CHAPTER TWELVE: THOMAS FROSTMAN FEELS A TOUCH OF WINTER
Mary Hazel Upton
BLOG POST FOR MARIETTE'S NIGHTMARE HOUSE PAGE
NOVEMBER 13, 2017 MONDAY FOR STORY IN PROGRESS
APRIL 18, 2016
PHOTOGRAPH BY MARY HAZEL UPTON
These lilacs were in bloom along the alley by Hammerhead's house. I took several photos of them. Even though it is November now, the next chapter of Mariette's story that I am posting this month has lilacs in that chapter, so I found some of the photos that I took that day when I was with Hammerhead to post with that chapter. I also looked up some lilac links that I will post this month with links to videos, growing information, and where to buy lilac bushes. Since it is November, I also have some autumn photos of Mama, Daddy, Gain, and one taken of Hammerhead just before Christmas to post.
THOMAS FROSTMAN FEELS A TOUCH OF WINTER
It was the first week in May, only a couple weeks after Curt’s and Mariette’s garage burning picnic. With the suddenness of Indiana spring, though, the weather had changed, becoming warm, even hot, almost overnight. Thomas Frostman, the realtor who had sold the old house to Curt and Mariette, was driving past on Highway 29 on his way to Libertyville. It was the first time he’d been by that way since he’d sold the house. He was impressed by how much the young couple had done to improve the place. There was still a lot to be done, but they had to have worked very hard to accomplish as much as they had in the few months they’d owned the place.
The cockleburs that had choked the back lot were all gone now. There was no way the yard could be called a lawn yet, but the grass had been mowed. The trees in the orchard had been pruned. The lilacs were still a wild spill of color in the front yard. There were deep purple, pale lavender, and white lilacs. They looked as though they’d been allowed to grow like weeds for many years. Thomas Frostman shivered, although the air was mild. Through the open car window he could smell the overpoweringly sweet scent of the lilacs. They were too sweet, too uncontrolled.
The old house was still an eyesore, though, he observed with distaste. The young couple had obviously been too busy reclaiming the land from the years of neglect to do much with the house yet. He wondered if they planned to try to remodel it. If so, they certainly had their work cut out for them. The porches were sagging and the paint was peeling off the gingerbread trim, giving the house an unpleasant derelict look. The abandoned house disturbed him even more than the wild lilacs.
Thomas Frostman slowed his car, scanning the yard for the young couple. He saw no sign of them or their truck. His sense of relief at not seeing Mariette there, and of perhaps being seen by her, was even more unexplainable than the crushing sensation of evil that the old house gave him.
It wasn’t like Thomas Frostman to have feelings he couldn’t explain or to harbor superstitious fears. He came from a long line of old money. Although his mother had flouted tradition by marrying his father, she had been upset when her only son had chosen to become a realtor.
Thomas grimaced slightly at the memory of the scene with his mother. Although he was thirty-six years old now, sometimes that day seemed like yesterday. He had been expected to choose an occupation, of course. It simply wasn’t done in the Frostman family for the men to spend their time hanging about the house or living the life of a playboy. It was an unspoken rule that only professional occupations were acceptable, though. Mother and the rest of the family came around when he started making money, of course. Just as they had after Dad had, with the aid of Mother’s money and his own hard work and shrewd business sense, parlayed his one pizza parlor into a multi-million dollar chain.
Mother’s family had never liked Dad, but they did accept him. Thomas understood the difference now. He hadn’t when he was a thirteen year old boy, the year his father had died. He’d had a vague feeling that their attitude toward Dad was the same as it had been toward Grandma. It was only years later that he realized that it wasn’t the same at all. Grandma had been an eccentric old lady who had enough money to do exactly as she pleased and make everybody pretend to like it even if they didn’t. Grandma set up a trust fund for Mother and made Mother her principal heir, which was why Mother had been able to afford to defy her family and marry a tradesman.
“Money talks in our family.” Thomas Frostman was startled to realize he’d spoken aloud.
Money talks. The phrase kept going through his mind, but he was unable to decide why it disturbed him so. It did, though, in the same way that the lilacs did. A sudden picture of Mariette came into his mind. He couldn’t remember her name, but he could see her in his mind as clearly as if she stood before him, young, and blond, and pretty. So pretty. He imagined her with her arms full of lilacs and lilacs in her hair. He shuddered.
The sun glinted off the dirty windows of the old house. The windows were high and narrow in the fashion of long ago. They seemed to be jealously keeping the old house’s secrets safe and just as jealously keeping the sunlight out of its dark rooms.
Thomas Frostman remembered how he had come to sell it. Ordinarily he didn’t handle anything under $100,000. A friend of a friend had practically begged him to sell the property for her. She said that it had been setting empty for thirty years, tied up in estate. Now the squabbling heirs finally had to agree to sell it, or have the house condemned by the health department. The neighbors were beginning to complain about the condition of the property, and also about the succession of renters that kept moving in and then moving out, leaving the place in worse shape each time. Frannie was a distant niece of the man who had died intestate, leaving the house to be divided among various surviving brothers and sisters and distant relatives. Frannie could only receive her share of the money if the place was sold and her recent divorce had left her short of cash.
Thomas Frostman was understandably reluctant to sell the property, especially after he’d seen it. Frannie batted her big brown eyes at him and pouted prettily and he finally agreed. Thomas Frostman was a seriously committed bachelor, but he liked the ladies as long as they didn’t start talking marriage or relationships. He still dated Frannie occasionally and they always had a good time.
There was more to it than that, though. Thomas Frostman tried to tell himself that he hadn’t felt compelled to sell the house. He wanted nothing to do with anything beyond the pale of the ordinary that couldn’t be logically explained. Whether he admitted it or not, though, he felt as if the house had been waiting thirty years for him to find new owners for it. When the people who were supposed to live in the house saw it, they would buy it, with no selling on his part. And it had turned out like that. When he saw the Rodgers couple, Thomas Frostman knew immediately that they were the ones. The old house had been waiting for them since before either of them had been born.
A feeling of flat unreality came over Thomas Frostman as he thought about these things and looked at the old house. It had been a long time since that feeling had come over him. It had started when his father died. The best he could describe it was that he felt like a character in a book or a movie. He didn’t know that psychiatrists have a name for the feeling. They call it derealization or depersonalization, two very similar states, that mentally ill people sometimes experienced and that Thomas Frostman also experienced from time to time. Nobody in the Frostman family would be caught dead visiting a psychiatrist or even admitting they had a problem. Thomas handled the feeling by denying it, and working sixteen hour days, or going out on the town with a new girl every night.
Thomas Frostman left the town of Carrollton Location behind him. Until he was out of sight of the old house, he felt as if it was watching him. And all the way to Libertyville, he kept thinking about the girl. Mariette was her name, he now remembered. Suddenly he knew what it was about her that disturbed him so. He’d seen it in her eyes when she’d first looked at the old house. It was avarice, naked avarice. He knew that look well enough. He’d seen it often enough in members of his own family’s eyes.
Money talks. The phrase came back to him. Some other idea that he had no words to explain came to him. The only thing he knew for sure was that, although money was part of it, the avarice he’d seen on Mariette’s face when she’d looked at the old house went deeper, much more disturbingly deeper than just for money. Her avarice was for the house itself. He shuddered and stepped on the gas pedal, hoping no cops were watching.
That night Thomas Frostman dreamed about the old house. In his dream it was the way he’d seen it the first time. It was a November afternoon. The sky was a dreary gun metal grey. Thomas was walking across the field of cockleburs toward the old house. In his dream, the field seemed to stretch out ahead of him for acres, and the walk seemed to take forever. Forever wasn’t too long, though, to delay approaching that house with its ugly sagging porch and dirty secretive windows. There was something malevolent about the house. It was waiting for him, and with the terrible compulsion of dreams, he was forced to go on, getting closer and slowly closer.
Then he was at the door, his hand on the white porcelain doorknob, turning the doorknob. As the door swung open into darkness, suddenly Thomas Frostman knew what he would find when he stepped over the threshold. The house was a false front, like a house in a movie set. There was nothing on the other side of that door except nothingness. When he stepped through, he too, would be nothing.
Thomas Frostman woke up at 3 A.M. in a cold sweat. He couldn’t get back to sleep, so he stayed up all night, working, trying to drive the nightmare back to the dark forgotten corners of his mind.
That night Mariette dreamed about the old house too. She too was walking across the nightmare field of cockleburs toward the old house. She went willingly, though. Terror gripped her too, but she knew that there was money hidden in the old house, lots of money. She knew the old house by now. It was Nightmare House, the stuff that bad dreams are made of. And there was no escaping it.
Mariette too woke up at 3 A.M., the terror of the nightmare gripping her. There was something else, though, besides terror. For the first time she almost liked the nightmares that had troubled her sleep since she could remember. She lay awake a long time, thinking about the money in Nightmare House and what it could mean.
Mariette fell asleep again at last and dreamed again. This time, in her dream, it was May, a bright, beautiful, sunny May morning. The lilacs were in full bloom. She could see them in the front yard of the old house as she walked away from the house toward the road. An impulse to pick a bouquet of them for the ghost of the hunched man who lived in the old house came to her. She wished she knew his name, but when she searched for the old house’s history, perhaps she could find it out. She filled her arms with the purple, lavender, and white blossoms. She put some in her hair. In her dream, which seemed startlingly real when she woke up and remembered it later, she could actually feel the warm May sunshine and smell the overpowering scent of the lilacs.
Mariette hesitated only a moment before opening the door and entering the old house after she’d picked the bouquet of lilacs for the ghost who haunted the old house. A feeling of joy, with only a faint undercurrent of the familiar terror, filled her as she thought of how surprised and pleased the old man would be when he found her gift that she would leave for him in the room that she planned to make into her library and office.
The bright May sunshine was immediately extinguished when Mariette entered the old house, and she began having second thoughts about what she was doing. Resolutely she went on to the room with the neon green motorcycle drawing on the wall. Quickly she laid the flowers down on the green table, that she saw was now in that room, as well as her typewriter and a manuscript she must have been working on.
A brief confusion filled her mind. This couldn’t be right. She and Curt hadn’t moved to the house in Carrollton Location yet. How could her typewriter be on the table here when she knew it was back home in Auto City? She took a quick look at the manuscript before running back outside. Nightmare House by Mariette Rodgers was typed on the cover of the thick stack of pages of typewriter paper.
Mariette’s courage deserted her before she could read any of the manuscript and she fled down the long narrow hall of the old house. The hall stretched out to infinity in her dream. She knew that it also stretched through time, not just space. It stretched to eternity. Before she reached the end of the hall and the door to escape outside, she woke up.
Mariette lay in bed for a long time after that. The time on the clock was now 4 A.M. and Curt still slept peacefully beside her. She wondered what this new dream could mean. She finally fell back asleep thinking that maybe this new dream was a premonition of the future rather than an ordinary dream. Perhaps the old house’s past was still going to become hers and Curt’s future, but not in the way she had originally thought. Perhaps Simon didn’t mean to show her where he had hidden his money, if he did have any hidden in the old house, but had plans to help her write her first bestselling novel and make much more money than she had at first even thought about having.
As Thomas Frostman continued to work that night, he nodded off once for a few moments and dreamed a confused dream of Mariette with her arms full of lilacs as an offering to the ghost who haunted the old house. He got up and made a pot of strong coffee. He wanted no more dreams tonight.
In Libertyville that same night, Nettie shared the dreams too. Her fear for Mariette grew. As she lay awake until dawn after the dream of the lilacs, she knew that she had to start trying to find out the history of the old house so that she could break whatever evil spell it was casting over her daughter’s life. She remembered that Mariette had been determined to find out the history of the old house too, and had mentioned something about the neighbors perhaps knowing its history. That might be the place to start, as well as the Libertyville library. The Libertyville library kept a lot of historical documents and books in a special history room. She debated the wisdom of involving Mariette in this research. She fell asleep at last as the morning birds began slowly waking up still debating whether or not to involve Mariette in the research. Eventually Mariette would start her own research when she and Curt moved to Carrollton Location, so maybe it might be wise to involve her now. She would have to be told of the danger eventually and perhaps by involving her in the research from the start Nettie could somehow be available to protect her daughter.
And in the old house that night, Simon LaGrange sat in front of the cold stove in his own long ago living room, dozing and dreaming the same dreams as Thomas Frostman, Nettie, and Mariette. A fire was not necessary tonight. It was May and the lilacs were in bloom outside. He could smell their overpowering sweetness through the open window. Mother had planted them and they were always her favorite flowers. He watched as Mariette brought armfuls of the flowers inside and laid them down on the old green table for him. His joy was complete. Soon she and her husband, Curt, would move to Carrollton Location. He watched them as they worked every time they came over and had heard them making plans to move to Carrollton Location this summer. Then he would have company. He must do something nice for Mariette. He must help her write her book. Nightmare House was the title he had seen in his dream. He couldn’t wait to read it! If Mariette wrote it, it was sure to be good. Suddenly his life seemed to have more meaning and purpose. For a little while he even forgot that he was a ghost and should go back up to Heaven to stay with Mother. There was plenty of time for that. First, Mariette needed him. How else could she write the books that would make her and her young husband rich?
MARY HAZEL UPTON WITH LILACS
PHOTOGRAPH BY HAZEL FERN HENSON
Mama took this photograph of me beside one of the huge lilac bushes in mine and Gain's front yard. They were there when we bought the property and had evidently been there for many years. There were several bushes in the front yard, light and dark shades of purple and also a white one. In the photograph I am standing at the edge of our driveway. Across the highway you can see the flat field and a few buildings to the east. At one time the farmer had pigs in the field and when Mama came up to visit she enjoyed going over to look at them. She took a number of photos of the pigs also, which I will post in later chapters, as well as an old abandoned church that was also across the street, but not visible in this photo.
MARY HAZEL UPTON WITH LILACS
PHOTOGRAPH BY HAZEL FERN HENSON
Mama took this photograph of me with the lilacs the same day as the other one. I found both photos in one of her old photo albums. They came up to visit us often and I also planned special things for them to do. Later, as Gain and I worked on the property, fixing it up, he decided that the lilac bushes were blocking the view when we wanted to take the truck out of the driveway onto busy Highway 29, and that they should all be cut down. Later, the pigs were also taken out of the field where they lived and corn was planted there. The old church, which had been abandoned for many years when a new one was built elsewhere, was also eventually torn down. But the past lives on forever in the photographs that Mama so carefully took those many years ago.
LILAC BUSH IN ALLEY NEAR HAMMERHEAD'S HOUSE
APRIL 18, 2016
PHOTOGRAPH BY MARY HAZEL UPTON
This is another photograph of the lilac bush that I took in the alley near Hammerhead's house. Hammerhead is gone now, but the past when we used to "patrol for flowers" for him to enjoy looking at and for me to get pictures of also lives on in this photograph.
Last Saturday evening I spent an hour or so on the Internet looking up a few links for this post. I found more than I could possibly read at that time, or use about lilacs. Everything from beautiful videos on YouTube to videos and articles on growing lilacs and plenty of places to buy lilac bushes. Later, if I can find a place where it may do well, I'd like to try to grow a lilac bush. According to what I found out, they are very easy to grow, but do need sufficient sun. I am still working on my gardening project, preserving as much of what I have, especially the "indestructible" plants, while also doing research on what kind of plants to add. So I may not get to the lilac next year, but will keep it in mind.
LILAC LINKS FOR NOVEMBER 2017 BLOG
Kami Lilac Flower
This is a beautiful 4 minutes and 58 seconds video of lilac flowers of all colors in bloom on Youtube.
Another Beautiful Lilac Flower Video
This is another very beautiful 4 minutes and 56 seconds video with music of lilac flowers of all colors in bloom on Youtube. It was published by Rodica Maddan
How to Grow and Care for Lilac Plants Video
This is a short 1 minute and 22 seconds video produced by SpringHill Nurseries with basic information about how to grow and care for lilacs. They have lilacs for sale in various colors at reasonable prices. They have one I especially liked that they call Lilac Sunday Lilac. It is a purple lilac that reminds me of the bushes Gain and I had.
The main website for SpringHill Nurseries is:
More Information On Growing Lilacs
Martha Stewart has a long article on her website with lots of information about growing lilacs, the different kinds of lilacs, and also photos of the different lilac varieties:
Additional Lilac Information
HGTV also has a nice article about growing and caring for lilacs also with photos on their website:
Another Article With History and Botanical Information About Common Lilacs
Where To Buy Old-Fashioned Lilacs
Arbor Day Foundation has the original old-fashioned lilacs for sale. There are many new varieties, but the original common lilacs are called Syringa vulgaris. This is what they have for sale and I have bookmarked their page to order from them later, as I’m sure that’s the kind Gain and I must have had. The bushes we had were very old, probably planted many years ago before people started planting the newer varieties. This page shows a photo of the lilacs they have and ordering information.
The Arbor Day Foundation also has many other kinds of trees and bushes for sale. Gain and I have ordered from them. They are a very old organization devoted to getting people to plant trees and bushes to help the earth and the environment. They were doing this long before anybody else was worried about the destruction of our natural environment. This is their main website.
This is only a small sample of the information about lilacs that I found for this post. There are many other gardening companies selling lilac bushes on the Internet and by mail order. Lilacs are also readily available at local stores and nurseries in the spring. There was also much more information about growing lilacs that I did not have time right now to check out. And there were lots more videos of lilacs, both just the beautiful flowers and growing information on Youtube that I didn’t have time to watch right now. These few links will be enough for you to start with, though, and if you are interested, you can later find out more either on the Internet or at your local library. I had fun and learned a lot doing this research and hope to get time to continue to learn more later and perhaps plant a lilac bush if I can think of somewhere to plant it where it will get enough sun. All of the articles said that lilacs needed plenty of sun.
JUNE 16, 2017
PHOTOGRAPH BY MARY HAZEL UPTON
This is another one of Cherie's flowers that I photographed at Kroger's. Cherie is "the Flower Girl" at Kroger's and is in charge of their beautiful flower department.
HAMMERHEAD AT CLARKSVILLE WENDY'S RESTAURANT
DECEMBER 19, 2015
PHOTOGRAPH BY MARY HAZEL UPTON
And the past lives on in this photograph of Hammerhead at the Clarksville Wendy's where we ate breakfast most mornings. He is standing beside our "regular table" by the window that we always sat at if no one else had gotten it first. He has just gotten up or else just getting ready to sit down in his "regular chair" at the table. I always sat across from him. We liked that table because it was a large table with four chairs plus the window ledge so we had plenty of room to lay our newspaper and other things. We always brought our own plastic ware back, which I washed and saved each day and also leftover napkins, to save the Wendy's people a few supplies. We had a special plastic drink carrier that he had made to carry the refill coffees that Wendy's always let us take home. I still have the carrier, which he made from a Dollar tree plastic holder. He even had his own salt shaker, which I carried for him each day in the bag I kept our things in. He only wanted to use iodized sea salt, and although Wendy's salt is sea salt, he wasn't sure it was iodized. So he brought his own. I still have the salt shaker he made too. I think Judy, the manager, had her Christmas tree up that day and if she did I also took photos of it. I always took photos of her tree and the ornaments.
MAMA AT ECHO CANYON
McCORMICK STATE PARK
OCTOBER 27, 1985
DADDY AT ECHO CANYON
McCORMICK STATE PARK
OCTOBER 27, 1985
GAIN UPTON & CLAUDE HENSON
NOVEMBER 18, 1979
PHOTOGRAPH BY HAZEL FERN HENSON
Gain is standing in front of one of his cars with the old house in the background in this photograph. I don't remember which one it was, but besides the newer two cars or pick-up trucks that we usually had, he often looked in the newspapers to find older cars that he could fix up. He played with them for awhile, but he would eventually tell me that "somebody offered me too much money" for them and sell them. Daddy is in the background on Gain's riding mower. I am sure there was no grass left to cut by then, but about November Gain used the mower one more time to grind up the leaves. Probably that is what Daddy is doing. I know Daddy loved to use the riding mower whenever he and Mama came up to visit. When he talked to Gain about whether or not it would be worthwhile for him to buy a riding mower, Gain told him that his lot was too small to be able to use it. He was very disappointed!
The old house is also in the background behind Gain. The windows in the photo are the smaller bedrooms on the south side of the house. The first window is of the bedroom that Meaghn Louise, in Mariette's story, was hoping to have for her own when there were still plans for Mariette and Curt to fix the old house up to live in. It was the one with a small closet.
Part of the old church is also visible in the background as well as Highway 29 in this photograph.
Mama and Daddy were visiting us for a few days when this photo and more in this set of photos was taken. There were also a couple of photographs of the birthday cake I made for her. I will publish the rest of the photos later. I may even be able to find letters or diary entries about this visit to use also. I found about a half dozen photos in one of the boxes of photos she had carefully filed. There may be more somewhere.
Notice the November light in this photograph. The battle between the light and dark begins right after the Summer Solstice, imperceptibly at first, but more and more noticeable as the year passes away. In late July the light is still winning, but the battle is going to the darkness, more and more each day. In August the final defeat of the light is becoming more sure as autumn approaches. But in November the light makes one more valiant effort to defeat the encroaching darkness of winter. On dark overcast days there isn't much light left in the short days. But when the sun shines, now that the leaves are mostly down, the light is a clear hard light, foretelling the hard light of winter. The light is splashed across young handsome Gain's face in this photograph, stopping time itself at the snap of the camera's shutter, stopping time for all eternity for just that one second.
MARY HAZEL’S DIARY
NOVEMBER 13, 2017 MONDAY
I have the November blog posted now, all but two photographs, the diary entry, and then proofing it. I am getting faster and more efficient at posting the blog. I have a lot of previously published articles on writing, plus new material I want to write, to share what I am finding out, especially how to write faster and more efficiently. I would like to start posting some of that material on Mariette’s Magic Typewriter page soon. I started that page when I first made my website, but never did back to work on it anymore. Possibly some of the information that I have found out and am continuing to research might be helpful for others who have thought about starting a blog, but aren’t sure how to do it, or if they have time to write and post it. I will try to work on this project some this winter.
I am doing the final proofs of my Gothic romance titled The Stone Angel now and hope to have it ready to publish on Bookemon next spring. It has an Easter setting so I would like to publish it then. More about that as I get farther along with that project.
My main writing project is, of course, getting Mariette’s book, Nightmare House published one chapter each month on this blog. Coming up next in her book is Chapter Thirteen: Leonard Sanderson: Shadows Of The Past. Leonard Sanderson is Curt’s and Mariette’s next door neighbor to the south. He is one of the three men who found old Simon LaGrange frozen to death in the old house over thirty years ago. The next two chapters after that will fill in more background about Carrollton Location and the people who live there. There will be one chapter each for Harrison Arone and for Jack Simpson, the other two men who were there when Simon’s frozen body was discovered in the old house.
After that the story will return to Mariette and Curt. The chapter after Jack Simpson’s chapter will detail their move at last to Carrollton Location. As I was posting this month’s blog entry I realized that I haven’t gotten a chapter written yet or, if I have, it is much further along in the book, detailing the beginning of Nettie’s and Mariette’s investigation into the history of the old house. So after the chapter of the move to Carrollton Location I am going to need to write that chapter and continue having updated chapters of their continuing investigation. Nettie will not allow this investigation to be delayed much longer, especially after Mariette is actually living in Carrollton Location. Nettie will feel that Mariette is in even greater danger from the old house so will insist on finding out more about it as soon as she can! And Mariette will not be willing to delay the investigation any longer either for her own reasons. She may even catch a glimpse of Simon the ghost by then and, if she does, she will be even more sure that he is trying to help her discover the past so that it can become hers and Curt’s new future.
Writing this chapter, or possibly several chapters, about the beginning of the investigation into the old house’s history will, of course, give Nettie and Mariette an excuse to go to the Libertyville Library to start their research. While they are there, of course, they will do as I used to do, walk down to the Boardwalk Café a couple blocks from the library, eat lunch, and make a day of it. They may even shop at some of the downtown stores while they’re in town. So this will probably be several chapters, before returning to the previously written section of the book.
I am feeling much better now, after having had a cold for over a week. It is cool and overcast today, in the 40’s, but supposed to be a bit warmer tomorrow, up to 50. So tomorrow might be a good day to get out and build the cats a new house on the deck. There probably will be more good weather before winter, but I would like to get this done while I can. Their old house that I built for them last winter is only tarpaulins draped over some old gliders with a wooden box that Hammerhead made for them long ago underneath. It got too cold too fast for me to do any better last winter, but I’d like to build them a better house that might last awhile this year. More about this later when I get it built! I still have lots of scrap wood and more tarpaulins to use.
So far we’ve not had any really cold weather, and although a lot of trees are turned color and a lot of leaves are down, many leaves are still green. There has been no frost yet this autumn. Friday night and Saturday morning, November 11 and 12, it got down to at least 30 degrees. It was 30 degrees on my porch thermometer at 9 o’clock Saturday morning, November 12, when I went outside to feed the cats. There was a little milk left in their bowl frozen slushy hard. There was thin slushy ice covering the water in their little water bowl on the deck. The water in the bird bath was frozen hard over liquid water, but could be broken up with my hand. The big bowl of water was not frozen.
Also, surely another sign of global warming, Powderpuff had a litter of kittens in October. I have never known the cats to have kittens except in the spring or summer. She would have never let the Tom cat near her if she hadn’t thought she would have time to raise the kittens before cold weather.
I haven’t been keeping any record of this until this year, but am going to try to start writing it down in my diary. So I don’t know if this is some kind of record for late cold weather or not. I do know that even this far south it is not normal not to have any frost yet by November. Gain and I lived 180 miles north of here, and that was before global warming started even being discussed, but Gain and I never had a year in Carroll County, where we lived, where there wasn’t a killing frost shortly after Labor Day. There were always several weeks of Indian Summer after that, but if you didn’t cover your tomatoes after Labor Day the frost would get them shortly after that. Everybody paid close attention to the weather then to make their gardens last as long as possible.
Well, I’d better close this month’s diary entry out for now if I am going to get the blog posted and proofed. I will post this and my remaining photo, a photo of dahlias Mama took long ago. Then I will look for the photograph of Gain to post for this month. I had everything but a photograph of him in the folder ready to post for this month, but forgot to look for one. So that will give me an excuse to spend a little time in the Time Machine Room this afternoon!
I finished the blog earlier this afternoon and then looked for the photograph of Gain. Then closed up my office for awhile to give the cats supper, eat my supper, and have a little Storybook Hour. It is a little after seven o'clock tonight and I have just finished proofing the blog and checking the links. Everything looks good and all the links work. I watched both of the beautiful lilac videos again.
Until next month.
PHOTOGRAPH BY HAZEL FERN HENSON
This photograph was in one of Mama's old photo albums. She has several books of just flowers, which she loved and took pictures of. The Risingers were neighbors that she visited with. Their house is still there, sold repeatedly to new people, but all of the Risingers are gone now, either moved away or the older generation passed away. Their flowers, also long gone, live on in Days Gone By in Mama's books. I will share as many of them as I can on my blog so that other people can also enjoy their long ago beauty.