03-07-2019 Tri-City Area History Page

An awareness of ‘otherness’ You ever gone somewhere for the first time and felt… just knew you’d been there before? Have you ever been someplace and felt a sort of dread? Like you just didn’t want to be there for some reason? On the other hand, been someplace that you just found so attractive you wished you could stay there a while? Well, I’ve been going around asking people if they ever felt those things. And I’m absolutely amazed at how many people have! I believe there is an ‘otherness,’ of places or dimensions that we cannot see. And I’m not sure how good it would be if we were perfectly aware of them. Some people have more of this than others. I will admit that I’m not one of them. But it does run in our family, mostly in the feminine members. And it comes from both sides. My mom had an ability to see, or feel, or sense people and places that were not visible to the rest of us. It came down through Marion’s folks too. The greatest time this was apparent was back in the day when she lost a pregnancy. Now I am telling the story with her permission, or I wouldn’t be telling it. She had an out-of-body experience. If you check the records you’ll find many examples of this happening, and there are certain common elements that seem to be repeated again and again. Those who have the experience usually see a long tunnel with a light at the end. They also look at themselves from outside their body! They quite often thereafter have a problem with mechanical or electronic devices. And many of them report that they have no fear of death thereafter. Unfortunately I don’t know of anyone who has gone all the way and come back to tell about it. Usually something happens that interrupts the journey to ‘otherness,’ and they find themselves back in the real world. I can remember as a kid my mom would be so upset. She could not wear a wristwatch and keep it going. I never thought to ask her about the next life, but I know in her final illness she wished to stay in her own home, by herself. She seemed to have no fear. Marion and my sister were taking care of her week by week. In the morning when one of them went over to check on her, she would say, from her bedroom, “Well, I guess I’m still here!” In 1953 Marion lost a pregnancy. We took her to the emergency room, and someone there didn’t realize how serious the condition was to call the doctor right away. They took her into surgery and she said by that time she was so weak she could hardly sign the consent form. That’s when it got scary. She felt herself out of body and looking down at the operating scene. She was on the table, but she was also above, looking down. Then she saw the long tunnel with a light, but she didn’t want to go down it. She remembers pleading to go back… she had a family to take care of. Next thing she was back in her body again. Later on she didn’t talk about it for a while. In fact, I never heard about it until some years later. But I do know this… she has a problem with electronic devices. She has never been able to navigate the intricacies of the computer such as the one I’m writing on. But, what the heck, I have trouble with it too! If one of our phones is going to act up, it will usually be when she’s using it. She also has trouble keeping a wristwatch going! All classic symptoms of out-of-body survivors! In our life together we have traveled to many places. And she always reports to me how she feels about the atmosphere of where we are. We have gone to old, historic places; and as we are touring them, she will whisper to me, “I’ve been here before!” I never argue with her on that, because I believe she has! This sense of otherness takes different forms. Our three girls all have it, but I don’t have their permission to talk about it. So I’ll just speak in general terms. And quite often this is not a bad thing to have. I believe it can make you more aware of life and all of its nuances. But it can also be very unsettling… a feeling of dread. As one of our girls travels she is aware of the bad things that happened at certain places. A stretch of highway where occurred a fatal accident. Or perhaps a murder, or kidnapping. Marion also has that. One stretch of highway in Michigan she absolutely does not want me to travel on. What happened there? Who knows? I honor her wishes. Another daughter has people seek her out with special problems. Somehow they sense she will help them. She says, “In this life your work will find you!” The third has a special connection to the Universe. She looks at a problem and sees the gestalt, the whole outline. This helps immensely in the world of computers. Our son, Rob, and I look upon those traits in our girls with wonder. I wouldn’t trade any of them! They have all made it worthwhile as we weave threads into the Golden Tapestry of our lives in these storybook towns along the Paw Paw River.

Watervliet District Library News Teen Table Projects: March Do-it-yourself project for teens whenever they’re at the library; all supplies provided. This month – If I knew I couldn’t fail. Be inspired – be yourself! Add your brave thoughts to their call-out. In Stitches Knitting Group Friday, Mar. 8, 2:30 – 4 p.m. Bring your current project or your interest; they’ll help you get started! Limited supplies are available for beginners, too! Make-It Monday Mar. 11, 4 – 5 p.m. Crafts and games for K-6th graders and families second Monday of every month. This month – Edible Juice Balloons; sign-up required. Sensory Bin Blast Tuesday, Mar. 12, 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. The perfect time for a perfect mess! Activity for 0 – 5 year olds and their families. Third Monday Book Club, Mar. 18, 7 – 8 p.m. Great books, fabulous conversations! Ask for your copy at the desk; this month – The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers. Pinteresting – Mar. 25, 6:30 – 8 p.m. Arts & crafts for grown-ups held on the last Monday of the month. All supplies provided; sign-up required. Fairy Garden Houses is this month’s project. Story Hours – Wed. 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. & Thur. 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. Picture books, crafts and fun designed to inspire the love of reading! For ages 3 – 5. Book a Social Work Intern! Tuesdays 1–4 p.m. Thanks to an LSTA grant through the Niles Library, they have a shared intern at Watervliet Library. Need help with on-line applications, unemployment or housing? Drop in or make an appointment for help with questions or problems. Yoga Monday 9 – 10 a.m.; Wednesday Chair Yoga 6 – 6:45 p.m.; Wednesday 7 – 8 p.m.; Friday 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. Library Garden Park Purchase a Legacy Walk brick and celebrate a memory! Bricks are $75; 13 characters, 2 lines. Pick up a form at the library. Please call 463-6382 for more information on any Watervliet Library activity.

Photo I.D. is “Sheldin driving a vehicle out of a garage.” Watervliet Milling Co. is in the far left. North Berrien Historical Museum is always interested in photos, stories or information sharing. The museum can be contacted at 269-468-3330 or by email to info@northberrienhistory.org. From the photo collection at the North Berrien Historical Museum 300 Coloma Avenue, Coloma