NIGHTMARE HOUSE:CHAPTER SIXTEEN: ALMOST MOVING DAY
Mary Hazel Upton
BLOG POST FOR MARIETTE'S NIGHTMARE HOUSE PAGE
JULY 5, 2018
PATRIOTIC ROSES AT KROGER'S
MAY 24, 2018
PHOTOGRAPH BY MARY HAZEL UPTON
Kroger's had these "patriotic" red, white, and blue roses in their flower shop along with other Fourth Of July flowers when I was in the store on May 24, 2018. I took some good photos of the roses and the other "patriotic" flowers. I thought about waiting since it was only May then and I figured there would be more in the store as Fourth Of July got closer. Then I remembered that things get sold fast nowadays and that later the stores may or may not get more in. I knew that these beautiful roses would go fast, so I got my photos and some videos that day. I did not see anymore in the store later when I was in.
The roses are, of course, dyed. I certainly wish I had a whole bush of them in my yard in these colors for real, though! Fourth Of July is already over now as I post the blog, but I thought you'd enjoy the roses anyway, and they will still be on my website for everybody to enjoy next Fourth Of July.
MORE PATRIOTIC ROSES AT KROGER'S
MAY 24, 2018
PHOTOGRAPH BY MARY HAZEL UPTON
ALMOST MOVING DAY
It was a warm sunny Saturday in May when Curt and Mariette began seriously shopping for a mobile home. They’d been looking at mobile homes in several of the big sales lots for several weeks before today, but hadn’t found anything.
“Let’s drive over to Fayette this afternoon,” Curt suggested. “We’ve looked at everything in Auto City and they don’t have much.”
“All right,” Mariette agreed. She knew that by “not much” Curt meant that everything they liked was just beyond their budget and everything they could afford was either too small or hadn’t been taken care of. Seemed like that was the way it was with most things they wanted to buy.
There were several big mobile home dealerships in the city of Fayette. Fayette was larger than Auto City and was about fifty miles northwest of Carrollton Location. It was a college town with one of the big state universities there. Perdue University was actually the main industry for Fayette, most of the local businesses depending on the college students for a good part of their trade. Curt and Mariette didn’t go there very often, having no reason to.
“Let’s try the XYZ Mobile Home Sales first,” Curt said as they drove up and down the main highway, after they entered Fayette, looking for the sales lots they’d seen listed in the phone book.
Mariette nodded agreement. XYZ Mobile Home Sales & Service had lots of both mobile homes and modular homes. They ought to be able to find something here.
The salesman came over and introduced himself right away. “Hello. I’m Dan Anderson.” The balding, middle-aged man gave them a professionally friendly salesman’s smile and held out his hand for Curt to shake. “Can I help you find something?”
“My wife and I are looking for a mobile home.”
“We have some nice homes here. We have a few leftover models from last year that we have on sale and a couple repossessions. We have some nice modulars and double wides too. Did you have anything special in mind?”
“Well, we’re thinking about a three bedroom mobile home. We want a spare room for guests. Mariette is a writer and we also want an extra room for her to use as an office.”
“I may have just what you’re looking for.” Mr. Anderson began leading the way toward a large mobile home with gray siding that looked like old barn boards.
Mariette felt slightly embarrassed, as she always did when Curt proudly told people that she was a writer. She didn’t feel like a writer. She felt like a housewife, trying to pretend to be a writer. A real writer made real money writing. If she was really a writer she would be able to make a living writing, not just a little pin money. Mariette hoped that Mr. Anderson wouldn’t ask her what she wrote.
The mobile home was all Mariette had ever wanted. Her first choice would have been to remodel and live in the old house, of course, but since that wasn’t possible, this deluxe mobile home was almost as good. The kitchen had a built in grill and microwave. It even had a small fold down desk. Mariette imagined herself sitting at it planning her menus and writing her grocery list. One of the three large bedrooms would be reserved for her office, of course. There was lots of room for bookcases, file cabinets, and a desk.
Mariette’s dreams were abruptly shattered when Mr. Anderson mentioned the price.
“We were looking for something less expensive,” Curt told the salesman.
Mr. Anderson looked disappointed, but he showed them more models. They finally settled for a two bedroom mobile home with no extras. It was one of the leftover models from last year that XYZ had on sale. XYZ Mobile Home Sales & Service did all of their own financing, essentially selling the mobile homes with a small down payment and a contract. Curt had Mariette write out a check for the $1000 down payment and they both signed the papers for monthly payments to pay off the rest on time.
After the young couple had signed the papers to buy the mobile home and left, Dan Anderson felt unaccountably depressed. Ordinarily he didn’t think very deeply about anything, just accepting things as they came. He hadn’t, when he’d graduated high school, planned on making a career out of being a salesman, but the job came along, it was a good job that paid decently, and then he’d gotten married, and the two kids had come along. There had been no reason to look for anything different. A job was a job after all, the purpose of which was to pay the bills.
After Curt and Mariette left, though, his office seemed somehow closed up and stuffy, although the air conditioning was working fine. He went outside, although there were no other customers on the lot now. It was getting hot, probably going to be a scorcher of a summer, he decided. Clouds were slowly covering the sun with a sullen gray white haze, making it seem even hotter. The bright light glinted relentlessly off the hard paved parking lot.
Dan looked out over the acres of mobile homes on the lot, suddenly feeling edgy and nervous. It was like he was the last man left on earth in the deserted parking lot with not even a tree or blade of grass in sight. The paved parking lot shimmered in the heat haze and for just a moment he got the impression that the whole parking lot was unreal, some kind of mirage. He didn’t know the word facade, but it was the same feeling Thomas Frostman had often and Thomas could have told him the meaning of the word. Dan and Thomas had never met, though. All Dan knew was that it was a weird feeling, one he’d never had before and hoped he’d never have again. He quickly went back inside and busied himself with paperwork. It was only 2 o’clock, much too early to go home, but the clock hands seemed to be standing still.
Finally six o’clock came and he closed up a bit early, having had no other customers all day, which was very unusual. As he locked up and left, he looked back once more at the deserted parking lot. The sun was still high and beating down hotter than ever. As he drove away, looking forward to seeing his wife and children, eating supper, and then an evening of television, he wondered briefly, before putting it out of his mind, what coincidence had brought the young couple into his office to buy their mobile home just at this time. There were lots of mobile home lots everywhere. And they could have gone to any of them. Dan had gotten mostly C’s in school, and had only done what was required in school, majoring mostly in sports and social life back then. So he didn’t know the word fate either or what that meant.
After Dan got home, he determinedly put the whole incident out of his mind. All that was left was a small nagging feeling that, in spite of the nice commission he would get from the sale today, he wished Curt and Mariette had shopped elsewhere. The deal was done, though, and he decided not to think about it anymore.
The following Saturday Curt and Mariette were at Carrollton Location waiting for their new mobile home to be delivered. They’d already had gravel put on the mobile home site and given it time to settle. There was still a lot more to do, but they were both very excited, knowing that they were that much closer to actually moving to Carrollton Location.
“Here it comes, Curt! Here it comes!” Mariette was bouncing up and down as she saw the new mobile home coming into sight on the road.
From his kitchen window, Leonard Sanderson watched too. A few days ago Curt had spoken to him, seeking permission to have the mobile home movers to briefly set the mobile home on his property if it became necessary while moving it into place. The prepared mobile home site had several large trees that could be a problem unless the movers had a little more room to maneuver. It was the first time he’d spoken to the young couple, although he felt as if he already knew them from the time he’d spent watching them at work. Leonard hadn’t really wanted the mobile home on his property, but he didn’t know how to refuse the request. Refusing to allow the mobile home on his land wouldn’t make any difference anyway. The events that had been set in motion three decades ago were going to continue to their inexorable conclusion no matter what he did. So he had agreed, after Curt assured him that in the unlikely event that his lawn was even slightly grooved by the mobile home, he, Curt, would personally roll it smooth and restore the lawn.
The movers did have to put the mobile home on the Sanderson property before maneuvering it into place. It took them about an hour to get it set up and leveled. After they left, and after Curt and Mariette left, Leonard stood at the kitchen window, brooding over this new evidence that the old LaGrange place was going to be lived in again. The late afternoon sun glinted off the dirty windows of the old house. The mobile home didn’t quite block his view of the old house. Leonard was sorry about that. For just a moment Leonard thought he caught a glimpse of Simon in the house, looking out one of those windows. Leonard thought there was a look of unholy joy on the old man’s face. Then the image was gone. The sun moved lower in the sky and the windows of the old house went dark. Leonard turned away from his kitchen window. What was going to happen was going to happen. There was no use brooding about it. The image of Mariette bouncing up and down as the new mobile home came into view stayed with him, though. He kept remembering how the sun had glinted on her blond hair, turning it into a golden halo of light. Most of all he remembered the look of greedy joy on her innocent face, though, like a little girl on Christmas morning.
It was mid June now. Curt and Mariette had been moving stuff a little at a time ever since the mobile home had been set up. Most of it they stored in the old house.
“I don’t want the trailer cluttered up,” Mariette had explained to Curt. “I’ll get it unpacked as soon as I can, but you know how I hate things setting around in the way.”
Curt had been agreeable. He usually left decisions about housekeeping to Mariette.
It was getting late when Curt pulled into the driveway and he and Mariette began unloading the last batch of their stuff.
“Well, I guess that’s it,” Curt said after he’d carried the last box into the old house and set it down.
“I wish we could stay tonight.”
“I do too, honey, but you know it won’t be much longer until we can move in. Your Dad is supposed to help me hook up the water this weekend and help me move our furniture.”
“We could camp in the old house tonight,” Mariette said hopefully.
Curt looked tempted, but then shook his head. “We didn’t bring any water or food, and I have to work tonight anyway. We’ll have to plan on that for another time. It’s still going to be awhile before the mobile home will be ready to move in to, so there will still be time to do that if we plan ahead and bring what we need.”
Mariette looked disappointed, but she knew Curt was right. “Maybe we could all camp here next weekend. I could call Mama tonight and mention it to her.”
“That’s a good idea. Then we would all have more time to work next weekend if we didn’t have to leave. And that would be fun. Call your mother for sure tonight to give them time to decide. It’s only Monday so that will give you and your mother time to get everything together if they want to camp here next weekend.”
Curt and Mariette had already laid the water pipes from the outside pump house to the trailer. Curt had hired a man with a backhoe to dig the ditches, but he and Mariette had laid the pipes and filled the ditches back in with Roy’s help. In the fading light the mounds of dirt looked like giant twisting earthworms. The last of the light was striking the old house’s windows like reflections off numerous mirrors.
“We have time for a quick walk before we go,” Curt said.
Mariette took his hand and they walked around the perimeter of the property. Mariette still couldn’t quite believe that all this land was really theirs. They stood and looked at the sun sinking down into the cornfield. The cornfield stretched to the horizon behind their property. The corn was only a few feet high now and they could see to what looked like the edge of the world. Later in the summer and early autumn, as the corn grew taller, the setting sun would still be visible, but instead of the sun sinking below the edge of the world as it did before the corn was planted and after it was harvested, and also a little while before the corn was tall enough to hide the horizon, the corn itself would swallow up the red evening sun. The fields and the roads in Carrollton County are laid out in perfectly straight squares. If you stand facing the cornfield, you are facing west where the sun sets. In the front of Mariette’s and Curt’s property, if you stand facing Highway 29, east, where the sun rises, is directly ahead. That field is not planted in corn, but is reserved for the small pig field and their small houses. So looking east you can always see to the edge of the earth where the sun rises every morning. And on down the old two lane highway 29, to the right is south to Crossroads. To the left is north to Libertyville.
Curt and Mariette stood at the edge of their property watching the red sun go down, moving closer and closer to the corn where it would finally be swallowed up for the night. There was still daylight left as they watched the bright colors, but soon there were more dark clouds than bright red and gold ones. Twilight was creeping up from the tall grasses at the edge of the cornfield.
“It’s going to be dark soon,” Curt reluctantly said at last. “We’d better go.”
“Let’s walk through the old house before we go, Curt.” Mariette was reluctant to leave. Out here it was so quiet Mariette could hear the silence.
You could never hear the silence in Auto City, just the noise from a big city where people had to live crowded too close together. Highway 29, going through Carrollton Location, was a main north and south route, but it was only a two lane highway, and besides there was no reason for any of the passing traffic to stop at the little towns on their way through to wherever they were going. Day and night you could hear the traffic on Highway 29, especially at night, when it was quiet, but the sound of the passing cars was like the sound of a great river running past, not like the close noise of city traffic. And out by the cornfield the traffic was seldom heard.
It was almost completely dark in the old house although there was still daylight left outside. After walking through the rest of the rooms Curt and Mariette stood at the kitchen door, looking out the dirty glass toward the west. The sun was gone leaving only streaks of red fire in the sky.
“I love you so much, darling.” Mariette put her arms around Curt and began kissing him passionately. Sometimes she loved him so much she felt like she just wanted to hug him and hug him.
“I love you too, Baby Doll.” Curt returned her kisses with interest. Soon his hands were straying to her breasts and her hardening nipples.
“Let’s get some,” he said at last.
“Let’s go in here. We don’t want the neighbors to see.” Mariette gently guided him into the walk-in pantry.
There wasn’t much danger of anyone seeing them in the deep shadows that now filled the old house. The shadows were melting and flowing rapidly into full darkness. Mariette wanted to make love in the walk-in pantry. She had wanted to ever since she’d gotten the idea the day she’d been alone in the kitchen frying hamburgers for their picnic.
“How do you want it?” Curt asked as he always did.
“In the animal position,” Mariette replied as she almost always did, and as Curt knew she usually would. By “the animal position” Mariette meant making love standing up with Curt entering her from behind, making love without kissing the way animals mate.
Curt quickly pulled Mariette’s jeans down. She stepped out of her panties and leaned over, bracing herself against one of the shelves in the pantry. She gasped as Curt entered her. Then she gave herself up to the intense pleasure. Her pleasure was intensified by the fact that she was standing in the same place she had gotten such tingly feelings from when she’d stood there alone wondering what secrets the old house held. It was even better than she’d imagined it would be. The pleasure was almost enough to make her forget the fear.
After they’d both been satisfied, Mariette suddenly felt cold. Strange she’d never noticed the chill before.
“Let’s get out of here before it’s too dark to see.” Mariette quickly put her jeans back on.
After they got outside Mariette realized that it was really a warm night. She looked back once as they drove away. The old house was an indistinct shape hulking in the darkness.
Mariette didn’t see the white face peering out of the living room window of the old house watching them drive away. Simon continued to watch long after they were gone, though. He had watched almost everything Curt and Mariette had done in the old house and listened to their conversation. All but their lovemaking. He had not watched that. Simon would never do anything like that to the girl he worshiped from afar. That was between her and her husband, and Curt was also welcome at the LaGrange place for Mariette’s sake, and would be treated with respect. Simon had watched and listened to everything else, though, and knew that soon he would no longer be alone.
“Mother,” he whispered as he finally turned away from the dark window. “Mariette said that they were all going to camp here next weekend and then it won’t be long until they move in. I must think of some way to make them welcome.”
“You should come home, Simon,” his mother told him. Simon could see her clearly for the first time since she had left him so many years ago. She stood there wrapped in light, her face young and beautiful just as Simon remembered it being so long ago. And surely she had angel wings now!
“Home with me,” she repeated firmly. “That’s where your place is now.”
“Soon,” Simon promised. “Soon. I must help Mariette first, though.”
Simon’s mother just shook her head sadly. “You’re messing with things you don’t understand, Simon. You have no part of that world now.”
Simon said no more, pretending not to hear his mother. Probably Mother was right. She always was, but she didn’t understand. He had to help Mariette. Mariette was an angel and she was going to bring yesterday back for all of them. Mother would understand when she saw that it was so. After all, look what Mariette had already done for them. Never before had he seen his mother in the flesh, although he’d felt her presence with him many times before. But this was the first time he’d actually seen her since she had passed away these many long years ago! Simon had no doubt that this was only the beginning of what Mariette could do. He fell asleep in his chair that night, as he usually did, thinking about the new yesterday soon to come.
JUNE 2, 1980
PHOTOGRAPH BY HAZEL FERN HENSON
JUNE 2, 1980
PHOTOGRAPH BY HAZEL FERN HENSON
JUNE 2, 1980
PHOTOGRAPH BY HAZEL FERN HENSON
This is the pig field mentioned in this month's chapter of Mariette's book. The pigs were there when we first moved to Wheeling, Indiana on one of the acre and a half lots that had been carved out of the cornfield. Everybody in Wheeling, which was a tiny unincorporated town, a few houses on either side of Highway 29 in Carroll County, had acre and a half lots. Mr. Arion, one of the long time residents, and our north neighbor, told us that all of the lots had originally been part of the vast cornfields that stretch to the horizon in Central Indiana. Mr. Arion and his wife, Mrs. Arion, passed away many years ago, but in Mariette's story they are Mr. and Mrs. Arone.
Mama took these photos one day when they were visiting Gain and me. Mama loved all animals, and she and Daddy lived in town, so she always wanted to walk across Highway 29 to look at the pigs and get pictures. The pigs were directly across from our property. Later the pigs were moved, or maybe sold, and the pig field was converted to corn. Up in Carroll County the farmers plant corn one year and soy beans the next year, alternating the crops.
There was also right next to the pig field an abandoned church. Mr. Arion told us that the congregation had gotten a new church many years ago, leaving the old church. I think he also told us that the congregation was getting fewer and fewer as the members aged, so maybe they could no longer keep up with the repairs needed. The old church was a small old-fashioned country church, falling into ruin a little more each year. Mr. Arion also told us several years later that someone had bought the church and land for $500 or maybe it was $600. It must have seemed like a bargain to them, and I envied them actually owning the old church. Nothing was ever done with the building, though, and I guess whoever bought it found out it would cost more than they could afford to restore the building. Later Mr. Arion told us that the county made them tear it down and now, like so many of the old buildings, only a few people even remember it.
When Mama and I would walk over to see the pigs and for her to take photos of them, we'd also walk around the old church building. I have some of her photos of the old church that I will eventually publish with chapters of Mariette's book that are about the old church.
Once, before the church was being torn down or had been sold, they were having a rummage sale there. Gain and I were on our way to Kokomo that day and saw the signs. Gain did not want to stop then, but said we could stop on the way back. When we got back from town and our errands in town, the signs were gone and the sale was over and the old church was closed up. That was the only time I ever saw the church open for any purpose again, and always regretted I'd missed my one opportunity to actually see the inside of the church.
Later in Mariette's story, however, she and her friend, Vickie, will actually go to that rummage sale and there will be a whole chapter about that. Vickie, who hasn't appeared in the story yet, is Mr. Sanderson's daughter, who will eventually move into the Sanderson's house when the older couple decide the place is too much for them, and move into Libertyville. Mr. and Mrs. Sanderson will sell the house to Vickie and her husband. The young couple have a toddler, B.J., who will also be part of the story.
Much later in the story, after Mariette becomes a best selling novelist and she and Curt are super rich, Mariette will buy the old church and restore it as a restaurant. Her motive is the same as mine was when I'd hoped someday to buy the old church if I ever became a best selling novelist with unlimited money. Mariette and I both figured that with all the fast food restaurants in town nobody would be likely to go all the way out in the country for a home cooked meal at an old-fashioned restaurant, so the restaurant would probably lose money. We both figured, though, if we were ever to get "Lifestyles Of The Rich And Famous" rich, which was our goal, we wouldn't care how much money the restaurant lost, or if anyone else ever wanted to eat there. The purpose of owning the restaurant right across the street from us would be to teach the cook we would hire all Gain's (and Curt's, in Mariette's case), favorite recipes, and never have to cook another meal ourselves ever again! Mariette and I both had it planned out that if Gain (or Curt) didn't want to walk across the street to eat or wanted late night TV snacks, we could just pick up the phone and have one of our employees deliver the food to us.
It was a nice fantasy! In Mariette's book, eventually it will come true for her!
NO DATE ON THIS PHOTO
PHOTO BY HAZEL FERN HENSON
Mama always got up super early. She took this photo on one of hers and Daddy's visits just at dawn before anyone else was up. The view is from Gain's and my yard, looking across Highway 29 to the east. I am unable to tell from this photo if the pigs were still in the field across from the highway or if the field had been converted to planting by then. The Wheeling sign on that side of the road is not visible but is clearly shown in one of the pig pictures. We had the 45 mile an hour sign on our side of the road, and always mowed around it. I remember coveting the Wheeling sign and wishing we had it instead of the less desirable, in my opinion, 45 mile per hour sign. Mariette, when she and Curt get super rich, might be able to convince Curt to get the county to put the Wheeling sign on their side of the road, but she hasn't told me this yet, so I don't know if that will happen or not!
MAMA WITH CARETAKER'S CAT AT DEER CREEK PARK
OCTOBER 24, 1982
PHOTOGRAPH BY CLAUDE B. HENSON
The larger town of Deer Creek, Indiana, also in Carroll County, is about 3 miles north of Wheeling. There is a small park with a fishing lake there. They hire a caretaker, who gets free parking space for his mobile home and a nominal salary, in exchange for taking care of the park. Whenever Mama and Daddy visited, among other things we planned for them, we usually made time for them to go to the Deer Creek Park also, where we'd walk around the lake.
DADDY IN FRONT OF UPTON'S NEW MOBILE HOME
NO DATE ON PHOTO
PHOTOGRAPH BY HAZEL FERN HENSON
Mama took this photo on one of their visits to Gain and me. There is no date on the photo, but judging from the trees and grass in the picture and also the fact that Daddy is wearing a jacket, probably it was early spring or autumn. The mobile home in the background is the new one we had, and the deck we built later has already been added in this picture. I don't remember exactly when we got the new mobile home. At first we had hoped to fix the old house up, but we did not have the time or, especially the money, for what could have been done, but would have been a major and very expensive restoration project. Gain and Daddy agreed that the old house was beyond repair, but I had seen people with lots of money on the "This Old House" programs that Gain liked to watch, hire people to restore about any house, so I knew it could be done. Unfortunately, we didn't have that kind of money, and since Gain had to also work, we didn't have the time to do it ourselves, which would have also been very expensive.
So Gain bought a used mobile home for me and we lived in that for a few years. He told me that if I liked living in a mobile home later he would buy me a new one, which he did. We bought the one in the picture on time from ABC Mobile Homes in Lafayette, Indiana, called XYZ Mobile Homes in Fayette, in Mariette's book. I don't know if they are even in business anymore, and Dan Anderson, the salesman, in this chapter is completely fictional. I don't remember the real salesman. The mobile home Gain and I bought is the same one Curt bought for Mariette in this chapter, though. And, the one with the desk for making grocery lists that Mariette covets, but that Curt can't afford, is also real. I coveted that one too solely because of the cute little desk, and Gain also couldn't afford it even though he had a good union job with General Motors, just as Curt does in the story.
If you look at this photo closely you can see part of our new garage at the edge of the photo. The old house is also in the background, so whenever this photo was taken, the old house was still standing.
DADDY AND GAIN WITH GAIN'S NEW CONCRETE MIXER
APRIL 11, 1983
PHOTOGRAPH BY HAZEL FERN HENSON
This photograph shows Daddy (left) and Gain (right) standing beside the old house with Gain's new concrete mixer. That was probably the day Gain bought it. I remember Daddy and Mama were visiting when Gain bought it and we all went into town to pick it up. We had been just mixing concrete for small projects in a wheelbarrow with a hoe, but when Gain decided to rebuild the old barn on what remained of the existing foundation, he needed a motor operated concrete mixer to mix enough concrete to pour the floor. Mr. Arion had told us that before we bought the property some of the people who had lived there before were working on something and accidentally burned the original barn down. When we built the new barn and also a separate attached workshop for Gain, Mama and Daddy, and also some of the relatives helped us.
MAY POP FLOWER IN MY YARD
JULY 30, 2017
PHOTOGRAPH BY MARY HAZEL UPTON
I took this photograph of one of the May Pop flowers in my yard last summer. I have more photos and videos of these beautiful wildflowers. Like morning glories, they open for a little while in the morning for only one day. The vines are annuals, though, and if you can get a start of them they will return every year and multiply with more and more flowers. They bloom from late summer until frost.
We had a late spring this year--there was actually snow around the middle of April, which never happens here in Southern Indiana! So the May Pop flowers are not blooming yet this year, but the three plants I have are doing well. I saw one bloom a week or so ago--I wrote the date down in my diary, as well as the date of the April snow--but that bloom had been eaten before it could open. However, when I webbed up information about the May Pops last year, after seeing a caterpillar eating an unopened bloom, and some of the leaves, I found out that these caterpillars make some kind of special butterfly and that is their only food. Those butterflies, like the May Pops, are also rare and endangered. When I saw the caterpillar feasting on the flower last year, I only took a photo of her and used the photo as a starting point for my research. I didn't know she would become a rare and endangered butterfly, but was not about the kill her anyway, just because she was eating a few flowers. I figured then, as I do now, that she has to live too, and it is not my place to begrudge her her small time on this earth.
Hopefully, there will be flowers again this year, and I might even get to see some of the butterflies and get photos of the flowers and maybe the butterflies.
I will have more photos of the May Pop flowers that I took last year that I will publish next month, along with more May Pop research that I will do for next month's blog. Meanwhile, here is what I've found out so far.
MAY POP RESEARCH
1. Passiflora incarnata
This article on may pop flowers is from Wikipedia. It tells all about these flowers and also has photos of the flowers and fruit which can be downloaded.
2. Passiflora incarnata
This article is from Wikimedia from a link on the Wikipedia may pop flower article. It has more photos of may pops and they can be downloaded.
3. Growing the Hardy May pop Passion Flower
This is a 3 minute 57 second video about May Pops from YouTube produced by Logee’s Plants in Connecticut. It shows a video of the May Pops in bloom and tells a little about them.
Logee’s Plants for Home & Garden
Logee’s Plants is a mail-order garden catalog company that specializes in “fruiting, rare and tropical” plants. They have May Pop plants for sale online in their online catalog, but will also send a paper catalog. There is a place to request a paper catalog on their website. They also have a store in Connecticut for local customers to shop. They have a very nice website with articles and photos of the plants on it. Bookmarked website. They also have an e-mail newsletter and a place on their website to request a paper catalog. Their main website is:
This page is where they have the may pops for sale:
This page has one regular purple may pop and one even rarer white may pop for sale:
This page has only the very rare white may pop flowers for sale:
4.May-pop, Passion-Flower (Passiflora incarnata)
This short illustrated article about may pops was written by Auburn University.
HAMMERHEAD ON OLD RAILROAD TRACK AREA NEAR BELL AVENUE
JULY 1, 2017
PHOTOGRAPH BY MARY HAZEL UPTON
HAMMERHEAD WITH FISH
MAY POP FLOWERS IN MY YARD
JULY 30, 2017
PHOTOGRAPH BY MARY HAZEL UPTON
The first photograph of Hammerhead on Bell Avenue was taken just a few weeks before he passed away. I used to plan what I called "Wilderness Day" for him on Tuesdays, as well as other special things for him on the other days. Tuesdays were always "Wilderness Day" to get out and see a little bit of the remaining wilderness here in town. The old railroad track area (the tracks are gone now) was one of our favorite places to walk, though, after breakfast at Wendy's. Hammerhead spotted the May Pop flowers down there and told me that he had only seen them once before at least 50 years ago growing on the fence of an old abandoned factory or warehouse down in the Ozarks, where he is from. They are gone from Bell Avenue now, destroyed from repeated mowing. I have three plants in my yard, which I found just before he died. I told him about them, and he said "I want to see the May Pops" and "Save seed". He never got to see them, but I saved seed and will save more if the May Pops bloom again this year. If I can I will make better trellises for them this fall--Home Depot has nice ones, but right now their trellis is three tomato cages and clothes line rope. When the fall rains soften the ground, though, I will get a better trellis for them and set it in the ground. The ground is too hard for me to do that now, though. If I can get the May Pops to grow and thrive, though, I want to make a "memorial wall" of flowers for Hammerhead, my beloved adopted Daddy, who will always be missed.
The second photograph of Hammerhead was probably taken down in the Ozarks, where he was from. From what he told me about this part of the country, it looks a lot like the tri-state area of Tennessee, Kentucky, and Virginia where Gain was from, and where we often visited Gain's relatives. Hammerhead only had a few photos left. He told me that the step-children and step-grandchildren had carelessly scattered out and lost most of his photos over the years. He probably didn't have many photos to begin with, because back before digital photos, film and developing was costly and people didn't take many photos. Even Mama and Daddy, although their hobby was photography and Daddy developed the black and white ones, didn't take as many as I do now. Sometimes I may take 30 or 40 photos just walking in the alley and taking flower photos, since "film" is now digital and free!
One day, though, Hammerhead showed me some of the few photos he had left, and I talked him into borrowing them and scanning them, so now they are all saved. Otherwise, after he died, probably those few would have been thrown out too. I love you always, Hammerhead.
MARY HAZEL'S DIARY
July 16, 2018 Monday
It is going on four o'clock now and I have been working on the blog since around 11:30 A.M. with a few breaks. I finally have everything posted now except the rest of this diary. All the photos and story chapter and research is posted now, though. So I will take a break for awhile. Time to give the cats their supper and Storybook Hour for me and the Creatures (my dolls and stuffed animals), and later eat my supper when I get hungry. So I will finish this diary out later this evening and tell you what is coming up in the August blog. Depending on how long that takes me, I may get the proofreading done too, but if not, I will do that tomorrow. When the proofreading is finished I will post here that the blog is completed for this month, as I always do. In the meantime, if you find mistakes, the blog isn't finished yet!
It is almost nine o'clock this evening now as I write this quick update to the blog. I finally quit working a little after four o'clock this afternoon, after checking my comments. It seems as if a few people are starting to read the blog! At first I was only getting comments that Doodlekit labeled as spam, but now it seems like a few "real" people, who are actually interested in reading the blog, not just people putting up comments that don't even make sense and have nothing to do with the topic as a way to put their ads on the blog. I read each comment, and even if Doodlekit says it is spam, I decide for myself before I erase any of them if I think it is spam. They had several marked as spam this month, and they were right on all but one. The ones I erased made no sense at all and had nothing to do with what I'd written. They said one was spam this month, though, that I marked as o.k., but I guess whatever computer program they use to determine spam isn't infallible. Usually they are right, though, as the ones they say are spam usually do not even make sense. The one I left on this month, though, that they said was spam, the writer says he is thinking about listing my blog on his blogs! I have not even tried to get any advertising for the blog yet. I write it for myself, and if anybody else wants to read it, I am glad, but I keep it as my own personal and family diary. I will be sure and write to this person, though, and tell them that if they want to list my blog or use any of the material on it for reprint, they are welcome to. If anybody else sees this post, and wants to list my blog or reprint anything, they are welcome to do so. All the photographs can be downloaded and text copied and pasted.
I will finish this diary and proof the blog tomorrow. It is too late to do much more tonight. After I quit work, I took the cats out their supper, which they were eagerly waiting for. Then I read my hard copy book for about an hour, as I usually do in the afternoons. I finally ate my own supper around 6:30 P.M.--leftover cold Kraft dinner, canned 3 bean salad, and leftover Subway blueberry-acacia vitamin water. It has been too hot to even think about cooking much, or eating a hot meal. We are having 90 degrees days, and not cooling down much at night, so I run out of energy faster and faster each day, getting a little done in the mornings and early afternoons only. After supper I have been napping for an hour or so and when I finally got up this evening it was almost nine o'clock. So I am going to call it a night for now so that I will have time for a little more Storybook Hour on Fire Boy. If I finish the blog and proof it tonight, I will get no more time to read! Charles, my brother, bought me a brand new Kindle Fire, very nice, for what he said was an "early birthday" present, but was really just because he is a very generous person. I had been reading my Kindle books on Cell Phone Boy, and still have two book programs I can read books on him too, one free with lots of old out of copyright books on it, and one paid with newer books on it. But I like to read the Amazon books too because they have so many one of a kind books since anybody with something to say can publish with them. And the app for the Kindle books stopped working. When I told Charles about it, he offered to help me decide what kind of Kindle to get. He came over and showed me his Kindle Fire and what it could do. Then when I had decided that that was what I wanted, and told him I'd give him the money for it, he said it was an "early birthday" present! He ordered it from Amazon and brought it over and set it up for me, and I read books on it now every evening. That way I have two Storybook Hours each day, one in the day time for hard copy books, and one on either Fire Boy or Cell Phone Boy before bedtime!
So tomorrow I will finish the blog and proof it and post that it is finished. Not much more to do to the diary part except a preview of next month's post, which I will discuss tomorrow. Just wanted to let everyone know that the blog isn't finished yet, but that I will get it finished tomorrow. Thanks for reading my writing. Mariette also thanks you for reading her story.
July 17, 2018 Tuesday
Almost noon now as I get back to work on the blog. I need to walk over to the bank and also to Kroger's this afternoon to pay bills at Kroger's and also eat supper. Since the bank closes at 4 P.M., although Kroger's is now open all the time, I will have to quit by 1:30 P.M. to give the cats late dinner so I don't have to give them supper after I get home. Plan to leave by 2 P.M. There is not much left to do on this diary entry so I know I can finish that before I have to close up my office, and probably can also get the proofreading done. If I can't finish the proofreading I can do that this evening.
It is sunny and hot this morning, but clouds slowly building up for possibly more rain eventually, but probably not today. We had enough rain yesterday for a few hours in the morning so that the plants did not have to be watered and are all looking better. It had been very hot and dry and everything was barely surviving before the rain. I can't carry water out to all the plants, though, and mostly just water the ones in pots or ones that look as if they are actually dying.
This morning I walked in the alley. It was overcast then, so I was able to get some good photos of the morning glories covering the fence on the small house behind mine. Grandma and Grandpa Hammett lived there when I was a little girl, but it is a rental now. The pink and purple morning glories on their fence are wild flowers--they don't do any gardening--probably don't have time or energy. But every year the wild morning glories come up and cover their fence with a mass of beautiful flowers. I am trying to get some morning glories started on my front yard fence--mixed colors of tame morning glories, and also some of the Heavenly Blue morning glories that Mama used to grow in the yard started in pots on the back porch. So far they are none of them doing much good, and don't know whether there will be flowers or not this year. If not, I will try again next year. Once you get a good start of morning glories they reseed themselves--they are annuals. Mama grew the Heavenly Blue ones at the back of their garage when I was a little girl. She also had the wild pink ones on the front yard fence, where I am trying to get the mixed color ones started again. Her pink ones all died out--perhaps too much shade now.
About next month's blog post. I have had no time to work on the next chapter of Mariette's book which I discussed in last month's blog. This chapter published this month is just before Curt and Mariette move to Carrollton Location. The next chapter I had written when I started writing this book many years ago is about Mariette's "Haunted Office" that she sets up in one room of the old house. After reading this chapter again, though, I realized that they had already moved to Carrollton Location by then, and that there should be another chapter of the day they actually moved before the "Haunted Office" chapter. The day they move, Mariette's parents, Roy and Nettie Hensley help them and camp in the old house overnight, as Mama and Daddy often did in the summer when they visited Gain and me. I wanted to use one of the camping trips also in the moving day chapter, as well as in that chapter, Nettie will finally see Simon, the ghost who haunts the old house. No one else will see him yet, but in an already published chapter Nettie has managed to snap a photograph of Simon.
So I looked through other already written chapters, hoping to find something I could use next. I knew I had written at least one chapter when Roy and Nettie were camping in the old house and that I thought Nettie had caught a glimpse of Simon in that chapter. I reread that chapter at that time, and although I am not sure, I think Nettie does indeed see Simon then. However, that chapter is at least several months after Curt and Mariette have moved to Carrollton Location and is set in the autumn. That chapter has an account of a big thunderstorm that did indeed happen when Mama and Daddy were camping in the old house at one time. However, in order to use that chapter next in the book, I would have had to change the time to spring and take out a lot of the neat autumn descriptions. So I decided it would be better to just do a new chapter and leave that one alone.
However, with one thing and another to do, I have had no time to actually start writing the chapter. Once I get to it, Mariette will, of course, help me write it and tell me exactly what happens, as she always does, but so far all I've got written is the title, "Chapter Seventeen: Nettie, Roy, And Meaghn Louise Camp In The Old House And Simon Has His First Guests" and 3 1/2 hand written pages in a new notebook. This will be a fairly long chapter, so there will be quite a bit more to write and then it will have to be typed and proofread before it is ready to publish. In short, there is no way I am going to be able to do that in time for the August blog. I will maybe be able to get it ready for the September blog. I will try, and if I can't, then it can definitely be posted for October. It is going to be a very creepy chapter and would be ideal for Halloween! If at all possible I will publish it in September, though. The "Haunted Office" chapter would also be ideal for Halloween too, and would be the next chapter to publish then if I can publish the "Moving Day" chapter in September, as I hope to.
So I have selected for next month a short essay titled "The Mangroves" that I wrote many years ago, before I was married and was living in Ft. Myers, Florida, along with another of Mama's diary entries, this one of a walk she took one August morning along the railroad tracks near her house, looking for wild fruit to make jelly. These were already typed, as I had planned to publish them on Writers-Network, but Writers-Network suddenly went out of business. I have more short pieces already typed that were intended for Writers-Network, so I will eventually use them on my own blog. Writers-Network was temporarily back on line for a short time, and then gone again. I will keep checking before I remove the links I posted on my blog. When I try to web them up, though, another site also called Writers Network comes up and eventually I get the message that the other Writers-Network's account is suspended and to contact my service provider for details. All I can conclude is that they were unable to pay their website rent--there were fewer and fewer writers posting as time went on. But since they were briefly back a couple times before they went completely offline, maybe they will be able to continue. I saw no way to get in touch with them to find out what happened and when I searched, I also found nothing. There was never any notification from them--just one day they were gone. That is too bad. Writers-Network was a nice website. However, I keep computer and also hard copies of everything I write, so I will be able to publish everything I had on Writers-Network again here and on other websites as I get time to do so.
The August blog post will also contain some very old photographs Mama and Daddy took in Florida when they visited me. There are a couple black and white photos of Daddy's, one of the seagulls flying over the "mangrove flats" as we called them, and one of Mama standing at the edge of the mangrove flats, also black and white. I also have more May Pop photos and other photos I took, and one of me in Florida that Gain took. I am standing by the canals on the Old Burnt Store Road in Cape Coral. I will have information about those canals in next month's post. They are eerily beautiful. They were built so that they could sell waterfront lots, but when the market collapsed they were mostly abandoned and now they are used by the local people as a place to fish. We discovered the abandoned canals when Gain and I spent winters in Florida and Gain used to fish there too.
I will also look up a little more May Pop information and general information about mangroves for the research articles next month. There should be plenty of time to do that, and possibly time to look up information about the Cape Coral canals. However, I may not have time to look up any information about the Cape Coral canals by then, so if not, will just add a few of the memories I have of that time Gain and I spent there. If I don't have time to do more than that, I will look up the information on the canals for a future blog post sometime. I also have several diaries I kept when Gain and I spent winters in Florida, and eventually, after Mariette becomes a best selling novelist, she and Curt will start spending winters in Florida too. So the Florida and canal research could go with the diary posts or the eventual Florida chapters of Mariette's book.
July 18, 2018 Wednesday
It is past 3 o'clock this afternoon and the blog is now officially finished for this month! I got the blog posted and the first manuscript proof done yesterday and finally quit at 2 o'clock, and walked over to Kroger's around 2:30 P.M., a half hour later than planned. It was very hot that afternoon, and by the time I had gone to the bank, ate supper at Kroger's and looked at the flowers and magazines, it was around 5 o'clock, and even hotter. I napped on the couch when I got back home, and did not get up until almost 9 o'clock that evening. Fortunately, I'd given the cats supper before I left, so did not have anything I had to do when I got up except water the passion flowers just before dark. I was still tired, though, so did not get back to the blog.
So this afternoon I proofed the published version twice, made a few corrections, and updated the table of contents page on Mariette's Nightmare House page of this website. Also checked the links and they all work fine.
Before closing out for this month, one more bit of information. If you are reading Mariette's story, the first three chapters are on Mariette's Nightmare House page, along with the table of contents of what is written so far, and also more photos of the old house, including photos of a Halloween party we had for one of Mama's and Daddy's visits one October. The rest of the chapters are on the various blog posts.
One of the people who left a comment said that they looked forward to reading the completed story. I had already discussed that in one of the blogs. Mariette has told me that she does not want her story to ever end, so the story will go on forever with new chapters, just as a soap opera does. It wasn't intended to be an endless story when I started writing it, but I can't disappoint Mariette! She is my favorite and most beloved character. Eventually there will be hard copy books, as I get enough written to fill each volume, and I will post buying information about that when they are published. However, the whole book, as I get it written will be available to read free here on the blog and also online on Bookemon, my hard copy book publisher. There will never be any charge for that. Also, although, I haven't looked into that yet, I will eventually try to find a place to also publish Mariette's book that will make e-books available for free download.
This first volume of Mariette's book is to be titled Nightmare House: Shadows Of The Past. She hasn't told me the titles of future books, but some will be set in Paradise County, Tennessee and some on Shell Island, Florida, where she and Curt will eventually live part of the year. However, they will always spend part of the year in Carrollton County. Eventually Mariette will have the old house restored for Simon as it was so long ago, and he will always be provided for. Eventually, she tells me, there may even be a time travel element in this ghost story, but she hasn't told me yet how that will work. I think she is waiting for Simon to tell her about that so that they can get me to write that part of the story for them. So I will post more about that as she tells me more.
Anyway, that is all for this month. I hope you enjoy reading my July post and looking at the photographs. You are welcome to download any of the photos and copy and paste any of the text and use it however you like and share it with others if you want to. Mariette and I thank you for visiting our website.
MORE PATRIOTIC FLOWERS AT KROGER'S
JULY 4, 2015
PHOTOGRAPH BY MARY HAZEL UPTON