October, 2021 Thurston County IANDS newsletter


Let’s begin this newsletter with this tribute, found in the Olympian newspaper a few days ago.  In the above note (on a whiteboard that went viral), Dr. Krell wrote to his medical colleagues, who well deserve this encouragement.  I’d like it to also include all who share kindness in challenging times... 

Let’s remember to express gratitude to those who move forward toward greater good and purpose, in quiet and sometimes heroic ways: Grandparents who help their grandkids when parents work or need a break.  Neighbors who pick up trash along their streets.  Friends who drop off meals and gifts at the doors of bereaved or ill friends. Professionals do help sort out financial pieces for the newly widowed. College students who offer to do house cleaning or yard-work for aging seniors. Fire fighters, teachers, farmers, counselors, rebuilders. These are the backbone of our country. Like Dr. Krell, may we look back over these past challenging years and be able to say, “We did this with compassion and competence.  We will not forget this.”

On another note, this being October, I’d like to share a fun bit of a “ghost story.”  To be honest, I’m not big on the commercialized TV/movie versions of Halloween, but some actual happenings can be quite intriguing.  Earlier in September, I visited Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. By mere happenstance, we found ourselves lodged in Farnsworth Inn, which has been operating since before the Civil War.  The guest rooms still look the same as they did back then.  

For three days the Battle of Gettysburg raged in the little town and in the neighboring fields. Homeowners had to hide upstairs in their attics while, snipers, as well as Confederate and Union troops, fired relentlessly. You can still see hundreds of bullet holes in the brick building outside of Farnsworth Inn.  

We were led to our room by a friendly woman, who said, “Just to let you know, your room is haunted; so you might experience some activity.”  Cool!  Just what an NDEr like me would love. Though the room had a kind of eerie feeling, and I felt as if souls were looking down, watching; I didn’t receive any “visits” per se.  However, around midnight, I was  startled awake by the sound of a cannon exploding.  My husband slept on. Then, around 5 a.m., I was wakened by the sound of a gunshot. My first thought was, “Why are people celebrating out on the street at such weird hours?

Later, I went to the inn’s bookstore.  The clerk asked me if I’d had any unusual happenings in my guest room.  I said, “Not really.  I heard a cannon explode in the night, and a gun was fired outside, but no apparitions or anything.” She smiled.  Then I said the only people I heard were the guests above our room moving about a little.” She laughed and said, “There are no rooms above you.  Not even an attic. Only a roof.”  

After reading more about the history of the Farnsworth Inn, I learned it is not unusual for unexplained battle sounds to be heard in and around Gettysburg.  Apparently, remnant memories of such a profound part of American history still resonate. The literature said that when this occurs, the portal between earthly existence and beyond is wide open.

I also learned of a little mischievous boy named Jeremy, who tried to jump up on a and buggy, just a few years after the Battle of Gettysburg. He fell under the carriage’s wheel.  He was taken, mortally wounded, to the Farnsworth Inn, where he died.  He seems to still “visit” guests often, but is perfectly harmless.  People often hear a child’s giggle, or find their luggage rearranged or knocked over.  Guests have taken to leaving little toys as treats for Jeremy, such as blocks or toy soldiers. When they return to their rooms even moments later, the toys are found scattered, as if played with. As we say often in IANDS, “The veil is very thin.”

Have a healthy, safe and peaceful harvest month!
Jackie Huetter

Gettysburg Farnsworth Inn guest room: