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

Before I opened my eyes this morning, I could tell it was going to be an exciting day.  Josh was jostling the end of my bed.  Brent is at my window, looking outand his feet are not standing still at all.  “Mary, Mary, wake UP.”  Josh was not even whispering.  I am not afraid my sisters will hear because I am the only one who ever sees or hears Josh and Brent.  Sometimes I wish no one could hear or see ME.  Josh wants me to go to the barn first to gather the eggs.  I must not go  yet.  It is not my turn to fill the egg basket.  My younger brother would be very sad if I got the eggs first.  We wait.

Brent is eager to see the colors we will choose for the boiled hard eggs.  Yellow means spirituality and sunlight.  Red means love and victory.  The color purple represents royalty and wealth.  Green means nature and growth.  Some egg shells have very small ridges or stripes.  No egg is the same.  When we dye the eggs, the differences are very visible.

Some of the eggs, Mother will boil hard for stuffing.  After they have cooled, I will help peel off the shell.  Mother cuts them in half so the white is not damaged and then carefully lifts out the yolks.  The yolk is yellow.  She restuffs the eggs with a mixture of butter, fried parsley, minced onions, salt, pepper, mustard, and the pounded yolk.  Father says they are indeed deviled eggs because they are seasoned with the spicy mustard and are as “hot” as the place where the devil resides.

I became confused and did not keep the boiled hard eggs separate from the few raw eggs Mother set aside for baking.  I was not paying proper attention and my hands did not keep record  of what they were doing.  Josh says that happens to him frequently.  Brent told me not to be concerned because he was certain he could tell which eggs are the raw ones.  I was most thankful.  He spun an egg with his fingers and thumbs  then he suddenly stopped the spinning egg with the tip of his finger.  He removed his finger from the egg.  The egg remained still.  “There”, said Brent, “THIS is a hard boiled egg.  If the egg had kept turning slowly, it would still be raw.”    Mother then asked me to please hand her a boiled hard egg.   I do hope Brent is correct.

by Mary Beekman

Reader Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.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

Jeanne Aloia

My mother’s name was Mary Ruth. It is a pleasure to meet you! I hope to hear more from you!


Hello Ruth,

It is easy to enter into different lives… just walk on

your tiptoes and there you are!! I am glad we

are friends.



Mary, you are so clever and I sure am glad you have entered my life.

Your buddy, Ruth