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
There is much activity in our house today. It has been lightly snowing out and there is no sun. But there is much to do inside readying for St. Valentine’s Day. The girls in the kitchen and older sisters are dashing to and fro’ and whispering. I have asked them what is all the bustle about. They just tell me to hush, saying I am too young to have a young man. Josh and Brent are even puzzled. No one can see either one of them following the girls up and down the stairs and back and forth our hallways. Perhaps they will be able to discover what the excitement is about.
Brent discovered that there is a new valentine “writer” in the possession of Older Sister. A “writer” is a booklet from England filled with many verses and messages to be copied on fancy paper, decorated with ribbons and lace and colors. These messages are to be given to a young woman from a young man. There are answers to these sayings in the “writer” also! Josh was curious about all the writings and said he would try and read this “writer” when the girls are done scurrying about the house and set the “writer” down for a bit. I do not know HOW they acquired this new booklet. I wonder if Mother knows it is in the house? I think perhaps it would be best if I just pretend I don’t know about it. Sister told me that the first man she would lay eyes upon on Valentine’s Day would be her future husband. I hope she does not wander about with her eyes closed tight until she hears a pleasing voice. She could fall down our steep stairs!
One of the ladies who helps Mother in the kitchen asked for some bay leaves. On Valentine’s Eve she wishes to pin a bay leaf to each corner of her pillow and one right in the center. This will help her to dream of her true love. Josh said he would most likely dream of good beef stew if he had bay leaves in his bed! Brent was concerned that a bay leaf would scratch the skin or irritate the eye. I am not certain if a bay leaf would help at all. These preparations are very complicated. I am beginning to believe that it is a good thing I am too young to have a young man. All of the excitement and laughter is grand fun but there is soooo much responsibility. I think I shall just stay out of the way and listen and learn so that I may be prepared to better play this game