OARS IN THE WATER
MUSIC, MAYHEM, AND MURDER
As a small child, Ana experiences a paranormal sighting from the red cliffs overlooking Big Creek in the foothills of South Carolina. With her mother and aunt, she senses a deep sorrow and sadness she does not understand but remembers her mother wondering that someone, or something, must have both oars in the water because it was moving straight ahead against the flow of the river.
Growing up with a nagging melancholia and an unexplained drive to conquer the unknown, Ana is drawn to music, studies piano, and becomes a successful music teacher. Her church, her family, and her music are her life, even though she never considers herself good enough.
When a phone call turns her life upside down, she realizes she has diverted from the goal she had intended, and begins pursuing the original dreams she had laid aside. Starting college fifteen years late, she pushes herself through many obstacles to obtain the associate, bachelors, masters, and doctoral degrees she thinks she needs.
Ironically, not until she retires from her career as a college administrator, does she embark on her quest for the meaning of that paranormal experience. Although it has haunted her throughout her life, in dreams and nightmares, and especially through the strains of “Unchained Melody,” always luring her to a mission she has yet to accomplish.
Her life's greatest fulfillment begins when she finally delves into her genealogy and discovers clues to that mysterious, childhood memory. Uncovering long hidden secrets in her Uncle Jay’s attic opens up a world she never knew. Ancestry.com, old newspapers, deeds, and her great-grandfather’s diary, lead her into the past, ultimately bringing her face to face with unsuspected murderers and back to the red cliffs at Big Creek.
Chapter 6: Cedar Run Canyon
Sitting there enjoying the natural setting, I was suddenly startled by a grunt not far behind me. As I turned, I caught the eye of a mama bear with two cubs trailing. I froze--not because the guide said not to appear frightened and run, but because I could not move. If she could smell fear, she surely smelled me.