Tears to Joy

Tears to Joy: October 2011

Thursday, October 27, 2011

ABC or OCD cont...

In my last post, I told you that my crazy friends drug me around Virginia in search of an alphabetically correct cemetery. After searching for hours, one of my friends decided to call the police and ask for directions. Supposedly, this cemetery was next to Antioch Baptist Church.

My friend (who has asked to remain anonymous – I wonder why???), called the police station and very excitedly asked them if they knew where the A-B-C cemetery was next to Antioch Baptist Church. She was talking way too fast and the officer couldn’t understand her, and asked her to repeat her question. She said, “I’m looking for the A-B-C cemetery. You know, (and she began singing) A-B-C-D-E-F-G.” I was cracking up in the backseat when her phone suddenly lost signal. She sang to the police officer and then hung up on him. Surely he thought she was pranking him!

Once we got signal again, she called back and got a different officer. He asked her if she was the ABC lady? He told her that he only had one Antioch Baptist Church on file and gave us the address. It is like 11:00 PM now and we go looking for this church. We are just sure the cops are going to be there waiting for us to see who these crazy chicks are traipsing around late at night in search of a cemetery.

Alas, we found the church and sadly – no cemetery! We gave up for the night, only to renew our search the next morning. Armed with a new address via the internet, we take off for another day of adventure. We drove for hours on country, back roads (the views were breathtaking and made the trip worthwhile). We came upon an Apple Orchard and stopped to ask for directions. They told us how to get to the church (a different Antioch than the one the police sent us to). We found the church, but there was no cemetery. The lady at the Apple Orchard told us to cut through the woods across from the church.

We searched those woods forever and found lots of family plots and even found one cemetery, but it wasn’t in alphabetical order. We returned to the Apple Orchard 3 times for directions, but we never found it. I’m beginning to wonder if the whole thing was a hoax and the townspeople are laughing at us. I keep waiting for the cameramen to jump out and say I’ve been punked, but that never happens.

After two days of searching, trespassing on private property, finding what looked like a meth lab, and singing to the police we decided it was time to end our search. Because I hate to be defeated, I will admit that I will most likely go back one more time in search of this elusive cemetery. If anyone out there knows if this is legit or not, I’d really like to know. The locals say they’ve never been but have given directions to many tourists who have seen it…Could it be A-B-C because of Antioch Baptist Church? We may never know, but the more I think about it, I think we were sent on a snipe hunt!

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Friday, October 21, 2011


Recently I spent a week in Lynchburg, VA with some of my favorite people! One of these “faves” found a website that shared strange and unknown facts about Lynchburg, VA. My dear friends thought it would be fabulous to take me on a mystery adventure. Feeling bold and daring, I took them up on the surprise adventure. Well we drove around for a long time, the GPS guiding us only to end up in a friendly neighborhood where my friends were convinced was not the right place.

So, we set out to find the right location. They stopped one man walking down the street and showed him a paper and said, “Do you know where this place is? Don’t say what it is out loud because our friend doesn’t know where we are going…” The man looked at them quizzically and said, “Never heard of it, but I’m sure it’s around here someplace.” What? He’s never heard of it, but he’s SURE it’s around here someplace. Where in the world were they taking me?

Knowing my friend like I do, I said, “All I know is you’d better not be taking me to a cemetery. If I ride around all night with you trying to find a cemetery, I’ll be upset.” She just assured me we were going to have fun.

Next we went to a convenient store where my friend asked several old timers there about this mystery location. They’d heard of it, but couldn’t agree where it was. Hmmm, we were getting nowhere.

At last, my friend had a novel idea. I’ll call the police! They should know where this place is. Now she had a dilemma. She couldn’t call the police and ask them about this place without me overhearing it. She discussed it with her “partner in crime” and they decided to let me in on the secret.

Ok, so I’m trying to decide whether or not to tell you now or make you wait like I had to…

Alright, I’ll be nice and tell you. They were looking for the A-B-C cemetery. (I knew it! I just knew she’d drag me to a cemetery J)

Apparently, there was a private cemetery outside of Lynchburg and its caretaker had OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). He had to make sure all the graves were in alphabetical order. Each time someone new died, he would dig up the old graves and reorganize them in order. I know this sounds crazy and at first I thought this was crazy. This couldn’t be legal! The word on the net is that he had a disclaimer in the paperwork when you got a plot there agreeing to this arrangement.

As the man was nearing the end of his life, he realized that there was no one around to make sure the graves were in order after he died. He was too old and didn’t have enough time or energy to re-bury everyone himself. So he did what any logical man would do – he changed his name to Zuckerman. No kidding!

Ok, believe it or not, this is just the beginning of the story. I’ll save the rest for my next post. Our adventure was a wild one and not one I’ll easily forget. Stay tuned for more on the A-B-C cemetery.

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Thursday, October 6, 2011

Burned up over Burnout?

     Tired of feeling exhausted and overworked? Ever feel like the stress will never end? I don’t know about you but I tend to carry my stress with me everywhere I go --- in my shoulders and neck! I am not currently feeling burned out, but I have definitely been there in the past and I have several friends who are living this luxury (NOT!) now. "Burnout happens when energy stores are depleted from exposure to chronic stress," explains one psychologist
     I recently read that people who are highly functioning, very conscientious, eager to please, with a strong sense of responsibility and associated sense of guilt are more prone to burnout (Milne, 2010). I guess that’s because we have a difficult time saying no and setting boundaries for ourselves. I’m getting better at this, but I’ve learned that no one is going to protect my personal time if I don’t. It’s important that we take time to rest, exercise, and have fun!
     Burnout is not a sign of weakness, but a result of circumstance (Milne, 2010). Since it is a result of circumstances, it seems to me like it is also something we can prevent. The first thing we can do is make time every day to rest – not necessarily sleeping, but doing something relaxing for at least 30 minutes. This could be reading a book, taking a hot bath, anything that helps you to relax.
     Another thing we can do is to take care of our bodies. You got it! We need to exercise and eat healthy. No, it’s not what we want to hear but it’s what we need to do. Exercise is a great stress release and is proven to decrease stress-related symptoms.
     These things seem so simple, but the question remains: Why don’t we do them? Why don’t we take care of ourselves mentally, emotionally, and physically? Do we really want to please others so much that we neglect our own health? Sadly, I am guilty of doing this in the past. I’m trying to be intentional about changing my lifestyle to a slower pace. My friends will laugh when they read this because I am always on the go. Seriously, I am trying and I encourage you to join me in this journey to prevent burnout.

Milne, C. (2010, January). Burnout nation. Medical Post, 46(1), 10-11. Retrieved   October 6, 2011, from Research Library. (Document ID: 2337338861).

Paturel, A. (2011). Banish Burnout: Try these simple fixes to everyday Stressors - and avoid more pain. 25 (3), 40-40. Retrieved October 6, 2011 from http://search.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.liberty.edu:2048/login.aspx?direct=true&db=cmh&AN=60139708&site=chc-live