www.thegrove-jefferson.com                             September 2007                                      ISSN 1558-3252

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A chill is in the air, and Fall is swiftly approaching. A couple of weeks ago I went outside and the early morning air was brisk and cool - the first sign of Autumn. This evening, I noticed that it was getting cool as soon as the sun went down, so I think that Summer is finally giving up. Oh, and the leaves... let's not forget them.

One beautiful thing to mention are the Spider Lilies in the garden. They're the last things to bloom before the entire garden shuts down for the winter. They're popping up everywhere, though, and these little red flowers are beautiful. They're also a reminder that another year has come and gone here at The Grove, which is not really a bad thing... in a handful of months, the Day Lilies and Tiger Lilies will start peeking back up.

Speaking of the leaves, as you probably know, The Grove is named for the grove of Native Pecan trees that surround the house - and they've already started shedding their leaves. It seems that no amount of raking can keep us up with the task of removing them! Every weekend we clean them up, and as Fall first creeps in that isn't a problem. As we get further into the season, the situation escalates... and in this photo, you can see what happened in only forty-eight hours' time. Leaves covered the roof, the steps, and the walkways. We couldn't believe it!


As we move into October, Jefferson's a hopping place. All the details are on the Chamber of Commerce website, but here are just a few items - on October 6th, the city-wide rummage sale takes place, where everyone cleans out their attics and closets and puts the goodies out on tables for everyone to peruse. While we're not going to be participating in the sale, you can be that we'll be dashing around the city looking for treasures!

The Boo Benefit is on the weekend of the 12th, and if you're a motorcycle fan, you belong in Jefferson that weekend! It's three days full of biker fun, all to benefit burn survivors. Here's a tip, though - buy your souvenir tee-shirt EARLY! The money goes to a good cause, every year it's an awesome piece of gear, and they sell out QUICKLY. We'll be at a wedding that weekend, so I'm already planning to send someone downtown to pick me up a shirt.

The month doesn't stop there, though. MusicFest is on the weekend of the 19th, and the entire town will be filled with the sounds of bands playing rock, soul, blues and more. The Marion County Fair is the 28th, and the entire month is capped on the 29th by the Taste of Jefferson. The Taste is one of our favorite festivals - you buy one ticket, and get to walk up and down Austin Street sampling goodies from all the restaurants in Jefferson. I've never left there hungry!


Okay, this isn't about the ghosts of The Grove, but it is about the tour. Something interesting happened this month - for only the second time since we've been giving tours, we had to cancel because of an emergency. The first time was because an opossum was loose in the house (if you don't remember that one, read the May 2006 archive), and the second one was on September 15th, just a few weeks ago. It all started on the previous Thursday night; Tami and I had run out for a bit, and when we got home I suddenly had the chills - shaking, teeth chattering, etc. It came on so suddenly it was like someone had flipped a light switch. I was running a fever of 101.6, and we were convinced that I had the flu. Tami started treating it by giving me Nyquil and Advil, and I went to bed early. Friday wasn't much better, nor was Friday evening. When I woke up on Saturday morning, my left foot was swollen to 2 or 3 times its normal size and was bright red. It looked like a balloon of a foot, like if I pricked it with a pen it would explode. Of course at that point it was doctor time, and I got the real diagnosis: I'd been bitten by a spider. I hated so much to cancel tours that Saturday that I insisted on having Sunday's, but Tami made me promise to sit in each room with my foot up like you see in the photo. Apparently when the venom first hit my system, it caused the flu-like symptoms; the tissue in the foot that absorbed it took about 24 hours to react. I'm happy to report that after two weeks, the foot is looking much better.

When I tell people that we see things all the time around here but it doesn't really scare us, they tend to shake their head in disbelief. When things happen, we're so used to it that we aren't scared, although we're occasionally startled. Case in point - one night this month Tami went to bed early, since she had to get up at the crack of dawn the next morning. I continued to work on the computer in the next room, when I heard her call my name. I answered, and she told me that a man was standing there in the doorway looking at her. I asked her if she felt threatened, and she said that she didn't, so I advised her to just turn over and go back to sleep. She did so, and I guess that we'll never know who the gentleman was, or what he was doing here.

We received a couple of interesting photos from Heather Crager, who took The Grove tour this month. The first one was in the parlor, and as you can see everyone was away from the corner where she took the photo. I was standing off to her right, and there were two ladies to the left side of the room. When I first saw the picture, I couldn't figure out what all the fuss was about until my eyes drifted to the mirror. There's a shadow that really shouldn't be there. I was a professional photographer for four years in my life, so I do understand angles and the bouncing of flashes, but I can't figure this one out. Tami & I tried to explain this photo for at least a half-hour... but we couldn't. The figure in the mirror doesn't have long hair, so it isn't me. Tami noticed that he seems to be wearing a high collar like men used to in the old days; it also looks like he has a long, full beard. There was certainly no one on the tour that day that even remotely fit that description! The angle is strange as well - assuming that the flash reflected in the mirror and bounced over toward the curtains, the man would have to be standing almost where the blue chair is. You can see the braid on the right reflected in the mirror, so he'd have to be right there... yet he isn't.

The next photo was in the game room, which is currently serving as our bedroom while we finish up the floors in the old children's bedroom and the stairwell. Heather Crager took this one as well, and I have to say that all these photos are copyrighted by her, and I'm delighted that she gave her permission for me to share them with you. The top photo is her actual photograph, and you can see the lighted, squiggly beam in the upper left-hand portion. If you notice the right side of the anomaly itself, there is a very distinct little ball of light - it's like in the split second of the photo, it was zipping across in the zigzag pattern, and was caught "in profile" as it were at the end. I've seen all kinds of photos where hairs, pieces of dust, etc caused a white streak on the photo, but this isn't like that. I really don't know what to make of either of these photos... just more interesting happenings at The Grove!


I'll close by wishing you a wonderful October and Fall season. Until we talk again, have a great month!

If you'd like to check any of my books on ghosts and the supernatural, you can find them at Barnes & Noble, Borders, Amazon.com, or at The Grove's website if you'd like a signed copy of anything.

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