Mary Beekman is a four-year-old ghost who resides in The Beekman Mansion, and considers Brent and Josh her “imaginary friends.” Follow Mary Beekman’s Diary each week to learn what it’s like to be a young child in early 19th century America
Father said it is bitterly cold this morning with a wind that causes the windows to shudder. If it were not so cold, I would go to the attic to feel the gusts moan between the eaves. It sounds very sad. I wonder if it is seeking comfort in the midst of our family. The sound is soft and smooth but the air passing by is as sharp as the cracking noise of the roof in the cold. The ends of the nails that poke down through the roof are white with frost. I would not go if Josh and Brent did not come with me. I am always glad when they come to be with me. I dearly wish Mother and Father to be able to see them and speak with them. But I am the only one that can see or hear them…..
Josh asked if Mother was going to be taking the greens from our house. They were placed about our house to honor Christmas. There is something magic about having a bit of the forest inside. I did not see any signs of Mother, or the women who help her, readying to remove the greens. I asked Mother if the boughs and berries were going to be removed and placed outside today. She laughed and said “Oh my, not yet”. I believe she told me February 1 was the proper time to do that. That is the eve of Candlemas. Josh was listening carefully. Brent said his mother would take down their tree and put things away on Epiphany, January 6.
Mother could not hear them so she continued to speak to me about February 1. She recited a poem by Robert Herrick. I do not remember hearing it before.
Down with the rosemary, and so.
Down with the bays and mistletoe;
Down with the holly, ivy, all,
Wherewith ye dress’d the Christmas Hall
Grandmere, who was visiting, warned Mother and I that if there was even one berry or bough that escaped removal, there would be a death in the congregation before the end of the year. I hope I can help in February. Brent said he would watch and follow the removal of each bough. He is worried that one single pine needle may slip between the floor boards. Many people in our congregation ARE old already. Josh said he was not worried because Brent is very thorough and then he rolled his eyes.
It is good Father and Mother CANNOT see him.