fascinated by the movie The Neverending Story. The Nothing made me nervous then; it makes me nervous now.
How does mankind counteract The Nothing? With love. With hope. With faith. With dreams. And as The Nothing grows stronger, it is going to be harder and harder to fight back. But we must fight back. Because if we don’t, then The Nothing destroys.
Tonight I will hold my boys a little closer to me, and I will be grateful again for the life and love they brought me. I will say a prayer for the world, and one for the children in particular, for The Nothing threatens them the very most. I will try to appreciate every blessing I have and every gift I’ve been given. I will try to radiate more light in an attempt to extinguish the darkness of The Nothing.
Apparently it’s my fault people are dying. I figured it would be harmless to share a picture on Facebook:
So I shared it, and giggled a bit. I only know one actual Justin Bieber fan, and one secret closeted fan (my niece) and, if I’m honest, I have one of his songs on my ipod. ”Baby.” I play it to annoy people in my car on occasion. Like I do with the nine versions of “Macarena” I possess and other gems like “In My Quiet Room.” Irritatingly catchy songs are fun. But now I’m getting way off track. Back to the story.
Grumpy cat didn’t even have the Beebs name spelled correctly. What harm could possibly come of sharing the picture? Besides, that cat is hilarious to me every time I see it. It’s probably because my Korean roommate laughs so hard at all things cats. She says she’s genetically predisposed to it. I don’t know. But her laughter makes me laugh.
But I’m not laughing anymore.
Because within minutes of sharing that picture… the following headline appeared:
So, I made a joke about not realizing she was a Bieber fan, and posted the link. No sooner had I done this, than this happened:
Grumpy cat’s powers are real. Or maybe it’s the power of Facebook sharing. That means I’m doomed for all the things I choose not to share!
I’m pretty much asking for cancer.
And I apparently don’t care about helping people get to one million likes.
And I don’t support gay marriage.
And I don’t support traditional marriage.
And I don’t love my father. Or my sisters. Or my cousins.
And I can expect six hundred million years of bad news instead of the greatest week of my life.
This has been a very eye-opening day for me. Beware the pics you share on FB. And the pics you don’t.
This public service announcement is brought to you by TST. Please, if you care about anyone, share this post. If you share this blog with everyone you know, you can expect that I will eventually become world famous for blogging, make millions of dollars off advertising and merchandise, and I might even be willing to loan some of it to you (for a very reasonable interest rate). Otherwise you can expect more terrible things to happen in the world. Seriously. Do you really want to take the risk and just ignore this blog post?
First I must apologize, Hitchhikers! You’ve been standing out by the side of the road for well over a month, and not a single soul has been willing to pull over and offer you a lift. It’s not that I haven’t wanted to stop. I have. It’s just that I was going way too fast to safely pull over without endangering both our lives.
Speaking of speeding. I got a speeding ticket. Which is crazy for those of you who know me, or totes cra cra for those of you who know my niece. I don’t speed. I used to. In my 20s. Quite a lot. Although I have always maintained a pristine driving record. Not so anymore. Friends and family (including my own father!) tease me about driving like a grandma (although with his recent record of driving events – Germany, Wyoming – I don’t think he has a whole lot of room to say much about other people’s road skills). I’m just not in the hurry I once thought I was. That, and I have a tendency to haul precious cargo with me.
So, there I was driving down the road to Raleigh, when I realized I was driving down the road. And the laws of gravity and physics were combining forces to increase my speed. So I removed my foot from the accelerator and coasted until I was comfortably under the posted speed limit by one m.p.h. I traveled merrily along this way for about a mile, when I happened to glance in my rearview mirror to see blue lights flashing. I panicked and checked my speedometer. It was fine. That meant I must be getting pulled over for distracted driving. No, I wasn’t texting while driving… geez, you guys are so quick to think the worst of me. I *might* have been checking Facebook [For the record, I try very hard to remain focused on the road whenever I drive and not get distracted by my phone or iPod, or GPS, or radio, but then again, I try very hard to remain focused on lots of things and it's an uphill battle; if it makes anyone feel better, the road was pretty well deserted and wide open in a straight stretch.]. Either way, that wasn’t the issue, and is totally not the most relevant part of the story. He pulled me over for that tenth of a mile when my speed crept up on me. $218. $20 of it for speeding. $188 for court fees. Which I apparently must pay even if I don’t go to court. Go figure.
But that’s not all. Upon my return from Tampa last weekend, I passed a line of at least nine, and quite possibly as many as 14 (I was part way through the line of them when I started counting), white 15-passenger vans. And one red one. You know the type. Child molester specials. In fact, I think it might have been the Abductors Across America Annual Tour. There were no markings on the vans. I tried to get a picture with my iPhone, but it was dark outside and I accidentally had the flash on, which I think probably clued the kidnappers in to what I was doing because they sped up and tried to lose me. And plus it’s really hard to take a picture and drive at the same time. So this is all I got:
Since I didn’t get a good picture of them, I’ll just settle for a warning to you all to be on the lookout for the Abductors Across America caraVAN as they tour through your cities and towns. Don’t be fooled by the one red van driving with them. He’s probably just trying to stand out above all the other kidnappers and child molesters to gain your trust and acceptance.
And speaking of child molesters and kidnappers, my friend’s parents recently took out an ad on Craig’s List that I imagine read something like this:
Hi, we are looking for someone to share a ride with our daughter and rape her for two or three days before leaving her body on the side of the road and stealing her car. She is young and impressionable, so we think it should probably be someone in their late 30s to their mid-50s… strong enough to overpower her, and still young enough to catch her if she tries to run off and phone authorities. Sex offenders ideal. Serial killers and sociopaths are also acceptable. Please contact us if you are the right person for the job.
I’m not sure if that’s exactly how the post read, but it’s probably something similar. Why, you ask? That’s a great question. It seems in her parents’ minds… her driving alone for 14 1/2 hours is far riskier than sharing a ride with a complete stranger who answers an ad on Craig’s List. Am I alone in thinking that’s crazy?