Skara Brae – Orkney Island

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House #4  at Skara Brae looking at the bed (directly past the square hearth) the young couple shared. To the left of the enclosed bed space is the opening to the passageway between homes I saw the husband run into.

Photo by Lynne Sutherland Olson

Murder is not what I expected to see when standing in front of one of the Neothic homes retrieved from the turf of the Skara Brae farming villiage on Orkney Island. Let alone a murder that took place roughly 3,200 years ago.

September 2017 I had the opprotunity to visit a number of Neolithic sites on Orkney Island, located off the coast of Scotland and in England on a tour based around the two decades of research done by Cosmologist Laird Scranton. My remote viewing skills kicked into overdrive the entire trip. Skara Brae was our first stop.

Standing in front of house #4 I saw two male inhabitants of Skara Brae fighting to the death on the impossibly green turf closest to the Bay of Skaill. One man was on top of the other and killed him with a sharpened rock dagger that repeatedly slashed at his opponents abdomen and lower ribs. There was a lot of blood involved before the victor killed his target.

The murder absolutely stunned the inhabitants of the tiny village. I could see some of the village watching the fatal attack take place, hear the calls of alarm and feel the shockwaves reverberate through the tight knit community.  I saw three village women huddled togehter crying and urgently discussing the murder. The argument, like so many through history seemed to have been in part about a woman. The victor didn’t have long to enjoy his accomplishment because he was excecuted the next day.

Execution took the form of three or four men, including the murderer going far out into the Bay of Skaill in a tiny, shell shaped boat without oars. The little skiff looked a great deal like half a walnut shell made with scraped hides stretched over a wooden frame with a pronounced midline seam in the basic hull. They went far enough out that the condemed man would not be able to swim back to shore on his own. He was summarily dumped into the water to drown. His executioners knew the tides well enough to allow their little boat to return them safely to the village, which 3,200 years ago was probably about a quarter to a half mile further inland than Skara Brae is today.

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The Bay of Skaill as seen from Skara Brae September 2017.

Photo by Lynne Sutherland Olson

While the murder was the most shocking thing I saw at Skara Brae I picked up on a lot more details of daily life, mostly around house #4, which is the largest recovered dwelling out of the six restored dwellings open to the public.

I found myself looking into the woman’s bed in the middle of an ancient Neolithic night. It was well into the early morning hours but still pitch black outside. (Scholarship suggests women slept in one bed on the right side of a common hearth and men in annother on the left side of the hearth in the one room house.)  She wasn’t alone. I saw a young couple talking softly and playing with their baby who looked to be between six and eight months old. The husband was holding up this child at arms length while both parents giggled and cooed to make the baby laugh. It was a warm and private moment.

Abruptly the scene shifted to broad daylight. The young wife and baby were not visible but I saw the same husband and father rising from the bed he had shared with them before and scuttling down a passageway from his home to other homes in the settlement. The passage was low and covered as he was running bent in half. His running crouch didn’t seem to impede the speed of his movements in the least and he was quickly out of sight. I didn’t see which house he was heading for. About an hour later our tour guide Clare Burgher with Scottish Tourist Guides confirmed that yes, there were passageways built between the homes of Skara Brae. (If you ever make it to Kirkwall on Orkney Island, ask for Clare, she was an amazing tour guide and exceptionally knowledgable.) The wind on Orkney is constant and exceptionally strong, so covered passageways between family homes would have been a necessity especially during storms.

I think the young family I saw in house #4 were the start of the next generation of leaders at Skara Brae. Not a lot is known about the social structure of the people there in the Neolithic era, but I got the impression he was the son of a chief, laird or leader of some description. It was a small village but leadership was key and in this case felt inherited. This helped explain why such a young couple starting out with their first child had the nicest house in the village. When I asked about how other families in the villiage handled new couples I was shown many of the one room homes occupants would dig alcoves into the walls to create semi-private space for newly formed married couples. Marriage may not have been as formal an arragmement then as it is now, but human biology being what it is, pairing off was inevitable as were children.

At that point I took a broader look at the land around Skara Brae and asked to be shown how it looked at the time of the murder and the young family I had just seen centuries before the mannor of Skaill House was built in any form. First thing I noticed was a permimeter fence, made in the same manner as the stacked stone walls you see all over Orkney and the Scottish mainland even today. The Neolithic inhabitants built and maintained the wall but interestingly did not staff it unless they saw strangers in the area whose intentions they didn’t yet know. When strangers showed up the perimeter wall was manned around the clock until the villiagers knew what they wanted and were about. There was a deep sense of wariness about unknown outsiders within the community.

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Typical stacked stone wall at Skara Brae. These walls were all over Orkney Island defining modern fields and property lines. 

Photo by Lynne Sutherland Olson

Within the perimeter wall I was shown grains and vegetables under cultivation. All gardens and grain fields were rectanguar in shape with defined borders. Smaller family garden plots were interspersed with larger community grain fields. I had the impression that each family maintained their respective gardens and all families maintained the grain fields.

Although I was not able to shed any light onto why Skara Brae was so abruptly abandoned, it was a fascinating look into it’s heyday.

Blessings,

Lynne Sutherland Olson

 

 

(c) 2017 Lynne Sutherland Olson

All rights reserved.

 

 

 

 

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Luck of the Irish, Crosby Style

I was driving home (3/17/17) in filthy weather. Unlike big swaths of the US the precipitation was liquid, not solid, but it still made driving the Interstate a bit tricky due to the amount of water on the road. I did indeed hydroplane a few minutes before Bing showed up. In the past few years, he has been known to visit around Christmas but this was the first time I saw him on St. Patrick’s Day.

I was listening to Coast to Coast radio to keep my nerves steady. Right after my vehicle decided to do a bit of slip-and-slide the show came back from a commercial break and “Too-Ra-Loo-Ra-Loo-Ral: That’s an Irish Lullaby” was played in its entirety. I listened for a moment and then said, “Bing is that one of yours?” Bingo, he was back in my otherwise empty passenger seat, with a big grin and confirmation that yes it was indeed one of his.

I looked at my dash clock which was pegged on 10:33 pm. Many people believe seeing repeating sequences of numbers in the course of daily life means angels are close by. I happen to be one of them as I somehow look at digital and analog clocks multiple times a day at exactly 33 minutes after the hour. Go figure. Considering the angelic company I keep or rather keeps me in line it is not all that strange for my days.

Since it was St. Patrick’s Day George Noory’s guest was talking about the symbolism around the holiday. I found the topic interesting, Bing not so much. At first the symbols of shamrocks/clover and their connections to rabbits foot charms were brought up. The guest noted clover had long been a source of rabbit food. Bing’s take on rabbit food was ice burg lettuce, something you ate when dieting in his lifetime. In Bing’s view, preferably served with cheese, tomato and Cesar dressing. When the guest started to discuss the idea of clover walking around under its own power about 40,000 years ago Bing thought he was crazy. Once the topic moved on to the idea that leprechaun’s glow as depicted in glowing hand prints found in ancient human cave paintings, Bring was slapping his forehead in disbelief. Further details about the nature of leprechauns progressed to significant and repeated eye rolling on Bing’s part along with the declaration that the guest had to be making it up out of whole cloth. When George Noory asked his guest if leprechauns were the sort of beings that could do evil Bing instantly said, well HE wasn’t sure but he knew his great-grandmother wouldn’t have chosen to make them angry.

I have to say it was entertaining and a great distraction from road conditions. Apparently that was the point. I asked Bing why he was with me and he said he would stay with me until I reached my home safely along with repeated reassurances that I would get home intact. (I wasn’t really all that concerned I wouldn’t but I will take help wherever I find it.)You may recall in earlier posts he did something similar when I was driving to see my family last Christmas as the roads were freezing over in the wee hours.

I asked Bing if he had been sent once again by my grandfather. He confirmed this. I further questioned, why didn’t the grandfather I had never met come visit me himself? Bing asked if I would recognize him. I retorted well, I had met him once in spirit when reading for my aunt, so yes,  I probably would, after all I recognized Bing a handful of years ago and I had not known him in life any more than I had my grandfather. Bing wouldn’t give me details, only said my grandfather couldn’t come directly right now and so I was going to have to make do with him. I have learned from years of experience when I hit an answer like that, no further information will be forthcoming, no matter whom I am speaking to in spirit.

My final question about my grandfather was to ask Bing if my grandpa had anything to tell me. I was floored when Bing said, yes, and the message was my grandfather was proud of me for moving to a remote area. Bing told me my grandfather said that took guts, possibly more courage than my grandfather thought he had in his own lifetime. That threw me for a loop. My grandfather didn’t have an easy life, but he never stopped trying. He worked all kinds of jobs to provide for his family and died fairly young of cancer… sadly his firstborn, my Mom died even younger of that disease. However everyone I ever talked to about him in my family over the years thought the world of him. He was by all accounts a genuinely nice guy who would give you the shirt off his back to paraphrase his youngest daughter. For a man like that who survived the great depression, World War II and raised four children on the thinnest of shoestrings, that was incredibly high praise! Not convinced it was merited but it certainly gave me a deeply warm and fuzzy moment. It meant a lot to me considering what my immediate living family thought of my move. Not supportive would be a polite understatement.

Once I reached my street Bing said his goodnight’s and blew me a kiss as he left. I returned the gesture. It was a good night and a lovely reminder that I never know when grace will suddenly appear in my life.

 

Blessings,

Lynne Sutherland Olson

(c) 2017 Lynne Sutherland Olson

All rights reserved.

 

 

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Pets in Spirit

I am frequently asked if I can pick up on people’s departed pets. The short answer is yes, most of the time. I am always somewhat surprised by this as I don’t consider nor promote myself as an animal psychic. There are lots of psychics much better at animal communication than I am, but once a pet is deceased it seems to be part of my mediumship abilities and they usually show up fairly easily.

Many people who have to put their fur babies down due to illness or injuries feel terrible guilt about it and worry their pets blame them. I have yet to meet a pet who was put down to spare them pain who blamed their humans or held a grudge about it. Frequently they are just grateful to no longer be sick or in pain. In that sense animals are wonderfully forgiving and understanding.

Not surprisingly most of the late pets I interact with are cats and dogs although one time there was a wild raccoon a client looked for and fed every winter. When the raccoon didn’t show up one year my client became concerned. The raccoon had passed on my client’s property under a large pile of tree boughs. Although unwelcome news, my client said she would move that pile and find the bones of the raccoon.

In one case an online friend of mine couldn’t find her beloved “Toni Tiger”and was worrying herself sick about the fate of her cat. Unfortunately Toni Tiger had died, but via remote viewing I was able to describe where her body was to her heartbroken human despite the fact I had never been to that particular state. My friend found Toni Tiger exactly where I said she would be and was able to give her beloved kitty a proper and loving burial.

Our pets visit us in spirit just as often as our dearly departed family and friends. They tend to show up especially when we are enduring tough times. A handful of years ago a dear friend of mine lost her beloved cat “Missy”. Since my friend lived in an apartment and had nowhere safe or legal to bury Missy I volunteered a quiet spot in my backyard. To this day I know this particular friend is having a rough time when Missy shows up, usually twining herself between my legs in a typical bid for attention and show of affection. It still happens despite the fact I no longer own the home she is buried at. When it does I know it is time to pick up the phone and check on Missy’s favorite human.

Like people, pets in spirit retain their earthly personalities. One time I was reading for a client who could not figure out why their very much alive dog was acting so weird. The dog would be going about his day when suddenly he would rush down the hallway of their home, dash into a bedroom, plunge into the closet and then emerge a few moments later looking utterly confused.
The key to the dog’s odd behavior was the loss of the family cat. The cat, now in spirit would show up in the hallway of the home, taunting the dog who obligingly gave chase. The cat would run into a certain bedroom they favored in life and dive into the closet with the family dog at its heels. Then the cat would just disappear, leaving the dog seriously confused.  With gales of laughter the pet owners confirmed the dog often chased the cat when both were alive in the same household and it was completely in character for that cat to tease their dog in the manner I was shown.

At one point, my cousins lost a young man named “Jimmy” who died in his early 30’s. Jimmy left behind a little dog “Tiny” who was devastated and deeply grieving the loss of her master. Tiny was a little dog with a big heart. After Jimmy died she was taken in by his grandparents and one of his uncles who lived with and took care of the grandparents. About three months after Jimmy’s death Tiny was lying about moping on the living room floor in front of the main window that faced the road passing the house. Suddenly she went from silent and still to barking her head off. She started frantically jumping at the living room window. Nobody and nothing could calm her down. She jumped so hard she brained herself on the window sill and died.

Understandably this severely upset Jimmy’s grandparents and uncle who witnessed Tiny’s sudden and self-inflicted death. Eventually an indirect inquiry was sent to me to find out if I could shed any light on Tiny’s abrupt and bizarre behavior as there had been no pedestrians, other dogs or even traffic on the road in front of the house at the time of her death.

That wasn’t quite true. Jimmy was there in spirit. He had a special whistle he used to call Tiny. He was standing in the front yard of the house a few dozen yards from the living room window whistling for her. Tiny could see and hear him but the grandparents and uncle could not. Jimmy was calling for her, she wanted to be with him and she found a way to do it. The moment she fatally hit her head on the window sill she sailed right out of that solid window pane and joined Jimmy in spirit. They left together, each delighted to be in the others company once again.

I never found out if having the “rest of the story” to borrow from Paul Harvey was of any help to the family. Some members of my family don’t want to accept my abilities so they don’t talk to me any more than absolutely necessary. I do hope the information that Jimmy and Tiny were reunited that winter day offered some comfort eventually. So much of this work is about acting in good faith and praying it all works out the way it is supposed to.

Blessings,

Lynne

 

 

(c) 2016 Lynne Sutherland Olson

All rights reserved.

 

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White Christmas, Bing Crosby Visits Again

Late Christmas Eve found me navigating slick roads a degree above freezing with ample fog as I started my long drive to visit family for Christmas. I turned the car radio to a non-stop Christmas station to keep me company. About three songs in, Bing Crosby’s “Let it Snow” come on the radio and suddenly he was sitting in the passenger seat of my vehicle. This was the third time he has shown up at Christmas over the last few years so I wasn’t completely surprised, but can’t say I was expecting him either.

Bing still loves to hear his songs on the radio, a phenomenon he described as “practical immortality”. As he sang along with himself he was waxing nostalgic and mentioned that he found one of the back-up singers “girls” quite cute at the time he recorded the version I was listening to. I gave him a bit of a sideways glance and asked if he was married with children by that time. He laughed ruefully and said “that time” he had only looked, not touched. He said infidelity on his part came later down the road.

As in the past I think my grandfather sent Bing to keep me company. They were drinking buddies when both lived in the same Spokane boarding house as young men. This impression was reinforced when Bing showed me a picture of my grandparents together in heaven. I had to laugh and wondered if he had been reading J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” books because my grandparents looked like they were straight out of a “wizard photograph” as they smiled and waved in what most of us would recognize today in a GIF loop or short repeating video. As my grandfather died a few years before my birth it was lovely to see them together and happy.

As I reached the top of the hour I switched radio stations to hear the national news. After the news was over I realized I was on Coast to Coast radio, a station I also enjoy listening to on long late drives. I was interested in the guest but Bing wasn’t having it and urged me to turn back to the Christmas station. I did so and “White Christmas” was playing. However it was a remake, not Bing’s well-known version of it. I asked him about that and he replied with the old cliché that “imitation was the sincerest form of flattery”. Suffice to say, like a chef who enjoys their own cooking, Bing likes his own music the best.

As I left the interstate Bing wished me a Merry Christmas, a good night and disappeared. I have not seen or heard from him since, but that was not surprising as he had accomplished the task he had been sent to do, see me home safely for Christmas. The miles sped by with such illustrious company, especially company who could and did manipulate the radio to suit himself.

Blessings,

Lynne

(c). 2016 Lynne Sutherland Olson

All rights reserved.

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Grand Army of the Republic Civil War Cemetery Revisited

Photograph courtesy of Seattle Parks and Recreation

I recently had a chance to once again visit the Grand Army of the Republic Civil War cemetery on Seattle’s Capitol Hill.

Comprised of survivors from both the Union and the Confederacy occupants of the GAR made their way to Seattle. Many died in the early to mid 1920’s.

The visit was made with friends of mine, a couple I will call Jim and Maria to protect their privacy. Jim is also a mental medium. Maria is intrigued by what her husband picks up but doesn’t consider herself psychic.

Normally when two or more mediums investigate a location at the same time key facts tend to match but each medium often gets different pieces of the puzzle. What was interesting to me is that Jim and I repeatedly got identical information. First time I have had that happen. I could tell from how the information was coming in that I was getting it from the occupants of the graves, not from reading Jim’s mind.

Last time was more a group exercise with the ghosts of dozens of Civil War soldiers grouping around me and the friend I was exploring with at the time.

This experience was a lot more personalized with a number of conversations with individuals in spirit depending on what tomb stone I was focused on at any given time.

The most entertaining ghost of the evening was Jacob Davidson, a Private, Company E 2, and Michigan Infantry. He died January 23, 1896 a good 20 years earlier than his companions in arms. His birth date was not on his stone but he appeared to be in his 40’s when he enlisted. Jacob chose to manifest wearing an exceptionally nice custom tailored suit. He sported a full head of graying hair and white mutton-chop side burns. He wore round glasses, but only when he had to.

I asked Jacob why he joined the Union in middle age. He told me he was so enraged by the events at Harper’s Ferry; he felt the need to join up.

I pulled out my cell phone to quickly check up on Harper’s Ferry to make sure I remembered correctly that it was the location of John Brown’s short lived slave revolt. Jacob asked me why I was staring into the mirror (smart phone) in my hand! Jim and Maria explained to Jacob that it was form of electronics. Jacob understood electricity for light and heat but computers were not a concept he was able to understand.

Jacob said he was in merchant banking before the war. He left his wife and three children when he enlisted. At the time of the Civil War he had a son a daughter and a baby boy at home. Sadly he told me his wife died the first year of the war in 1861.

After the war Jacob remarried, had a few more children and moved to Seattle with his blended family. By that time his first-born daughter was married with a young child of her own. The entire Davidson family moved and thanks to Jacob’s prior business successes were able to buy a home in Seattle’s Magnolia neighborhood right away.

After the war in Seattle Jacob said he made his living in “trade”. He showed me he spent a lot of time at the bustling docks of the Port of Seattle.

Jacob remained a man of his time. I was amused when he told me that any woman of his era that had shown as much leg as I did in my walking shorts “…would have been horse-whipped.” I was told in no uncertain terms his daughters would have never sworn like a sailor as I did. I agreed, but pointed out his daughters didn’t live in 2015. I do.

Maria had me ask Jacob if Bruce Lee (buried in the cemetery across the street from the GAR) ever visited? Jacob may have been anti-slavery in the 1860’s but didn’t view all ethnic groups equally. In short he indicated Lee’s shade would not be welcome at the Civil War graveyard. Maria wanted to know if Jacob had much interaction with Asians in his lifetime. Jacob mentioned Chinese workers brought in to build and finish railroads in the Seattle area. He was annoyed with me because I would casually swear in conversation but wouldn’t repeat his racial slurs. I told him my occasional profanity was considered much less offensive in 2015 than his slurs. Suffice to say we didn’t convince each other.

At one point Jacob asked me to step aside from the conversation as he wanted to talk to Jim. Since you always get more ghosts with honey than vinegar I obliged, stepped back and chatted with Maria for a few minutes.

A similar request was made by the occupant of one of the six “unknown” graves in the GAR. Jim had gone to the car to get a jacket as the heat of the day was fading fast in the waning light. “Thomas” or “T” as he said he was called informed me he would not say another word until Jim returned. He wanted to talk to a man, not a woman. Fortunately T decided to talk to both Jim and I when Jim returned.

Thomas came across as quite the con artist. He fought for the Union but used the war as an opportunity to abandon his wife and children. At some point during the war he met and hooked up a black former slave woman who became his common law wife in Seattle. They had two sons and a daughter together.

Because he didn’t want his first family to find him Thomas kept all his identity and enlistment papers in a small wooden box with a sliding lid. It was about the size of a modern shoe box but Thomas insisted it originally held blueberry preserves.

Thomas died of diphtheria in Seattle. He was carefully nursed by his second family. He left instructions that upon his death his second wife was to burn the box with his documents in it. Much to his frustration, she didn’t do so. Instead, according to Thomas she was proud to have landed a white man as a husband and eventually donated his box of identification papers to a museum.

At this point Thomas asked Jim to find those papers, break into the museum and finally destroy his documents. Jim flatly refused and pointed out to Thomas that in this day and age Jim could spend life in prison for stealing artifacts from a museum. Thomas protested they were his documents he should decide what happened to them. He was not happy with me when I told him as soon as he died he lost all control of his papers. It was unfortunate his wife had not honored his wishes but nothing could be done now. Thomas’s raspberry response translated perfectly across a century and a half.

Both Jim and I felt Thomas was the slippery sort of man who would sell you the Brooklyn Bridge if you would have paid for it.

Thomas said he did have a several times great-grandson alive in the Seattle area but that the man had no idea of his connection to Thomas. Not surprising as Thomas is in a grave marked unknown.

I talked to three of the six unknown grave occupants. One late soldier a few stones down from Thomas was not in the mood to chat. He told me to go away as he wanted to go back to sleep. I respected his wishes.

The final unknown grave contained another Union soldier. This young man had lied about his age to enlist. I didn’t get a name but he was just a kid, a teenager whose government issued uniform hung on him like a scarecrow. He was a skinny, lanky kid who enlisted to make his father proud.

As the sun started to set a real-life volunteer arrived to take down the flag. I dusted off my rusty Campfire skills and helped him properly fold the flag. In return he showed us the graves of Edward T. Clarke, a member of a black regiment who enlisted at age 21 and lived until 1932! Edward was not inclined to chat much but when asked how he lived into his 90’s wryly answered, “By eating collard greens.” Maria and I had to explain to Jim what collard greens were, noting they remain a popular Southern dish today.

The flag volunteer also pointed out the grave of Frank Bios, a Medal of Honor recipient who served as a Quarter Master in the US Navy on the USS Cincinnati. Serving in the Navy in the US Civil War had to be grueling. Not only did Frank survive he lived to age 81.

Maria, Jim and I were clustered around Frank’s grave and the woman buried next to him took offence and told Jim to stop standing on her grave! He obligingly moved and she further commented that he looked like a boy. Jim found that funny as he is 50-something. Maybe his jeans and sweatshirt made him look younger to that ghost lady?

Not too far from Edward Clarke’s grave was the only couples grave I noticed at the GAR before we lost daylight. It was the grave of Levi and Anna Wright. Interestingly Anna was three years older and survived Levi by 10 years, all the way to 1932!

Jim and I asked Levi if he was in the Civil War. He said he was, but not as a soldier, rather as a doctor. Levi made a play on words. In the Middle Ages crude surgeons were called barber surgeons. Levi said he was a lot more of a barbarian than a surgeon in his field hospital work due to the endless limb amputations.

Because of his name we asked Levi if he was Jewish. He confirmed he was. He said he worked for the Confederacy because they were not as picky about the background of those who served. Dr. Wright noted that when a man was screaming in agony due to a shredded limb he didn’t really care about the ethnicity of the doctor who treated him.

Levi told us he was a boy when he and his parents and siblings immigrated to the US from somewhere in Europe. Anna’s parents immigrated but she was born in the US. Levi said his family first settled in a Mississippi river town and he met Anna because she lived the next town over. Despite Levi’s version of events he is listed as having come out of Ohio on the GAR bulletin board registry. Maria, Jim and I speculated that perhaps the Wright family lived in Ohio by the time of the Civil War. I felt pretty solid about Mississippi as Jim got the same state independently of me.

As an added bonus Levi’s wife Anna was also willing to chat with us. She was a plump, short woman with black hair pulled back into a bun. Her doctor husband provided a good living for her and their six children. She said they had four boys and two girls. She showed me herself getting the Sabbath table ready with a snowy white table-cloth, a deep red table runner and crystal wine glasses. Jim asked if she used candles on the table. She confirmed she used standard tapers for the Sabbath table. Confirmation from the dead person you are talking to is a great help when learning to trust your abilities as Jim is now.  Overall Anna Wright seemed to be a gracious and kind lady. Apparently Levi and Anna Wright still have descendants in the Greater Seattle area who know about them.

One of the benefits of poking around a ghost dense location such as the GAR with another medium is what I call the catalyst effect. Any time you get two or more psychics in close proximity (such as the same room) each amplifies the abilities of the other. In too many cases with talent in mediumship comes matching egos. Working with Jim was great because neither one of us were worried about outshining the other. When you don’t see someone with the same skill set as competition marvelous collaborations are possible. I am sure we enjoyed so many detailed conversations with the residents of the GAR because of an ego free catalyst effect. Thanks Jim and Maria… looking forward to our next adventure!

(c) 2015. Lynne Sutherland Olson
All rights reserved.

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Dig In! Food Beyond the Grave

I have been thinking about the social nature of food and the many times it has continued to connect people even after death. I have been fortunate to witness a great number of “welcoming committees” 0f family and friends who show up in spirit to greet and welcome home a newly deceased person. It is interesting to me how often these reunions involve food.

Recently I had an unusually detailed interaction with a dying man’s family waiting for him in spirit. He was the last of his generation to pass, so he had a lot of siblings, family and friends waiting to welcome him home to God.

One of the dying man’s sisters was waiting with a home-baked pie. I was able to confirm she was known in her family for her delicious pies.

One celeb was met by his grandmother who had a plate of warm chocolate chip cookies in her hands when she came to escort him to heaven. (Heaven, other side, the great beyond, take your pick.)

A Revolutionary War soldier who had been earthbound as a ghost for a couple of centuries met up with his father and brother in spirit. They walked into the light of heaven toasting their reunion with tankards of ale.

A long-term client came to me when both her parents had passed. They came through and talked about their idea of heaven. In this case it was a lakeside cottage with a wonderful apple orchard. The mother mentioned the crop was going to be a good one and she would be making pies and cobbler from the fruit. (This experience backed up my long-held belief that heaven can pretty much be whatever we want it to be.)

One of my all time favorite other side stories was a man who had been gone some time. His family came to see me at a psychic fair. They asked what he was doing with his time in heaven. He replied the was waterskiing and drinking beer with his best buddy. The family laughed and said that would certainly be the mans idea of heaven.

Earthbound spirits are still interested in food too, despite the fact they no longer have bodies to enjoy it with.

When I was at the bottom of the Waverly Hills death tunnel Mark and Debby Constantino were leading the investigation. They asked the ghosts in the tunnel if there was anything they missed that the Constantino’s could bring them. The answer I heard was apples. I told Debby about it and she followed up with me later. The late Fr. Andrew Calder had brought a couple of apples the next night and left them in the densely haunted death tunnel for the spirits.

Also at Waverly Hills I have heard ghost children request candy up on the fifth floor during another groups EVP session. Cherry flavored candy to be exact.

Paranormal investigator extraordinaire Mike Sears and his VSPR group (www.vsparanormal.com) have routinely gotten amazing EVP results by bringing rum or whiskey to locations they have investigated. This seems to work especially well in areas that once housed soldiers or prisoners. The ghosts seem to appreciate the thought and effort Mike and his team expended to bring them a drink.

Of course many other items from toys to tools are used as successfully as trigger objects. Food or drink remains a big one.

In light of the ongoing appreciation and connection food has beyond this life earlier societies practices of sacrificing produce, grains and animals to their gods or in honor of their late ancestors doesn’t sound quite so daft to my modern ear.

My late mother loved white chip macadamia nut cookies. I think the next time I visit her grave I will leave a nice big one for her. It will melt into the grass with the next good rain, or the squirrels or birds will get it, but no harm done. I figure it can’t hurt and it has been a long time since Mom had one of those cookies.

Blessings,

Lynne

(c) 2013. Lynne Sutherland Olson
All rights reserved.

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Unexpected Christmas Gift – Bing Crosby

I was driving to Christmas brunch in a gray, icy cold morning. My mood matched the weather. In an effort to cajole myself into a more festive outlook I turned on the radio to Christmas carols. Not surprisingly, Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas” was playing.

I did chuckle a bit as I recalled a family story involving my grandfather and the well-loved crooner. Years before marriage and family they roomed at the same Spokane, Washington boarding-house. Being young and single, they became drinking buddies. Many years later my grandfather told his youngest daughter about some of their adventures.

One night in particular they had both gotten plastered but managed to drive home without incident. They had a terrible time trying to get out of the car. The world seemed more difficult to navigate than when they had climbed in. They stumbled upstairs and slept it off. The next day they found they had parked the car half on the high curb, half on the street, leaving the vehicle at a steep angle.

What I wasn’t ready for was Bing Crosby to choose that moment to show up in my passenger seat. My first response was, “Really?” as I had about four hours of sleep the night before and usually shut down as much as possible before attending family events. Also I had never encountered Crosby in spirit before, so why now?

Bing calmly remarked, “You know, your grandfather was good man.” This was consistent with everything I had ever heard about the grandfather I had never met. It convinced me my overtired brain was not making Crosby up.

Since “White Christmas” was still playing on the radio I asked if Bing had ever met my great-grandparents. My late Mom and her sisters had known Poppa but his wife had died a few months before my mother’s birth. Had my grandfather invited Bing to his family Christmas back when they had hung out? I was disappointed when Bing replied, “No. I was invited one year, but I chose to accept the invitation of another friend. Now I wish I had gone.” He said my grandfather had often spoken of his parents warmly.

I wanted to know more about my great-grandmother especially but Bing couldn’t share what he had not experienced.

The last thing Bing said to me was to hang in there, that things were going to going to get better in my life. Then he did a very Irish thing. He leaned over from the passenger seat and chastely kissed my cheek before fading away. It was immensely comforting and reminded me of a distant cousin who had told me at my grandmothers grave years earlier that he was, “Sorry for your troubles,” another deeply Irish gesture that covered all bases at a really rough time in my life.

Like all great performers, Crosby’s timing could not have been better. I pulled up to the family home a few minutes later, but I had already received the best possible Christmas gift.

Blessings,

Lynne

(c) Lynne Sutherland Olson 2013. All Rights Reserved.

Posted in Personal Blog, Uncategorized