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 firstname.lastname@example.org. From the photo collection at the North Berrien Historical Museum 300 Coloma Avenue, Coloma
NEWS FROM THE COLOMA COURIER
100 years ago – 1919 The voting place for the next election will be the first floor of the I.O.O.F. building. The previous place, the council room, is not fit for women to use. It is not fit, either, for men to gather to conduct village business. With women voting, it is necessary to have more booths in which to do the important duty of marking one’s ballot in secret. A speaker from the Michigan Agricultural College will conduct a poultry meeting in the Bunker building. Bring poultry that needs to be examined. 60 years ago – 1959 The Spring Spectacular style show will be held in the Washington School auditorium. Mrs. Victor Molter and Mrs. Miles Rendell are co-chairmen of this PTA sponsored show. Tickets are 75 cents. A film on alcoholism was shown at the Methodist W.S.C.S meeting. Those having charge of the program are: Mrs. Harold Bachman, Mrs. John W. Miller, Mrs. Larry Eckoff, Mrs. Carlton Hartman and Mrs. Paul Blomquist. David Wendzell, 7-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Wendzell, entertained 14 of his little friends at a birthday party. Three rolls of children’s films were shown. 30 years ago – 1989 Cable TV rates will increase 17%. Township Supervisor Rodney Krieger cautioned the company that they are fast approaching the limit of “what we are willing to pay for the service.” Miss Coloma, Monica Bansen, is preparing for the Miss Blossomtime pageant. Monica plans to attend Hope College after graduation. Washington Elementary students were taught by “the Million Dollar Machine.” “Punchy,” a hot pink and blue robot, taught the children drug prevention, along with refusal skills. Submitted by volunteer Sandi Musick Munchow at Coloma Public Library from the Coloma Courier newspapers donated by the Tri-City Record. Hours: Mon & Fri, 10:00 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; Tue, Wed & Thu, 10:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m.; Sat, 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. Phone: 269-468-3431
NEWS FROM THE HARTFORD DAY SPRING
100 years ago – 1919 Of the 249 women electors registered in Hartford Township, 150 attended a school of instruction for women voters at the town hall. Justice of the Peace Harry Hough was the instructor as to the correct way of marking ballots. John Burbank and his son, Curt Burbank, have purchased the Mrs. Wm. H. Ottman farm west of the village. This gives the Burbanks ownership of all the original Wm. Thomas farm of over 200 acres. George Bailey Jr. is one Hartford soldier who arrived home in advance of the casualty lists which reported his wounds. He was wounded in the Argonne on November 7 when a piece of shell struck him in the arm. That was the only wound he received although he saw considerable action as a machine gunner. 75 years ago – 1944 For the second year there will be no county fair in Hartford this fall. It is the third time since 1913 that the Hartford fair has been cancelled. The Hartford Mother’s Club met at the home of Mrs. E.M. Smith. Miss Phoebe Molander, Van Buren County nurse, conducted an informal discussion of health problems in this vicinity. The Hartford Art Study class was entertained by Mrs. Florence Luce, at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Floyd Lammon. Programs for the year’s activities were distributed by Mrs. J.H. Flowers and Mrs. William Watson. Members of the Hartford High School band, under the direction of E.A. Boisman, will present a musical program in the auditorium. Students in every section of the instrumental music department will participate. 50 years ago – 1969 Members of the Stoddard Post of the American Legion and their guests held a 50th anniversary dinner Saturday night at the Legion hall at Hartford. John Dorkowski was presented a 50-year membership card and Victor Rhinehart received a 45-year card. All fourth district officers along with some present and past state and district officers attended the dinner. Commanders of neighboring posts and their wives also attended. Submitted by Librarian Stephanie Daniels at Hartford Public Library from microfilm copies of the Hartford Day Spring. Hours: Mon, Tue & Wed, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Thu & Fri, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sat, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Phone: 269-621-3408
NEWS FROM THE WATERVLIET RECORD
90 years ago – 1929 Superintendent Sheiters received notice from the school inspection division of the University of Michigan that the committee had voted to continue WHS on the accredited list of the University. The recommendation of the inspector was that present efforts to establish and maintain strong school spirit be continued. The Friday Club of Watervliet had the honor of being host to the Berrien County Federation of Women’s Clubs at the twenty-third annual convention. Delegates representing thirty-four clubs in the federation and almost 300 women attended. An 8-1/2 pound daughter was born to Mr. and Mrs. R.R. Richards at the home of the baby’s grandparents. The little lady, Dorothy Mae, was born March 14, 1929. 60 years ago – 1959 The fifty-third annual Klett Family Reunion was held at Hays Park, Watervliet. A co-operative dinner which featured fried chicken was followed by the business meeting. Entertainment for the children and the usual round of prizes, awards and surprises followed. Mr. and Mrs. Edward Birmele are the proud parents of their baby girl, Deborah Dawn, born Oct. 28, 1958 and weighed 7 pounds 8 ounces. Mr. and Mrs. Clyde Sabadin are the proud parents of their baby boy, Ricklin Hal born Nov. 2, 1958 and weighed 7 pounds 10 ounces. 30 years ago – 1989 March is Women’s History Month. As women pause to reflect on progress and problems, it is fitting to note how women have historically formed support groups to reshape their own destinies. Throughout recorded history women have met in small groups to support each other and to help themselves by sharing experiences with others. The first support groups go back to ancient times, when women gathered to discuss birthing and motherhood. In the past decade, the self-help movement has swept the country, with mutual aid self-help groups that meet in southwestern Michigan. According to Pat Friend, Coordinator for the Center for Self Help, “Tomorrow’s history is being written today. Mutual aid support groups are changing the manner in which women perceive and manage their life experiences. Groups are there to help you cope and live a healthy, informative life.”
Submitted by Sally Q. Gonzalez from files at Watervliet District Library of the Watervliet Record newspapers donated by the Tri-City Record. Hours: Mon & Wed, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Tue, Thu & Fri, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sat, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Phone: 269-463-6382