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

Mother reminds me to write in my diary each day to record the seasons of the year and  help me remember the tasks of our household.  Some day when I am grown, I shall have to manage my own home and accounts.  I try not to make blotches on my pages or close in letters where there should be a hole. Sister’s diary is a bit neater than mine.  Mother said as I get older, mine will be neater also.  Sister sighs and remarks that some pages in her diary/account book have been splattered with tears.  Brent whispered she was probably recording something about a “lost love.”  I don’t know how you can lose love; apparently she has. She didn’t hear Brent speaking to me, no one else sees or hears him.  They never notice Josh either.  We have been friends for a long, long time………as long as I can remember.

Father says my diary is a fine place to record the weather.  He can tell what the weather is going to be by looking at the sky at night and the clouds in the day.  He tells me he can “smell” snow in the winter and rain in the summer. I try to record the weather first thing in the day.  We have a weathervane on our barn but some of our neighbors cannot afford one, Mother says. Father told me that near the sea, the weather vanes are shaped like whales and sailboats.  Josh loves to hear about whales.  The weathervanes in the countryside are shaped liked animals.  I would like one shaped like a goat.  I love goats until they chew on my apron strings.

Father was teaching brother about the compass points on the weathervane…N, S, E, W.   That has to be determined before the weather vane is placed.  He said that if the wind is blowing from the northeast, it means rain and outside chores must be done first.  Mother would also know to hang the wet clothes in the attic or on drying racks and not outside on the lawn or bushes.  A weathervane must be perfectly balanced and placed on the highest point of a building, away from other buildings.  Josh said it must have an unequal area on each side for the wind to blow against. A wind from the south means it will be warming up.   Josh’s mother would exclaim “It’s an ill wind that blows no one good” * when disappointing things would happen.  It all seems quite complicated.  I am going to find dolly.

*John Heywood    1497-1580

by Mary Beekman

Reader Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Susan, I would like to be in your class. I already know

how to keep my journal. Mother tells me I am getting

more proficient with my letters. My stitches are still

too big though. I shall ask Josh to place a rope about his waist

to be safe when working with the weathervane. It is very



Teri, I am happy to share my dollies with you. It is

always pleasant to be with a friend.

susan tolbert

Mary, Nice to hear from you. The children in my class are 5-6 yrs old and they write in their journal each day. Each month I can see their printing getting better and the holes are where they should be. Like everything it just takes practice. I know yours is getting better, too. We don't have a weather vane at school but I have posted on the each wall N-S-E-W so the children learn about directions. Just like printing, as you get older you will understand. Lastly, remind Josh to fix your weather vane because Brent said it got bent in the wind storm afew weeks ago. You go with him so he doesn't fall from the roof. Talk soon. Your friend sue t.

teri tighe

"I am going to find dolly."

I'm with you, Mary, it's all so complicated. Let's play with your dolls.