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Hi everyone! Occasionally, one reflects on the afterlife, and I've been doing so over the past few weeks. Along with planning on coming back to visit (some might say "haunt") The Grove, there are several people that I'm looking forward to seeing in Heaven. My Granddad, of course (you might have seen his hat and bible on the pulpit in the front parlor of the house), and a few friends that have passed over the years, but the one guy that I'm going to make a point of looking up is the fellow that invented air conditioning. God bless him. I can hardly wait to shake his hand and tell him how much pleasure he gave me on this Earthly plane. Air Conditioning is making this summer tolerable.
It's been HOT in Jefferson (like everywhere else, except Africa, where it's reported to be snowing). I think that we've made it through the worst part, though. More about the heat - and the garden - later on in the GroveZine.
Speaking of the GroveZine, I got an interesting email the other day. A fellow said that reading this ezine sounded a lot like a blog that he reads every day, the Chicken Wing Blog (www.chickenwingblog.com). I couldn't help but laugh, and sent him a response back. I actually maintain three blogs that are updated daily on various subjects that I love: www.chickenwingblog.com, because that's one of my favorite foods; www.kurtbuschblog.com 'cause I'm a huge NASCAR fan, and Kurt's my favorite driver; and www.ghost-blog.com, for obvious reasons. Blogging is fun for me, so if you share any of those three interests, come join the fun. Please post your comments.
We're desperately trying to keep The Grove gardens alive - there are plants that I've watered every day that are just melting in the 100+ days that we've been having. So far the Biblical garden is still alive, and my beloved jalapeno plants as well (I've canned 3 jars so far this year!), but it's a constant struggle. Thankfully, Fall is just around the corner, and I foresee at least two more jars of Jalapenos.
We're going to have an interesting Fall season at The Grove this year. Since we're on the Candlelight Tour of Homes the first two weekends in December, we have to start decorating in October... so if you tour The Grove this Fall, don't be surprised if you see some early Christmas decorations! Of course, there's the rule of "everything that can be real MUST be real", so we won't have trees up 'til the last minute, but Tami's found some preserved evergreen branches that we'll start making into wreaths and garland. I've got the feeling that it's going to be a long, long Christmas season as we start decking the halls early. Thankfully, we both love Christmas!
Finally, on a note that will probably interest no one but me - but I'm so thrilled that I just have to mention it - we're getting new street signs on Moseley Street (where The Grove is located). Old Dr. Moseley was a much-loved man here at the turn of the century, and this street was named after him (or his ancestors, at least). A few years ago an organization here in Jefferson called the "1933 Study Club" re-did all the street signs in town, but misspelled Moseley as "Mosley". I'm proud to say that our City Manager Corby Alexander has corrected this mistake, and very soon Moseley Street will be back to its original spelling. I can hardly wait - hopefully, it will make old Dr. Moseley smile, wherever he may be today.
Of course, I have some ghost stories to share with you this month. Most are from people who were on the tour of The Grove; I love telling ghost stories that happen to Tami and I, but I especially enjoy sharing those that have happened to other people here at The Grove.
The first thing that I have to report is yet another instance of the smell of pipe tobacco. You may remember from the last GroveZine that someone smelled Prince Albert pipe tobacco in the dining room during the tour. A week or so ago, after the tour was over, a lady and her mother had gone back outside. They suddenly turned and came back in, with the daughter saying, "Go on - tell him what you told me!" The mother then explained that she'd picked up the scent of pipe tobacco in the dining room. The daughter was amazed, and told me that while she'd read the GroveZine last month, her mother hadn't, and she hadn't even mentioned any of the stories to her. I was quick to point out that we had candles burning, but she was sure that this was pipe tobacco smoke, and nothing else. That's twice in as many months - I wonder what that means?
A few weeks ago, we had some writer friends come to visit. While we were out on the front porch, our friend Nancy said something like. "I just saw a woman in a white dress walk around the corner of the house!" She was pointing to the east side, where the lady in white has been seen before she steps up through a wall and into the house. This was good news/bad news. The good news is another sighting of our most famous ghost. The bad news was that I didn't get to see her - and it's been a year since I last spotted her, so I'm ready! Sigh; maybe next time.
Some things are pretty common in the house - a very odd feeling in the corner of the parlor, seeing a shadowy figure stepping across a room, all things that you've read about in the GroveZine. This month, we had something a little unusual reported by one of our guests. After the tour, a lady told me this story (I'll try to recount it as accurately as possible). While the group was standing in the game room (the original master bedroom of the house), she kept looking through the French doors into the den (the "new room") because she felt like a man was standing in the northwest corner of that room watching us. When we moved into the den, she made a bee-line for that corner and had a seat in the blue, leather chair. She told me that it felt as though someone was standing right there behind her the entire time that we were in the room. Interesting, huh?
And speaking of the new room, a woman on the tour today said that she'd had an experience there back when The Grove was a restaurant. They were dining in that room, and it was such a hot day that it was warm inside the house as well. They'd heard about the ghost stories, so as they enjoyed a delicious meal prepared by Chef Extraordinaire Patrick Hopkins, she told her friends, "If this place is really haunted, I wish something would happen right now." Suddenly, the air beside her to the left got extremely cold, and the frigid sensation moved over onto her left side. After that experience, she's been wanting to come back to visit, just to see what's been happening lately!
I'm always thrilled when people share their stories with us, and allow us to pass them on as part of the continuing history of The Grove.
Every month I struggle with how to say "thanks" for staying tuned to the GroveZine. I have a great time writing it, and I hope that you enjoy reading it. With all the certified garbage and spam that shows up in the inbox of everyone's computers these days, I'm honored that you continue to read about Jefferson, The Grove, and its hauntings in this ezine. Thanks, or "Mad props to you all," as my wife's students might say (I'm still trying to figure out kid-speak these days... does that mean I'm getting old?!?)
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