With Halloween fast approaching we see images of the supernatural everywhere. From skeletons to headstones we are reminded of our inevitable demise. Television programs on every channel exploring supposedly haunted locations. As a friend of mine said, “They sure are a lot more ghosts than they used to be!”
Being a Southerner, death is a simple matter of going on to a different place. I can only speak from my prospective and I know that I personally have had experiences that make me wonder.
My Grandma was a big influence on my spiritual side. She read me the bible and let me ask questions. She didn’t always know the exact answer but we’d research until my curiosity was satisfied. Grandma shared with me the story of after her parents had died they came back to see her one night at the foot of her bed. She’d even suggested that she’d come back and see me but promised not to die until she could see me as a Mother. Honestly, I wasn’t too fond of the idea of that kind of visit. True to her word, she passed before my son Chase was a year old. When God took her home, my world changed but my life had to go on.                                                                                                                             A few months later with the sun shining through the window, I was taking a nap on the couch. I’m Not sure what woke me up as I lay on my back, but I opened my eyes to see at the end of the hall my grandmother. She had on a silky, baby blue night-gown. Never taking my eyes off of her, I sat up as she slowly came around and set down next to me. Just like she’d done so many times, she put her arms around me. I could feel her, I could smell her and I could even hear her though her mouth never seem to move.  The only thing I can remember hearing her say is, “It’s all going to be all right!” in a tone of pure love. As she cradled me in her arms, my eyes flooded with tears and then she simply disappeared. I literally wiped my eyes and she was gone. The shirt I was wearing looked as if I’d had poured water on it from my tears. Eyes red as beets and completely stunned, it was beyond understanding what had just happened. After I told my husband, he brought it to my attention that she had been wearing a baby blue gown when she’d passed. He knew because he’d helped carry her out of the house. For me that was a confirmation of sorts.
Years went by and just like everyone I’d lived through a few unhappy moments. But none compared to losing my eleven year old son Chad in an accident. That was a pivotal and emotional time for me. I lost all faith. God and I were not friends. Agnostic was the title I would use. But in time I had to completely rationalize with myself that what I had seen was proof. My proof. No doctrine just what I was seen with my own eyes. I know I’ll see everyone I’ve lost again. I haven’t had anyone else visit me, not even my son. I believe with all my heart, God knew that they’d be a time that I’d still need what Grandma had always instilled in me, “There’s more life after this life!”



“There’s gold in them there hills, in Alabama?” Part 2

In 1875, my hometown of Cullman, Alabama became a city. Founded by Colonel Cullman, a German refugee who worked hard and mastered the American dream. After purchasing land on both sides of the railroad tracks, he brought in German settlers. Most of the locals that had just survived the tribulations of the Civil War and simply looked down there noses at these non-English immigrants. There feelings were made apparent by an assignation attempt. The Colonel was stabbed in the head leaving him with a lifetime scar. In my opinion he was a man with an unyielding determination that overcame countless obstacles to leave a legacy of an entire county.
As I listened to Butch share his story, the time-table is the late 1800’s because Col. Cullman passed away of pneumonia in 1895.
“Well, old Colonel Cullman had heard rumors of a cave with gold in it for years. Somehow he found out that a local Cherokee knew where this cave was. Then Cullman started trying to convince this Indian to show him.” Butch said in a matter of fact form. “So after a time of threatening this Indian with his life, he and Cullman made a deal.” The story began to sound like a late night western.
The moon was full on the night the four Native Americans arrived at Colonel Cullman’s home. With a blindfold to cover his eyes, he mounted a mule. For Four hours, he went over hills and crossed creeks to finally arrive at a cave. Making sure he wouldn’t have any idea where he was, not until he was inside was his blindfold removed. According to legend what Cullman seen was stupendous! A room the size of a train’s boxcar and a vein of bright gold that encircled the entire room! The Native Americans then put back on the his blindfold and used another four hours to get him back to his house. Knowing now that the room wasn’t simply a fable, and it was within 4 hours ride of his home. He was determined to find his way back. He mapped out a circular perimeter and tried for years to locate the cave but found nothing but an obsession. “They say he never stopped looking for it. But that ain’t the only story about gold around here. These two guys were fishing on the Mulberry and found a gold vein that went clear across the bottom of the creek. The men came back to try to get the gold but it had rained and flash flooded so they never found it again!” Butch said. “A friend and I have canoed that river hundreds of times but never found it. The problem is that with every rain and flash flood that little river changes!”
Is there a cave filled with gold? Does the Mulberry River really have vein of gold that runs across it? I may never know if either are true but I do know that finding gold in Alabama isn’t impossible!