New Uses for Old Haunted Places

jailI read an article in the newspaper that the Old City Jail is in the process of being remodeled and turned into an office building.  That seems incredibly sad to me.  It is in the hands of a developer who is on the trail  of getting permission to do this.

How can this be?  This is Charleston’s most haunted building.  It is a place ripe with African American history for our region. Why can’t it be restored and preserved as an historical site.  It needs museum status. For this building to become an office building would be a travesty.

The jail, which was operational from 1802 until 1939, was the place were 10,000 people died from diseases, execution or injury.  There was a lot of injury.  It was the time of slavery in the south.  Some of our most famous and crazy prisoners were housed there.  Lavinia Fisher and her husband were there.  She was our first female serial killer.  She and husband used poison and a bed of stakes to kill their victims. Denmark Vessey and black soldiers were housed there.

And did I say already that it is haunted? The ghost of Lavinia Fisher is supposed to be there. People claimed to have seen her and heard her speak!  Things move, people see shadows moving, the rattling of chains can be heard and people on tour have been touched or scratched by unseen things.  There is a local tour company that gives a tour there. I have always wanted to go and but it off thinking they would be doing that tour forever.  I guess I really need to book it… and soon.  Progress waits for no man.

When I think about it being haunted, who would want to work there?  I do not think I would. I do want to go, take the tour and take pictures. I hope to get some interesting ghost pictures!  The souls of 10,000 were lost there.  It is not a place to go daily.  It is a place to pay homage to the dead.


The Best Laid Plans

todoHave you ever had your whole day planned out and nothing you had planned worked out?  That was my Saturday on yesterday.  This was a weekend I had off.  I did not have to work so I had a list and everything planned out in my mind.  My plans were to get up, cook breakfast, take child to work, come back home for a short nap then begin a kitchen purge.

I had read an article online a few days ago about being minimalist and how less is more.  I decided with a birthday coming next week, I should think about having less.  So, I planned to start with a kitchen purge and then move on to other rooms.

Well. We got up and I cooked breakfast and prior to taking my daughter to work I decided to stop at the gas station to put some air in the tires. I did and the left front tire was low a well as the back right. I pulled out of the gas lot and got to the median.  It was time to put the pedal to the medal and get daughter to work. Tick. Tick. Tick. What was that sound? TICK. TICK. TICK.  It was even louder.

I turned the radio down and opened the window.  It was a tire making that noise.  I put on the emergency flashers and made a loop to get back to the mall.  I needed to go to Sears to get it checked.  Gerald’s Tires was too far to travel.

At Sears there was a long line of people ahead of us.  But, the day was partially saved by the clerk who helped me.  I think he even put me ahead of others to get me out the door a little sooner.  He drove my car and after hearing the sounds, drove it right on to a lift and found three bad tires.  One had a huge screw with a washer.  No patch would hold on that.  Another had a nail in the side edge.  No patch would hold that either.  The third tire had a bulge where the steel radial belt inside had moved. Only one tire was good and it was the last one I had replaced in the past year.  I had to replace all so that they would be uniform.

The auto guy tells me it would be a little wait but he would get her gone!  It would cost $350 for the four new tires.  Not what I wanted to pay.  Those funds were earmarked for other things, but what could I do? With no car work, church and other things cannot happen.  So out that money went on new tires!  Bummer!  Real bummer because some of that  was for my birthday next week.   I guess I’m grateful I had the funds to keep us rolling.

So where is the list in all of this?  All shot to hell is where.  I got my daughter to work two hours late. I was still very tired and after trying not to nod off in the Sears waiting room and failing, I was still tired.  I decided to go home but took a detour at World Market.  I got wine and new wine glasses.  Then home and I took a short nap before it was time to get daughter from work.  Before finally going home we did make a stop at Starbucks.  I got an iced green tea latte.  It was the highlight of my day.  Once home it was dinner, a little sangria and to bed early.

Sunday is another day.  Another day to try to begin that list.  That kitchen purge is still there, waiting on me to begin.  And I will.  Come hell or high water.  I’m doing something in that kitchen!  Less is more and to make that happen you have to plan and have time to review possessions to let them go.

I have heard on and off throughout the years…make some plans…..go ahead…God laughs at those!  He has other plans for us.

Thoughts are Reality #believeinyourself #thoughtsarereality #dreams

“Man often becomes what he believes himself to be. If I keep on saying to myself that I cannot do a certain thing, it is possible that I may end by really becoming incapable of doing it. On the contrary, if I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning.”

~~Mahatma Gandhi

Book Review: Pastel Orphans

pastel orphansI have read quite a few books about the holocaust over the years but none of them really focuses on the children.  This book  is written from the eyes of the children involved.  It is a story of grief and endurance.  It is also a story full of bravery and determination and love! It is well written.  The characters make you feel like you know them right away and you feel every part of their experiences.  Read it. You will not be disappointed.  Great summer read!

Book Review: Butterfly Island #amreading

buttterflyButterfly Island was a great summer read. The exotic setting drew me right in. There was enough detail to make me feel I was there. The story was intriguing…the family secrets and trying to find them out.  I am finding out I really enjoy books with some historical fiction. Since I am an adventurous spirit the foreign settings are always exciting.  Loved the back story letters and diaries.  The MC romance was more like a romance novel.  Not too much to that story line.  The real meat of this book was in the family secrets.   Very interesting book! I will be reading more of this author.

Charleston Requires Two Pair

Charleston is called the “low country” for a reason.  It’s low!  Very low.  When it rains the ocean is literally trying to reclaim what is rightfully its own.  The rain fall and regardless whether the tide is low or high, the streets fill up with water till cars float and ‘turn around, don’t drown’ becomes the mantra of the day.  When I was younger I don’t remember it being so low but then,  maybe I was living in high places and did not really know it.

When I look back on the places we have lived they have been on high ground.  The higher spots of the city proper or West of the Ashley.  It is amazing how fast the streets fill up with water and become places that are suitable for a canoe or a paddle board.  With most of the city being below sea level there is no good drainage.  The rain falls and then if the tide is coming in, the ocean water meets the rain water and it becomes deep and dangerous,

I work in downtown Charleston and I learned my lesson about the rain soon after I began working.  It began to rain and I did not have rain boots with me that day.  The water began to rise in the market and it became a happening.  We had whitecaps on Market Street and when the few high SUV’s drove past our doors before the police closed down the streets, there were waves rolling up to the front doors of our building.  Believe it or not, soon there was a guy in a canoe paddling by. Amazing to see.  Within 30 minutes the rain stopped and within the hour the water had receded.

I decided I needed a pair of boots for under my desk in case I had to wade to my car.  In all the other rain storms tourists and locals needing to get places just rolled up pants and waded in that water.

Let’s talk about that water.  A lot of it is sea water bubbling up through manhole covers like geysers  or rolling in from low marsh near the bridge.  Regardless it is not clean water. Horses pee all day downtown and the streets reek in the summer.  When it rains all that water, pee  and garbage is what is in the water filling the streets.  It is not fit to wade in.

I thought I was good.  I brought in my boots to avoid making contact with the nasty water.  I thought I was good. I was not.  I was leaving work one day and it had been raining for about an hour.  Market Street was a river.  I had on my boots.  I found what I thought was a place where the water was not as deep and I would be able to get to my car on high ground.  I was with a coworker and after looking at the water and talking about how high or low it was we picked the perfect spot to make it without getting wet.  We both stepped down.  And down we went.

We knew the water was at least up  to our upper calf area but we estimated wrong.  We stepped down and the water totally filled our boots because the water was over the knee.  With disgust we waded over to our cars and went home.

I prepared for this in the future.  I walked around and really found the high ground and where to walk to get to my car without getting wet with my boots on.  My paisley boots lived under my desk and I was able to avoid that nasty water for a very long time. Then came the day it began to rain before I could  get to work. When I got to work I could not get into the building because the streets were  a flowing river in front of the building.  Where were my boots?  Under my desk.  I realized I needed two pairs of boots.  I needed one pair for the car.  I need to be able to wade in or out of the high waters that fill the streets when it rains.

That day a city employee came to my rescue. I was standing in the rain with my umbrella watching the water rise with no way to wade into the office.  I had on heels, panty hose and a little black dress.  The city worker had a pick up truck with big wheels parked right next to me.  He called to me. He offered to drive his truck the few feet in the water and drive up on the side walk to get me past the water.  He would deliver me straight to the front door of my office and I would be dry and stinky water odor free.

That very day after work I got a second pair of boots.  I needed a pair for the car and a pair for the desk.  I had spent $40 on my paisley boots but I was not going to spend that again just to wade through nasty water.  I went to Walmart and got a pair of white fishing boots for about $10. I am set. I am prepared for every Charleston flooding scenario.  Take heed people.  Don’t walk or wade in that nasty water when the streets flood.  Get boots.  Two pairs  Two pairs are needed in Charleston when it rains.

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