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Hello, everyone - we got home a little last night, and to our surprise... The Grove had been FLAMINGO'ED!!! Check it out on The Grove's website at: http://www.thegrove-jefferson.com/flamingo/
Other than that, it's been quite a busy month. Tami's been wrapping up another school year (& we made it through chaperoning another prom!) and I'm elbow-deep in a couple of projects that are keeping me hopping. Things here at the house have been interesting - although it hasn't been overly active, supernatural-wise, a lot of little, subtle things keep happening to keep us on our toes... but I'll hold those 'til the "Spirits of The Grove" section later on.
Things are also hopping around town. I think that I mentioned the new Don Juan's restaurant last month (which has incredible food, by the way), but we now have Bull Durham's Playhouse for weekend entertainment, and construction is going strong on the new McDonald's. While I know that a new Micky-D's won't necessarily be a destination for visitors, I'm looking forward to an occasional Bacon, Egg & Cheese Biscuit in the mornings. Oh, and there was also a ribbon cutting on the Benefield House Bed and Breakfast that is now open for business. It is run by our friends Frank and Donna Lang who gave us a personal tour not long ago, and it is going to be a wonderful addition to Jefferson's B&B community. We meet some regular visitors to town who always stay in the same place every trip, even the same room, and others who are going through the list, determined to stay in every B&B in town! As you can see, the city is continuing to grow, and we couldn't be happier about it.
The Chamber of Commerce is also unveiling a new website, so be sure to go check it out at www.jefferson-texas.com. One of the board members told me that there are one or two areas on it that are still growing, but be sure to check it out for all the latest goings-on in the riverport city.
Oh, and before I forget it, July 4th is fast approaching. Every year I rave about the "home town, U.S.A." atmosphere here in town as Jefferson Salutes America. From the afternoon of patriotic music in the downtown gazebo, to the climatic, breathtaking fireworks display, if you come once it will become a yearly tradition for your family. Come celebrate Independence Day in Jefferson!
Okay, Tami is telling me that I'm crazy on this first item, and that I probably shouldn't even mention it. As I've said before, I always try to come up with reasonable explanations for the things that happen around here - that way, the things that defy explanation become VERY interesting. Something that happened to me twice this month can be EASILY explained... except by me, who went through them. I completely disagree with the logical explanation, but I'm getting ahead of myself. Here's what happened; early in the month, Tami turned in for the evening about midnight, but I stayed up to try to meet a writing deadline. I told myself that I was only going to stay up an hour, and would be in bed by 1 AM. I glanced up at the clock and it was a few minutes after 12:00, so I kept working. Now, the way that I write when it's getting late is that I watch the clock; as it gets close to the time I'm stopping, I quickly jot down all of my thoughts so as not to lose them before shutting down the computer. For that reason, I was glancing up at the clock occasionally to make sure that I wasn't getting too close to 1 AM. Suddenly, our anti-virus program popped up and started running, which confused me... it wasn't programmed to start until 2 AM every morning. When I looked up at the clock in the den, I was shocked - it was 2:00 AM! In an instant, an entire hour had disappeared. When I told Tami the next morning, she immediately said, "Oh, you just got busy and lost track of time." I'd already thought of that, of course, but dismissed it immediately. I didn't believe it then, and I don't believe it now. I can't say what happened, but somehow an hour disappeared in the blink of an eye. A week later, however, it happened again. On the next Sunday evening, I stayed up late again for all the same reasons, and I saw the clock saying 12:15 AM. I typed about a paragraph - literally, only a few lines - and when I glanced back up (after only a few minutes) it was 1:00 AM. That time, 45 minutes had instantly disappeared. The same argument could be made that I simply got busy, but when it happened, I tried to see if there was any way that was possible... but I couldn't make it work in my head. I hadn't done that much work, and I hadn't been just sitting there staring at the screen for some long, undetermined length of time. Forty-five minutes just vanished. Okay, call me crazy or whatever, but I wanted to document this in case it continues to happen. Tami thinks I'm crazy, and you may as well, but I don't often stay up that late - when I do, thought if anything like this continues to happen, I wanted to have the past occurrences written down.
Now onto more tangible things. Those of you who've taken The Grove tour have heard me say that we don't really have supernatural things happen in our bathroom, even though it was originally a back porch to the house where James Young took his own life by hanging. On the evening of May 8th we got home, and our bedroom and bathroom smelled VERY strongly of something that we could only describe as mothballs, even though there aren't any in the house; it was a strange, new smell. The bathroom also felt weird, all tingly and electric. There was no doubt that something was going on there, we just didn't know what. This is very representative of what often happens around The Grove. We don't always see full-bodied spirits strolling through a room - sometimes, you just walk into an area where there is a very strong emotional feeling. The smell and feeling dissipated very quickly, by the way, so we don't know what it was all about - it was there, then it wasn't, leaving a mystery for us.
Something else that has become a weekly, if not daily, occurrence: Tami has been getting locked out of our bedroom. You've heard me talk about the "creepy dude" (as she calls him), that also used to play pranks on the waitresses of The Grove in the center stairwell when it was a restaurant, and he may be the culprit. As summer approaches, we cool only a few select rooms in the evening since there is no central air or heat in The Grove. As bedtime approaches, we close the bedroom door and crank the air conditioning down. As Tami has walked up front several times this month, she grabbed the doorknob, and it wouldn't turn - as if someone was holding it from the other side. She's yelled, "Let me in!" and the door opened immediately. On one occasion, she was trapped inside the bedroom and yelled for me to help her get out; while the doorknob was unyielding to her, it opened easily as soon as I touched it. In the past, the "creepy dude" has always payed special attention to the ladies, and it seems that he's continuing that pattern - in full force!
Finally, I have to mention the last weekend in May when our friends Angie and Stan were up for a visit. One of our favorite places in the house is the front porch, and we'd been sitting out there after dinner for quite a while. It was dark, and the evening was very quite, so we were having a relaxing visit. Suddenly, Tami said that she smelled what she thought was strong body odor, as if someone hadn't bathed for a while and had walked up beside her. Angie was sitting a few feet away, and suddenly she experienced the same thing. Stan and I were both sitting near the porch railing, and neither of us smelled anything at all - even though we were no more than four feet away. Any strange odors in the air should have permeated the entire area, but it seemed to be passing just by the ladies.
As we continued the evening on the porch, talking about how peculiar the odor was, something else began to happen. I saw a flash out of the corner of my eye, and figured that the Jefferson Ghost Walk was coming by and someone was taking pictures from the street. I didn't see anyone out there, though, so I didn't say anything. Before long, it happened again, and this time it looked like I saw it from around the edge of the window... as if someone was inside the house using a flash. That time, however, everyone else saw it. The flashes continued for quite some time, and we were amazed that they were coming from the front parlor, when no one was there. We never found an explanation for it, but Angie and Stan elected to sleep in the den instead of the parlor that night. As a footnote to the story, I saw the same thing in the game room the next day - it was as if someone had taken a picture right there beside me, but I was in the room alone. You've heard me talk about this phenomena before in the GroveZine, just never at this level. It was quite interesting.
Well, that's it for May, so I guess that we'll have launched squarely into summer before I talk to you next.
As always, thank you so much for reading The GroveZine. I hope that you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy sharing the stories of The Grove.
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