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
I placed my dolly near the hearth last night and now, this morning, she has a light covering of ashes. If I brush her off, her dress will be marked. I took her to the backdoor to shake her off outside. Even though there is snow on the ground, I could smell something different. It was not the usual smell of winter and pine trees…………..I smelled the hope of spring. The ice cycles were dripping. One drop hit me in the forehead. It was cold. Brent and Josh told me that the ice and snow in the barn yard have been melting and there are spots of mud on the road in front of our house. Brent said he thought it was the first of the Spring thaw. It has been very, very cold for two weeks. Some of Mother’s china cups cracked from the frost when she poured hot tea. Our rooms have been so cold. But today it is different.
Mother gave Father a thermometer for Christmas. He keeps it in a wooden case. Even the older boys are not allowed to take it. I don’t really understand how it works, but Father said it measures temperature. It will tell him how warm or how cold a place is. Mother was pleased to be able to get this gift for him. She said he is fond of all things dealing with science. We have many books about the science of the earth in our bookcase.
Father is a farmer and needs to know about the weather, he also goes to his work in Albany and knows about something called “politics” and he is a storekeeper. I think he may like that the best because he tends to know what people would like to buy. He enjoys people. Our house is always a meeting place for his friends. I heard him tell mother that people make “politics”.
Father was worried about the warmer temperature outside. He carried his new thermometer to the attic where some of our meat is stored. He said he would need to make changes in the location of this meat if the temperature rose above 32 degrees. When he is deeply concerned, his eyebrows almost meet in the center. They look like two fuzzy caterpillars greeting each other. Brent tried to walk like Father when he is thinking, he bends forward at the waist and clasps his hands behind him. Josh tried to make his eyebrows meet in the middle of his nose. It did not work.