Author: Angie Harris

Attacking adventures, searching for amazing food, and finding new friends.  Home in Branson, MO, or exploring Disney, I am searching for deals, finding new experiences, and sharing stories along the way.

Haunted Silver Dollar City

Have you heard about the haunted Silver Dollar City?

Every year when there are pumpkins in the city, the fall colors show in all their glory, and the air grows crisp, the ghosts of Silver Dollar City are allowed to roam the hills.

Each morning there are three grand ghosts who have the privilege of welcoming the guests and opening the park.  Granted not ALL guests can see them but those who have, share quite the tale.

Silver Dollar City Pumpkin Tree

The Scoundrel Clarence

These three lovely ladies, Mamaw Mabel, Grandma Minnie, and Aunt Emma have spent seven generations watching over the crafters and all of the citizens of the city.  They of course have a vested interest. Their great grands are all citizens.  But, in 2020 there’s a new ghost in town.  One especially irritating haint, Uncle Clarence who does nothing but causes everyone grief!

Pumpkins at Silver Dollar City

Mamaw Mabel

Mamaw Mabel is a good ghost who spent most of her life throwing parties. She is the socialite of the group.  One day she was flying around the candy store while Miss June Ward her granddaughter was making candy and telling stories to the guests.   That scoundrel haint Clarence snuck right in and put out the fire under the copper kettle.  Mamaw Mabel jumped in lickity split and lit the fire back up.  She then proceeded to chase that good for nothing, miscreant, Clarence all the way past the pumpkins into Echo Hollow.  It caused quite the stir for those who could see the entire incident. 

Pumpkin decorations at Silver Dollar City

Grandma Minnie

Grandma Minnie is a hard-working ghost.  She can knit, crochet, or doing anything with fibers.  By the time Minnie was 15, she was making aprons, bonnets, and trousers for people all over the county.  

Every year when she returns to Silver Dollar City she’s assigned to watch over the craftsmen… and one special grand, Frisco Jack.  

After that rascal, Clarence had been chased into Echo Hollow he needed something else to disturb.  Frisco Jack was down in the Frisco Barn Makers‘ Market.  He was singing a story to the guests when that ne’er-do-well Clarence snuck into the barn.  He quickly eyed a beautiful light fixture above the head of Jack and immediately laughed at the thought.  He’d give that boy a story to sing about!

Frisco Barn Maker's Market at Silver Dollar City

Thank goodness Grandma Minnie was listening to her grand whilst doing some knitting.  She immediately threw one of her knitting needles just like a firey arrow!  Whew, with seconds to spare that needle flew through the barn and plunged straight through the hand of Clarence.  It surprised him enough to stop what he was doing, make eye contact with Grandma Minnie, and thwart his plan.  He knew he was in for trouble as she began to chase him out of the barn and pass the pumpkin carver.  He was plumb into the Exposition area before he got far enough away from her that he could catch his breath.

Pumpkin Cat at Silver Dollar City

Aunt Emma

Aunt Emma is everyone’s favorite ghost.  She loves to cook and she loves to feed everyone.  Back in 1880, she was the head cook for the miners.  Men would come from all around to have breakfast with the beautiful Emma.  They would beg her to run off with them and be their wife.  But, Aunt Emma had been in love with a young miner who lost his life before they were able to wed.  Her heart was never free again.  

As a young girl, she would wake early so she’d have time to bake big o’ yeast rolls layered with cinnamon and sugar and topped with powder sugar icing.  “Ever’ mornin’ should feel like Christmas mornin’ before you head into the mines.”  Aunt Emma would always say to the boys.  

Fall treats were her favorite and on the same day that cranky o’ Clarence was messing with the other ghosts, he showed up at the bakery.  Sitting back he quietly watched as Aunt Emma stood over the whoopee pies, the cinnamon rolls, and the hot apple cider.  

Love in the Hainted Hills

For the first time that day, Clarence was completely peaceful and quiet.  The familiar smell had drawn him to that part of the park but when she spun around he turned white as a ghost!  Was it really her?  His Emma?  He floated closer and she must’ve seen him out the corner of her eye.  She froze still as he moved closer.  

“Emma?”

“Clarence?”

He gathered her in his arms and the two began to cry.  After 140 years they had finally found each other again.  Clarence had gone into the mine with a piece of Christmas in his hand and the thought that ‘come payday, he was gonna buy that girl a ring’.  Only, he never made it out.  

Aunt Emma and Clarence reminisced as they went to the entrance of the Marvel Cave.  Emma smiled as she pointed to her brother’s grand boy Gene.  He was the official greeter to the city and she had come year after year to watch over him.  

Then the question came to her mind.  “Clarence, why did you get to come to Silver Dollar City this year?”  Laughing he said, “My sister Sarah use to pick on me something awful.  So, I thought I’d keep up the family tradition.  That man over there is always just walking around and talking to people.  Doesn’t seem to be doing much so I thought I’d keep him on his toes.  He’s my sisters grand, Brad Thomas.”

Pumpkin Owl at Silver Dollar city

Ghosts for Christmas?

It was time for the ghosts to meet up at the Time Traveler and make their way back to the other side when something went terribly wrong.  The portal was closed!  Now our three friendly ghosts and the incorrigible Clarence are stuck in 2020 with the rest of the world.  This year there will be a new meaning to An Old Time Christmas!

Silver Dollar City's 60th Anniversary

A Spoonful of Energy in 2020

Spoons measure energy

I’ll take a spoonful of energy, please. How many times have you started your day by taking inventory of your spoons?  The spoon theory describes mental and physical energy and helps us understand why we do or don’t do certain things.  Basically, a spoon is a unit of energy. 

2020 has been a spoon thief since early March.  Unknowingly, it slipped in and took many things that we hold dear and sometimes take for granted—most of all, our sanity.

A Thief in the Night

Sleep is the time that we replenish our inventory of spoons.  The spoon inventory may not have time to completely rebuild if you are sick, up and down with a small child, or so stressed you cannot shut your brain down.  

Let’s assume your body is healthy with zero pain, you slept for a solid 8 hours, and your mind was without stress.   You get to start your day with a full complement of 12 spoons. 

You are wearing me slick!

In 2020 we found out what it would be like if the entire world was emotionally compromised at the very same time. COVID 19, a worldwide pandemic, seemed to pull out the very best in all of us.  Love and support were felt across the globe.  Well, for at least 30 days.   But, after a few months, the hand holding stopped, the songs of love changed, and the scramble for spoons began.  

Social media became the place nightmares are made of.  Perfectly healthy, normal people could lose 12 spoons in one hour of social media viewing.  People have lost family relationships and life long careers over posts and comments on social media.  

Here are a few things that might take spoons.

  • Making breakfast and then doing the dishes
  • Paying bills (this can take all 12 of my spoons if I have to stop and write checks!)
  • Doing laundry
  • Making phone calls about bills
  • Filing for unemployment
  • Filling out paperwork 
  • Putting gas in the car
  • Reading comments on social media 

Looking for Spoons

Where do we go to find more spoons?  There are a million different places that give away spoons, and it’s different for every individual.  The most important tool is to recognize that you need more spoons and running low or running out.

Some places to locate spoons.

  • Reading
  • Walking
  • Music
  • Serving others
  • Holding a pet
  • Create a positive and comfortable work/ living space
  • Church
  • Plenty of solid sleep

Giving Spoons

Some spoons lie on the ground, and they need someone to pick them up and hand them to the person who dropped them.  We might think the only way to give someone a spoon is to give them one of our own.  The truth is, some people take your spoons without asking.  You need to identify those people and put a stop to it.  Here are a few ways to help people gather their own spoons.

  • Make a phone call and listen.
  • Gift them a book or something you love
  • Tell them you love them.
  • Text them 
  • Send them a handwritten note.
  • Make cookies

When you do these things, do it with them in mind and love in your heart.  Don’t think about what else you could/ or should be doing.  When you add love to the action, it replenishes your spoons instead of taking them away. 

Hanging on to Spoons

Sometimes it is much easier not to give up your spoons in the first place.  Limit your interactions with people who are takers.  Choose your friends from those who are loving, kind, and supportive.  Identify the things that cause you to stress and limit how long and when you are in that situation.  It seems that the pandemic has caused a chain reaction of events that have been thrown at us like poop to a fan.  Many of you are dealing with a lack of funds, bills piling up, kids at home doing school, and paperwork out the wazoo.  So, where do you get enough spoons to apply for a job?  

Work Takes Spoons

If you have a companion, take turns handling the ugly.  Do you know what I am talking about?  The bills, the school, the internet that is not working, the broken water heater, or the phone calls.  One person takes a day or even an hour where you can use your spoons to apply for a new job, create a new side hustle, or look for spoons for the entire family!  If there is a big project at work coming up, prepare for it.  You can save spoons for days in advance.  

Create a Spoons Savings Account

There are several things I do NOT do every day, even though I desperately want to.  I LOVE mowing the grass.  I wait until the moment in the day that I know I have to get out of the house, and I need the extra spoons.  

Ice cream!  I could end every single day with a bowl, but I have to limit that as well.   You know what things help you.  Plan them out so that you can look forward to them.  

Hope

Having something to look forward to ads a ton of spoons.  In another life, traveling, family get-togethers, conventions, church, and social gatherings dotted our calendars.  COVID has stolen that as well.  In our house, we have changed our way of thinking.  We now plan excitement.  Game night, grocery store runs, take out, and even going to the convenience store for gas and soda pop.  Amazon deliveries are high on the list.  A new book, a new seasoning, or my new favorite, clear plastic organizing containers.  

Here’s a small list of happy things to put on your calendar.

  • Walks with friends
  • New Books/ trips to the library
  • New Recipe day for dinner
  • Movie night with the family
  • Screen Black Out Days

Magic Spoons

There’s a one-way spoon that is like hitting the jackpot or going bankrupt.  Love!  Giving or withholding unconditional love is like a roll of the dice.  When someone is supposed to love you, and they don’t.  It can rob you of all your physical and emotional energy.  It isn’t easy to replace these spoons.  Some people chase this their entire life.  

The one way to help replace those spoons is to love those around you unconditionally.  Once you begin to live your life-giving this kind of love, your spoons will multiple, and you will be rich in many ways.  

Loading the Dishwasher

My take away from 2020 is STOP STEALING MY SPOONS!  I see you!  I will not let you take my hope.   Friends, get out your calendar and schedule things that give your spoons back.  Love those around you and remove the toxic.  When all else fails, it’s ok to take the day off. “Stick a fork in me; I am done!” 


Time for a Mammogram

Once a year, like clockwork, I stop and go in for what I lovingly refer to as my annual squeeze and peak, or as you may call it, a mammogram.  I do not think twice about it.  As I leave that appointment, I schedule the following year and keep that same appointment.  It’s a priority. This last session did not go as planned and was a first for me.

Just do it

Something about walking into that building always makes me giggle. No, I do not enjoy having parts squeezed until they feel like they will pop.  But, other thoughts always play through my head like a movie.  

As you enter, the ladies working in the women’s clinic are always smiling and kind.  It is never very many minutes before they call my name, and I go back into that tiny bathroom, take off my top, and put on a nasty old hospital gown backward, so it opens up in the front.  The nurse will remind,  ‘if you have on deodorant, please remove it’.  I have never seen in all my years of this process another female going back to be tested.  It’s tranquil and quick.

30 Minutes

The room is fairly dark.  The machine is about the same size as a normal-sized person.  You walk right up, the technician steps beside you and adjusts the machine to be the right height.  With her hands like ice, she takes that all-important body part and lays it on a piece of clear plastic in the machine.  The next step… she cranks down the top piece of plastic until your boob looks like a pancake.  She steps away to hit the photo button, you hold your breath while the machine does its job, and then you are done.  Well, with that one angle and that side!

Now, this is not as much fun as it sounds.  But, here is what makes me giggle.  If a man had to put his business between two pieces of plastic and squeeze it flatter than a flitter, they would come up with a new way for testing!  Don’t you think the song,  “I am woman!” should be playing on the speaker the entire time.  

The best part, after going through that, you get a bonus, a piece of Dove chocolate.  Well, at least in Branson, MO, you do.  

“I got my boob squeezed”

When I was in elementary school, you got a stamp on your homework if you did well.  If you did excellently, you got a gold star sticker!  During the 1960s and 1970s, moms across the country saved those examples of excellence like a trophy!  When I vote, I get a sticker that says, ‘I voted.’  When we do our annual duty for our body, shouldn’t we get something that says…” I Got my Boob Squeezed?”  or “I had my Mammo
Grammed?”  A sticker that we can proudly display on our chest as we stroll through Target, attend PTA meetings, or even stop to pump gas.  Some way to tell the other women in the world, “Reminder, take care of yourself.”  Or a way to show men, “I am woman hear me roar”!

Again, I have been doing this for years and never think anything about it.  The truth is, I am fat but still healthy.  There is no breast cancer anywhere in my extended blood family, so; I have never been concerned.

This Time Was Different

This last year was different.  I went in like always, and did my deal, got my chocolate, complained about no sticker, and went along my merry way.  Several days later, a letter came in the mail with the results.  I left it with the bills because I knew it was fine.  I had missed a call from the doctor’s office, but I figured if they really needed me, they would call back.  Ya, I know.  Don’t judge me.  The point is, I was not worried.

Several days later, the doctor’s office called again.  See, I was right!  The nurse said they found something and wanted to do another mammogram.  Ok.  She said it often happens, so I still was not concerned.  But, I had to call and schedule the follow-up.  The sweet girl on the phone wanted me in asap.  My schedule was nuts, and I tried to accommodate all the things I just “had” to do.  When the lady said, we need this to happen now.  I assured her, “I am fine’.  This is just what happens sometimes.  They see a spot and need to look closer, or it was something on the machine.”  I had looked it up!  That’s when the scare happened.  She said, ‘there are multiple spots.’  

Multiple Spots

Oh.  I could not think for a minute.  My brain had never entertained that something might actually be wrong.  I took the first open appointment and rearranged my schedule.

This time when I went into the clinic, the hospital gown was replaced with a soft and warm housecoat.  Things seemed to be a little slower and a little more serious.   When I finished the first test,  I kept on the robe and moved to a small lounge with leather chairs and a love seat.  There were snacks and magazines, making it feel more like home.  It was moments later that another sweet lady, wearing an identical robe, joined me.  We exchanged stories about this process.  It all happened so fast.  The nurse came to get me to show me the two spots in my left breast.  I could not decide if I were in denial or if the spirit was speaking to me, but I felt like everything was fine.  This could not be me.  She said I would need to stay and do an ultrasound next.

The Waiting Game

In between tests and visits with the nurse, more ladies had entered the lounge.  Total, there were four of us.  One was older, one was the same age and one was in her 30s.  I had been the first to start the process so I would share my experiences, and then they would follow with theirs as the process moved forward.  

After the ultrasound, they determined that I had cysts, and I would likely be ok.  They would see me next year.  As I went to say goodbye to my three new friends, the lady that had come in last, the 30-year-old, had been taken aside.  Her process would be different.  They would skip the ultrasound and take her directly to the biopsy.  I wanted to cry right then and there.

1 in 8 Women

I hated leaving that day.  My story turned out well, but I never knew for sure about the other three ladies because my appointment was first.  There was a bond in that room.  We all understood the fear and how that day had the potential to change futures.   No one wants to hear the words breast cancer.  The fact is that one in 8 women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime and that over 42K women die every year from breast cancer.  

That day scared me.  Not just for me, but for women across the globe.  The families that will mourn the loss of a mom, wife, sister, aunt, cousin.  The loss of late-night phone calls, long lunches, and road trips with best friends.  Today, I do not know the outcome for that 30-year-old girl sitting in the waiting room with three strangers.  But, I can assure you, I have prayed for her as if she were mine.  

My heart goes out to those women who are fighting the good fight, to the families who love and support them, and to the medical professionals who have dedicated their lives to healing others.

Please, encourage those you love to be tested, get their Dove chocolate, and someday, maybe they will get a sticker that says, “I paid someone to squeeze my boob!”  

Squeeze and peaks for everyone!