The Rock House

The Rock House

The other day, we passed by the old Rock House, after taking one of my husband's employees home. This was the first time my daughter Julie had ever seen the old house. We didn't stop, and get out, but drove slowly enough for Julie to get a good look at the old house standing alone and desolate through the overgrown brush and trees. Julie made a comment on how eerie the house looked and that it EVEN looked haunted. Of course, seeing it for the first time, I can certainly understand the eerie, haunting feeling one must feel, as I had the same feeling seeing it for the first time myself some 25 -26 years ago.

Throughout the different generations, many stories have been told about the old Rock House, and how it became it haunted. You can ask 10 different people the legend, or story behind the Rock House, and chances are, you will get 10 different stories. I had once heard the house was built in the mid 1800s, and I have heard the house was built in the 1940s. Both are wrong. As you walk up to the old Rock House, you can see the year house was built. Engraved above the entrance: Tolbert 1922.

One story about the old Rock House, is that the family was murdered, all decapitated, and during the night you can see them running through the house headless. Another, they all died of some kind of fever, and the whole family haunts the house. Yet another story is that Mr. Tolbert killed his wife and kids, and another is that Mr. Tolbert hung himself from the staircase and his wife and kids left after they found him hung, and its his spirit that haunts the house.

The story I believe the most, and makes more sense to me: Mr. Tolbert had been away, and while he was away his old home burned down, taking the lives of his wife and kids. He decided that never again would he have a home go up in flames and decided to build a home that could never be destroyed by any act of nature, fire nor storm. So he built the Rock House. After moving into the home, he became so lonely living in the big huge house alone, that he hung himself from the spiral staircase that once was in the home. With this particular story it is believed the whole family haunts the house.

Another story which seems closer to the truth: Mr. Tolberts house burned in a fire, taking the lives of his wife and children. When he built the Old Rock House and moved in, the spirits of his wife and children drove him crazy. He could hear their screams in the late night hours and therefor he hung himself. With this story, if you go to the Rock House late at night, you can hear the screams yourself.

Someone told me the Index Journal did a story on the Rock House once and that I can go to the Library and look in the archives to get the true, original story. Somehow, I don't think we will ever know the true story behind the old Rock House, and each one of us will have our own story to tell.

While Julie was away with her boyfriend yesterday, I took Libby and her friend Lacy to see the Rock House. I was a little apprehensive about getting out of the car. Not because of ghosts and spirits, but being that I am much older, I was afraid of being arrested for trespassing.
When, I was a teenager, we used leave a quarter on the bridge before driving up to the rock house. When we left, our quarter would be gone. Yesterday, we left our quarter on the bridge, when we left, our quarter still remained. Either the ghost that took our money as teens has moved on, or the teens that rode past the bridge collecting money have grown and moved on.
The old house where I used to frequent as a teen, still stood tall, and still looked very haunted and eerie. The path we used to take as teens to the house, still remained some 25-26 years later. One of the stories about the old house, before entering you must leave a gift so the spirits do not follow you and haunt you when you leave. I left a handful of pennies before entering as payment and a cigarette in case Mr. Tolbert himself wanted a smoke.

Libby, Lacy and I walked up the pathway that led up to the house. As I walked, all sort of memories came rushing back from when I would frequent the place as a teen. I mainly wanted to see if my name was still spray painted on the wall in the last room on the right.

When we entered, everything pretty much looked the same as it did 25 or 26 years ago, but I was wee bit upset when I couldn't find my name spray painted on the walls anywhere! Liquor and beer bottles still lingered on the floors, and laid on the ground. Cigar wrappings for blunts were laying on the floor and outside on the ground, as was coke bottles and empty potato chip bags. The spiral stair case that once was in the house was gone, but I also remember when the staircase was stolen when I was a teen and who stole it. There used to be a heavy boarded up back door at the back of the house. I remembered we used to wonder what was behind that back door. Yesterday, the heavy boarded up back door was gone, destroyed, proving to be nothing but a mere entrance to the back yard.

I began taking photos of the old house. Never once, did I feel or see any spirits or ghosts. I was about to take a photo from inside one of the rooms, of the outside from the broken busted window, when suddenly Lacy's face appeared through the window. I almost dropped my camera and wet my pants, and I felt the color drain from my face, leaving ME standing looking a ghost. That child didn't realize how bad she actually scared me!

I took photos of each of the windows from outside, hoping when I got home I would see some kind of apparition, but instead, I have nothing but windows. I did, however, catch a couple of orbs floating behind Libby in one of the photos.

If the Rock House is truly haunted, in which I do believe it may be, I think the Tolbert's are pretty lenient, and evidently love teenagers as they have kept their doors open for over 26 years or longer for the teens to come and frequent the place, hideout at night to smoke a little weed, drink a few beers, do a couple of shots, and even sneak in a little kiss in one of the empty rooms. One thing for sure, Mr. Tolbert built one hell of a house! After close to 90 years, it still stands even after the vandals, the partiers, the visitors and ghost hunters. Mr. Tolbert set out to build a house that could never be destroyed, I think he pretty much succeeded.

One thing I should note, as we were leaving the old abandoned, haunted house, I noticed these pretty little flowers blooming all over the place. A place so desolate, so dead, so eerie, yet such beautiful little flowers blooming...proof enough for me..there is still LIFE at the Old Rock House!

(above photo by Lacy Johnson)

Valentine Memories and Keeping It Alive

As a child in elementary school, I always got excited when it got close to Valentine's Day. I would spend my time with my Mother at the local drug store, or grocery store, searching endlessly through the many boxes of Valentine's Day cards. It was always a special holiday for me back then and the cards I chose had to be perfect. I would search endlessly through all the boxes. Through glittery cards, cartoon cards, Barbie cards, teddy bear cards and the cards that had little slits in them to stick a sucker through. Sometimes I chose the cards that I could insert the suckers into, other times, it was more of the cute, quircky type cards.

The night before Valentine's Day, I would sit on the floor going through the cards, trying to figure out which card went to who, paying special attention to sayings on the card. My best friend would always get the best card, but the latest boy I had a crush on would always get some stupid little quirky saying like "Valentine, you're #1 in my heart" or "My heart beats for you Valentine, youre special" and I would sign it "your secret admirer"
The next morning, I would jump out of bed, eager to get to school.

The week prior to Valentine's Day, we had made little boxes, or bags and decorated them with little hearts made out of construction paper, and glitter. The teacher would call our names individually to go put our Valentine's cards in the bags or boxes. I was always a quiet and shy elementary child, and was always afraid when I put the Secret Admirer card in the bag or box belonging to my crush, he would see me, and know the card was from me. My hands would shake, my heart would race, and my pulse would beat faster, as I threw the card real quick in my crush's box or bag. The teacher would pass out cookies, chips, and juice and we were able to grab our our box or bag and start ripping into our Valentine's Cards. I would get so excited, when I had Valentine's Cards with the suckers inserted and even more excited when I had a little box candy Valentine's hearts. I read each card carefully, always smiling, my heart skipping a beat when I would get a secret admirer card. I would spend weeks trying to figure out who that secret admirer no avail.

As I got older in Junior High, and High School, we quit exchanging Valentine's Card. Valentine's Day was only acknowledged if you had a special boyfriend. Yet, I still received a box of chocolates and stuffed animal from my Mom and Grandparents every year.

When I got married, and my husband and I shared our first Valentine's Day together, I cooked a special meal, and gave him a box of chocolates, and a sweet card. I, on the other hand, only got a card. It was then that I realized, that Valentine's would never mean as much to him as it did to me. My childhood Valentine's excitement, would forever be gone, and Valentine's Day would just always be another day.

When my daughters, grew to be school aged children, I regained that Valentine's Day excitement once again. I was able to take delight in helping them choose their perfect box of Valentine's Cards, and I got to sit with them at the kitchen table, going through each card, just as I did and they would get so excited, just as I did. When I picked them up in the afternoons, they would be wired up on candy and sweets from their Valentine's Day party. They were eager to show me the cards they received and we would spend our afternoon and evening trying to figure out together who their secret admirer was. My heart would fill with pride and glee, when they would present me with a Valentine's card they had made especially for me.

As they grew older, and became teens, once again, that Valentine's magic was lost, and just a thing in the past, just another day. But, each year I would still buy my girls a little something for Valentine's Day and present it to them, whether it be a teddy bear, a box of chocolates, or a new outfit. Even, as teens, they face would still light up as they received their Valentine's from me. Even today, my heart swells with pride and love as I receive my Valentine's from them. Its never much, maybe a small box of chocolates, maybe a card they had made while locked in their bedroom with their music blaring through out the house. As I said, it may not be much, but to me, its the best, and it gets better every year. My daughters and I have always loved Valentine's Day, and we have kept the magic, love and thrills alive between us through all these years.

This year, Julie has a boyfriend, and he gave her a beautiful sapphire ring. I was a little shocked to see such a gift as they have only been dating over a month. I later learned it was just one of those fake jewelry rings, you can purchase at Wal Mart for about $20 or $25. Still yet, Julie received her first ever special Valentine's gift, something I never got, nor Libby.

A holiday centered around Love and couples, yet my daughters and I have made it a family tradition to celebrate the love and closeness we have with eachother. This year, like every year,I will not receive a dozen roses, nor a box of chocolates, or a diamond ring instead we are celebrating with my Mother who got a divorce last year, when she found out her husband of 20 years had been having extra marital affairs. So tonight we are going to the Japenese Steakhouse and celebrate the love our family has for eachother. I doubt my husband will be joining, as Valentine's Day, is just another day to him.

It doesn't matter if you have a special someone in your life. Valentine's Day doesn't have to be for lovers. Instead, make it a family affair, or celebrate with your best friend, regain those childhood memories,

Winter Wonderland

I had stayed up way past midnight, waiting on the first snowflake to fall. I was more excited than a kid at christmas. I love snow, and with the Weather Channel's metorologist predicting close to 8 inches, the excitement grew. It was hard for me to imagine 8 inches. Never in my life had I ever seen 8 inches of snow here in South Carolina. Most of the time we are lucky to get an inch.

When I woke the following morning, the bright, white fluffy substance covering the ground and tree tops was just too much to comprehend. I carefully stepped off my back porch and my foot sank through the fluffiness straight to the ground. It was a strange unusual feeling as I felt it would be never ending, falling into a deep hole or something. I tried to make my way to my husband's shed to get the measuring tool. I took long, wide steps, finding each step seemed to be more deeper. Once we found the measuring tape, we walked through the yard measuring different spots.

I woke Libby and Julie. Libby quickly got out of bed and dressed to go play in it. Julie, not a big fan, took her time. They had snow ball fights, built snow men, ran and fell down in all the fluff, made snow angels, simply just having the best time.

Our neighbors from up north came over making fun of us in all the snow and how us southerners take it to the extreme. They just didnt understand, we never had this much!

This is one snow I will never forget, not only was it just beautiful to see and play in, it was the best snow in my 44 years.

Percolated Updates

artwork by: Libby Sealy

I have been away far too long from blogging. I'm not really sure why I do that. I guess I figure my life just gets too boring, and I have nothing to blog about, or my life gets too busy and I cant find the time to blog.

Since I have last blogged, I have gone through a lot of changes, and challenges. I went from not working, to working a full time job as a patient sitter for an 84 year old woman with leukemia. Not having a full time job for 17 years, I found this a bit challenging. However, after I have been working for 7 months now, I have finally learned how to juggle working full time and then coming home taking care of my family. At first this was a bit overwhelming, but I finally got the hang of it. Millions and millions of women had been doing this for years, yet it was my first time, I just had to remind myself that if other women could do it, so could I. Receiving my first paycheck was a great feeling, then each paycheck after that I learned how to plan the bills, and budget my money. It is such a great feeling being able to buy my own clothing, buy the girls clothing, buy anything we want, with out even asking my husband for any money. I know my little old lady will not live forever, but when she passes, I will continue working and find myself another old person to take care of.

Sitting with my little old lady for 9 hours a day became quite boring some-days. Although I cook for her, and help her with whatever needs she may have, I still became quite bored. Her sister in law taught me how to crochet. However, she only knew just double stitching and single stitching. Once I mastered that, I got on the Internet and taught myself the rest. Now I'm making all kind of things. I love it. I have even sold quite a few crochet items as well.

The girls are growing into really young beautiful ladies. Julie, my 15 year old, has been struggling in school and dealing with a lot of ups and downs and dramas. Here recently she discovered who her true friends really are and who she thought was loyal was really not so loyal and rather deceiving. Julie also got her permit and cant wait to hit the streets..I however can wait forever!

Libby, continues to do great in school and if she keeps her grades up she will be getting a scholarship to whatever school she decides to go to. Libby is unsure what to do with her life after she graduates, so therefor she will be going to a Technical College until she can figure out which career path she finds the most interesting. I don't think I have ever been as proud of my daughters and I am now!

In a nutshell thats all thats been going on. I hope that I can be able to keep up my blogging! I love blogging so much, just don't understand why I stop the way I do at times. Maybe now that I have a new hobby of crocheting, a job, and pretty much.. a life..I can continue to blog about whatever strikes my fancy, or whatever is on my mind... The ups, the downs, the turmoils, the drama, the thoughts percolating in my mind.

Hectic and Distorted

The photo of above is the view from my Mother's balcony at the beach. What a beautiful sunset!

Again, things have been hectic around here. My mother moved to the coast. It still pisses me off that her exhusband ran her completely out of town, but if she can find a tad bit of happiness there, then Im happy for her.

I got a job the other day, but I dont actually start work until Monday. I will only work Mon through Wed, of next week, then leave for the beach on Thursday to visit my Mother and have a small vacation.

My thoughts and my mind are really clouded right now with everything. I have so much I want to write about, but can't seem to find the words to express it all.

My Mom is back here, tomorrow and staying at a hotel. Her divorce hearing is Friday, then Saturday she leaves back for her home at the beach taking my daughters to spend the week with her. Then we will go on Thursday and bring the girls back home on Sunday. It should be a nice for us all.

I really need to do better in keeping up my websites!

Dont forget to visit my Nature blog: When Nature Speaks Do You Listen.

Maybe tomorrow my head won't be so clouded and I can express the turmoil raging inside my damn brain. Even the coffee isn't suppressing the thoughts.

Mama Anxiety

Painting of My Mother by: Libby Sealy (my daughter)

The last couple of days I have felt like something wasn't right. I have had some feeling of anxiety, yet I just couldn't figure out why. Maybe because Libby is at the beach,with her church youth? Because Julie's asthma has been hard to control the last few weeks? Because business has been slow at the shop for Billy?

It wasn't till yesterday I learned why these feelings of uneasiness, nervousness and anxiety are coming over me. My Mom called me on the way home from the beach. She told me she was about half way home. Those same flames of anxiety seemed to engulf me at that very moment as she spoke those words. I became extremely sweaty, at loss for words, my heart started pounding,everything around me became fuzzy. "Are you there? Can you hear me?" I heard her asking through the phone. I managed to speak "I'm here." After our brief conversation, I hung up and sat outside on the steps of my front porch.Trying to compose myself before I walked back in the house.

Last night I laid in bed trying my hardest to fall asleep. So many waves of emotions and thoughts were spinning out of control. I let these emotions take over me, for I could no longer fight them, and I cried myself to sleep. Something, I have not done in a very long time.

My mother is coming home from the beach, but in 6 days, her home here, will no longer be her home. Instead, her home will be at the beach, some 4 and half hours away from me, 243 miles from me. Not only will she be moving this far from me, but she will be doing it alone.

At 63 years of age, my mother has been forced into a life of being alone due to a divorce from her husband of 20 years. He filed on terms of being separated one year, however, we all know that a man doesn't come home after 20 years and just suddenly want a divorce. My mother fought back, hired a PI, and a few weeks later was able to file on adultery. I will be blogging more on this in just a few weeks after their court date.

My mother has always been a strong woman, no one ever saw her break, nor ever saw her cry, but there is a breaking point, and he broke it. My daughters and I witnessed tears of hurt and sadness the first month he left her. She quickly dried those tears, and fought back with a vengeance. He quickly learned hell hath no fury on a woman scorned. To add to the pain and hurt, he left her just 6 months after she had a stroke.

My mom has found it hard to live in the same home they shared. She has found it hard to live in the same town as he and his 45 year old girlfriend. We all live in relatively small town, and she found it hard living in this town having to see the same friends they once shared. She found it hard to attend the same church they shared for 20 years, especially after he brought his mistress to the service after she filed adultery papers. The man has no heart and no soul. My mother has learned many secrets since they have been separated. Secrets that we all find outrageous, but nonetheless, as outrageous as they may be, they are true. He lied to their church congregation, he lied to her step children, and he lied to their friends. He made her look like the bad person....and with all that, he drove her out of this town, away from me, away from her grand children! This man, however, is slowly digging his own grave..once he brought his concubine into their church, everyone was able to see the truth..the truth! but it was too late. Mama had already sold her home, and already planned to make her home at the beach.

Mama's closing date on her house is in just a few days. She is home only for a few days to finish the last minute things that need to be finished, and deal with the moving company. After that, she will leave for the beach once again, to her new home, to her new friends, to her new life. She will have to come back home one more time and stay in a hotel to attend her court date on the 25th.

Now that I know the anxiety I have been having is from my Mom moving 243 miles away, I can start dealing with it. I know for a fact she will be happier there. She already had the condo at the beach, and had hoped of retiring there, she just didn't want it to be this way. I know she has wonderful friends there, friends that care about her! She has already developed a life there, as she has spent the majority of their separation there already. She goes to luncheons, dinners, parties, and on gambling ships. Matter of fact, she hit the jackpot last week, when several of her friends and her went for a birthday celebration of one of her friends. She has already rearranged the condo as she wanted it, and remodeled it as she wants it.

I know when my Mama drives away in a few days, my anxiety will turn to tears. I have grown closer to my mother in the last few months, so close that no one could break the bond we have now. We used to not be so close, and we used to not have such a strong bond. She made a statement the other night that one good thing came from all this...we are finally a family, a family like we are suppose to be. She and I have shared a little bit of a rocky past. I was a wild child and rebellious. she only wanted what was best for me. I mistakenly took her love, care, and concern and successful wishes for me as nagging. I was so clearly, freaking wrong. I had felt this way for almost 20 something years, ok, longer than 20 something years. It wasn't till she had the stroke, that I learned how much I love my Mama. I was terrified after she had her stroke! She bounced back quickly, and I realized how close I came to losing her. NEVER AGAIN! Never AGAIN!

I'm scared for my mama with her moving. I'm worried about her health as she still fights with high blood pressure. I'm worried about her safety living alone so far from me. The tears I had shed last night was from the strong realization of why I have been having so much anxiety. The truth is...I am scared of living with out my Mama.

If you wish, you can view my Nature blog by clicking here:
When Nature Speaks,Do You Listen?

Why I Am Who I am

Since school has been out for the girls, I have spent the majority of my time with them. Of course they claim to be bored, as I'm sure they are, but I have enjoyed my time with them.

Libby left for the beach with her church youth group Saturday, and will be returning back home this Saturday. She has only called me once since being gone, that just tells me she is having such a good time that she isn't thinking about me or getting homesick any.

Julie remained home due to being sick. This was her first year in not going, but I do not think she has missed it so much. Although Julie has been sick most of the week, we have had a good time together. We have managed to watch several movies together on my new plasma big screen tv which I received from my mother. We have cracked jokes, and have laughed till our sides hurt and tears spill from our eyes. We've stayed up till 3am while she plays some computer game called Runescape and watching movies with me. Even as I type this we are watching Mall Cop and haven't long finished watching Julie and Julia. While all this may sound boring to most of you and you're probably wondering whats the big deal...there really is no big deal, except that Julie hardly ever stays home. During the school months, we don't spend much quality time together in the evenings, except at the dinner table, and I don't ever get much quality time with LIbby either. On weekends Julie is normally at her best friend Audrey's house, or either locked in her room on the phone or on the computer getting involved in some kind of teen drama.

Spending quality time with both my daughters is extremely important to me. I always give them their alone time they so often seek, and I let them go out with their friends as often as they want, but soon as I see a chance to be with my daughters, I snatch it up.

They grow so quickly. Libby hasn't been long turned 17, and Julie will be turning 15 in July. Sometimes I look at them and how grown up they are. How mature both of them are, and how amazingly beautiful they both are, and I have to ask myself, where in the hell did time go? When in the hell did they grow up?

Prior to the last couple of years, I had spent the last 10 years struggling with some serious health issues. It started when I found out I had a rare kidney disease and had to have my right kidney removed. Before then, I struggled with such high blood pressure, anger issues, headaches and such that i never really knew anything was ever wrong with me, till my blood pressure went so high that I lost vision in my right eye. When I had to have my kidney removed, I was only given a 40 percent chance of survival. A year later, I had to have my left kidney operated on. After I recovered from my kidney issues, I had a freak accident with a motorcycle where i crushed my whole right leg and lost mobility for 2 years. I became a recluse, not wanting to go anywhere, struggled with depression and anxiety, and struggled with pain everyday. After a few operations to my leg, i regained mobility once again and saw everything in a different light. I learned to appreciate the smaller and finer things in life, and to never take anything for granted.

During those 10 years I was so self centered, so self absorbed, feeling sorry for myself, and not seeing the damage I was doing to my family. A year or so after my last operation of repairing my leg, I still struggled from some type of fear after learning of some really strange complications from receiving a bone graft which I will not go into right now. The depression got so bad that I contemplated suicide and honestly, not only did I contemplate, I actually had the pills in my hand to end all the grief I was causing to my family. I had a smorgasbord of pills in my cabinet from all kind of doctors. I had so many different kinds of pills in the palm of my hand and a cup of water in the other hand. It was Libby who walked in the kitchen that night as I held a handful of pills in my hand. She didn't know what I was thinking, she did not know what I was about to do, but seeing her face, hearing her voice, i threw those pills in the trash and realized what a mess I was in. How did I allow myself to get that way? The next day I told the doctor what I almost did the night before, he changed my medications around and put me on a different anti-depressant medicine. That medicine only made me numb. I was a zombie, a pure walking zombie. I'm not exactly sure when it happened, but one day, I decided I didn't need to be a zombie. I didn't need the anti depressants. I didn't need the Valiums nor xanaxes nor ativans..what I needed was my life back. What I needed was my family back.

During those years, my daughters had to grow up. They had an ok childhood, but I took away alot of their childhood. They had to worry about me, they had to help take care of me, and they had to deal with every damn emotion I went through.

The last two years, I have completely changed, but its been within the last year that I have changed the most. I no longer take any drugs to control my moods or fog my mind. I will admit occasionally I do have to take a pain pill for the pain I sometimes have in my leg and the arthritis in my knee.

I look forward to every moment I can spend with my children. I let 10 years go by, but I will never let the next 10 years, nor 20, nor 30 if i make it that long. I want my children to experience everything there is to experience and I want them to be able to do that without them worrying about their mama's health issues, or what kind of damn mood she may be in. I can never take back what I put them through in the last 10 years, nor could i ever give them the childhood that they missed. Instead, I spend every moment I can with them. I want to hear their dreams, their fears, their sorrows, their worries, and YES...The teen drama.

For the most part my kids say I'm a good mama, they say I'm a pretty cool mama, and they think I'm a crazy mama. I'm not all that crazy, I just like doing crazy things, saying crazy things, and crazy is what seems to make them smile. We laugh, we joke, we pick, we kid, we fight, but the strong amount of love we have for each other always wins over the simple fights.

This last year I have been on a journey. A journey of self discovery, of who I really am. I have learned so many different things along the way. Some things would just blow the average joe's mind, but the biggest thing I kids don't really need me, I need them. It is my children that are my therapy, my drugs, and my life.

I also have the best husband. While he may have his moods just like the rest of us, he has been a wonderful husband through out it all. Our love has grown stronger in this last year, stronger than ever, and we have a stronger friendship with each other. We know now that we can get through anything, just from the hell we have already been through.