Time

Sept 21

Time is a curious thing. One moment, it is here and seems to be in plentiful supply – more than one could ever possibly manage on their own – enough to share with someone else, even. Blink only a time or two and it all changes – months pass and the never-ending winter melted away, the plants and flowers blasted forth from the ground, and now receding into the crispening of autumn.

This is the place where I find myself.

Did I have an issue with the Internets tubes? In the Spring, yes. But now they work just fine. True, Vinnie makes much more use of them than I ever would. In that case, what is the reason I have not updated my oft-overlooked corner of this sticky “Web”?

Many reasons. After the horrors and troubles that plagued my town and my family last year, at least 1854 is proving to be thankfully quiet and free of issues…as well as demons, vampires, banshees, and other malcontents.

It is possible you may be thinking, “Well, Miss Dickinson, with all of that quietness, you should be updating more, not less often!” Yes, that would be a correct assumption, although if you hailed from western Massachusetts, you would be aware that my father is currently serving the Commonwealth’s interests in the United States Congress. His absence for much of the year, combined with mother’s fragility, has increased the never-ending “to-do” list for Vinnie and I.

If you have read the fantastic-sounding book written about me, you would most likely be disappointed in my lack of patrolling Amherst. There are two “frankly”-s that sum it up well: I have been busy, and Officer Lawless is doing a wonderful job on his own. That’s not to say I no longer assist – I do! My assistance occurs usually once a week, sometimes less.

It is those “less” times that pang the longing to suit up in my battle dress and vanish into the night – looking for trouble to extinguish…which is what I am off to do this very moment.

Out! Out!

- Emily

 

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Not what I had intended to write

Snowy Amherst Road

The plans and schemes had been in place for weeks now, perhaps even an entire month. My desire was to write a blog-post detailing my adventures, intrigue, failures, successes, and all manners of life contained therein about this most recently deceased year, 1853.

To say those desires were dashed, bashed, and bludgeoned repeatedly upon the rocks of Trouble’s shores is an understatement.

I spent the better part of December writing an in-depth account of the incredible happenings of the year – the winged demon by the oxbow of the Connecticut River, the terrifying incident in the swamps of South Amherst by the railroad tracks that made me face the stark recognition of my own mortality, the carnival of horrors that rolled into town later in the summer, the giant boy who could not be stopped, the discovery of an evil beyond thought, and, of course, the cute things Carlo did.

I wrote about all of this – and more! – only to have my pages upon pages ruined and shredded beyond recognition by Vinnie’s damn cats.

There are those in Amherst who are somehow taken with the idea that all of the cats that linger around the Dickinson home (I mean our home – not the other 28 households in town that also bear the name “Dickinson”) belong to me. Why and how would anyone possibly think this feline plague was my doing? Can they not see my sister, Lavinia, enticing them with morsels of food and dishes of milk?

I have tried to feed the cats to Carlo, but he has no interest in eating them. I love him so, but I do wish he would obey my commands on a more regular basis.

Anyway, I attempted to re-write my blog-post, and had done the original piece a good deal of justice. Then, the next morning, before I could post it to the Internet-Webs, I found the pages in tatters again – the cats!

After seeing my hours of labor in a shredded heap upon the floor – for a second time – my heart was no longer in it. Perhaps at some point, that odd man who seems to delight in chronicling my adventures will pick up his pen and succeed where I have failed in the face of feline determination.

Plus, the Internets Tubes have been frozen solid for the past several weeks, so I would not have been able to post my recountings even if I had not been thwarted by Vinnie’s pesky darlings.

I sincerely hope 1854 is quieter and full of bountiful gardening.

And, fewer cats.

Emily

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Second to last post of 1853

Amherst winter up

The infrequent occasions when the Internets tubes are working properly and are not frozen, clogged, or backed up rarely coincide with reflective moments when I wish to convey my deeper thoughts to this sticky Web, but such a time has caught me off-guard when I have nothing substantial to say. Some might offer that such moments are the ones that should be seized with great aplomb for those are the times when the enriching golden nuggets of life are discovered.

That is a wonderful way to think, but it is not meant to be this evening. I am off to assist Officer Lawless on patrol of Amherst in a short time and I do not have the time to mire myself in the quiet reflection needed to expand upon the deep wells of thought that I often find myself diving and drowning into for a time.

That being said – do not despair! Before the end of the year, I shall proceed to bore (or hopefully enthrall you!) with the major events of this very memorable year. And, oh my, what a year 1853 was. If I were to live a thousand years I would find leaving such memories behind to be too much of a Herculean task to bear and endure.

In the meanwhile, please look for my distilled comments on the Twitterish brevity machine.

Thank you, and may your December be as filled with hope as my garden is green in the summer.

Emily

 

 

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An August Night

Dusky dusk

There are days and times – such as tonight, and now – when the whole of nature seemingly conspires to lead me astray from my long-held beliefs. While I will not say this in a private setting, or even dare to whisper it out-of-doors for fear that I will be banished from my dear Amherst*, my heart is secretly buoyant in regards to the autumnal indicators that have been inching into the periphery of August.

I am aware of how odd I must sound; I live for summer. Gardening is my passion. Adorn me in a wide-brimmed hat, my sunglasses to protect my overly sensitive eyes, put a garden tool in my hand (it hardly matters which), and push me in the general direction of some sort of growing green leafy plant (also, it hardly matters which), and I am content to work hand-in-hand with Mother Nature for a truly joyous afternoon. Autumn, however, is like Charon the ferryman on the River Styx, come to take my happiness away to the world of wintery death. Normally, I would not allow it!

…that is until tonight. I went for a walk at dusk and was witness to the swirling perfection of Nature’s alchemistic charms which melted my cold heart and surrendered me over to Her side. I found myself at the hill on campus of the College, looking west to Hadley when I saw view pictured in the above daguerreotype – I wish the bright pricking light of Venus were visible in this image. It was quite striking sitting in the dipping pocket of sky among the branches. The air was refreshingly cool, like an early morning dip into Puffer’s Pond when the fog hugs the lilly pads for a lingeringly last hour before the sun burns off the wisps and ruins the moment. The aroma was tainted with the sweetly edged smoky smell of a nearby fireplace, which seemed oddly-timed, due to the late hour (who cooks dinner so late?), and more suited for a crisper night of relaxed warmth. The steady western breeze kissed my face with the cold breath of future months, and caused the ribbons on my bonnet to lick out in a manner I found to be delightfully suggestive (*kindly refer again to the asterisk below).

I stayed until the last vestiges of sunlight had been bled and drained from the heavens into the Berkshire Mountains and were replaced by the spotty dots of the stars above and the rising smudge of the Milky Way. I was heading past the Common with the full intention of capping the night by enrapturing myself with a good book when I heard a rowdy band of college men off to the taverns.

I paused and considered the calendar – Friday night. Most likely Officer Lawless could use my assistance this evening. After a moment of confliction, I decided to have it all – I went home and read for two hours before going to my shed to change into my battle dress. I then perched myself on top of Phoenix Block, with my book, and waited for trouble to brew – which turned out to be akin to a watched pot.

Oh well. At least I had something to read.

*I can freely express what I wish here on my dusty cobweb on the Internets as we are the only household in town with a connection to the Internets and I doubt that any spiders on this “web” will give a shrug or a hoot about what a modern-minded young woman has to say.

 

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It is July

Flowery flowers flowering

While some writers of “blogs” would offer apologizes and excuses for not updating their “web-site” in several months, I will do no such thing. The spring came, went, and blended into the thicker, hotter summer, and brought with it the bountiful colors and delicacies from my flower beds and garden (respectively – I am not one to consume flowers other than with my eyes, or, perhaps to press into a book).

What the summer season brings forth from the ground tends to take up much of my time, which is fine as may be. At the least, it makes me less involved with the unseemly issues that face Amherst today, or rather, at night. Not that there are many in our small town as compared to a larger city such as Springfield or Boston, but we do seem to attract more than our fair share – and the pressing excuse of garden work offers a welcome respite from the world outside the gate of our yard.

Also with the warmer weather comes the local boys who have come-a-wooing. While it makes for some entertaining evenings spent at the piano, or discussing ideas in the parlor, I am not quite as keen on the concept as Vinnie is. She seems to revel in the attention, like a brilliant, colorful butterfly, flitting about, to-and-fro. Although, I am not certain if she will allow herself to be caught; it is my belief that she enjoys the ritualistic game more than the thought of of the end result. At the very least, she has her many cats, which provide her with great company. Well, and myself. Of course she loves my company more than anything else.

Maybe.

I spent much time stuck to the World Wide Web this morning and I saw that the “ebook” written about me is free on Amazon from now until July 7. If your nosy curiosity gets the better of you, and you do read it, please leave a review. I am interested to know what you think of my adventures.

Take care and keep to the shade during the day,

Emily

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Spring

IMG_2890What a sunny day today! Personally, I do find it a bit too bright for my tastes or sensitivities, which is why I am wearing my tinted glasses – but nonetheless, it is still glorious feeling the warmth shining down.

And the plants! It’s as if a fine green carpet rose up through the deadened ground in the matter of just a week. Winter to spring spearheaded by the sharp edges of the tulip leaves breaking through the ground, leading the charge for the remainder of life stirring underfoot – ready to rise and greet the warmth as it rains down.

As you can possibly surmise, I am smitten with spring. If I were to put the seasons in order of my favorites, I would have a difficult time determining which I like more: spring or autumn. Opposites of one another, I enjoy them for that very reason; the greenery of life and rebirth on one hand – and a bright and fiery foliage death on the other. If it were not for the necessity and bountifullity of summer and the food which it produces, I would enjoy it if spring were to immediately follow autumn, which would likewise loop back to spring in a shorter, more joyous year.

Events in town have been somewhat quiet as of late. Thankfully, I have not had any encounters with persons possessing abilities or deal with any supernatural beings. This has given me time to catch up on my letter writing to friends and read a great many books. Although, now that I think of it, now that the snow is past us a season, I should spend my nights training again. I do not wish to be caught unawares or unprepared if a problem were to arise.

I’m off to inventory my supply of seeds so I can determine what I need to buy from Cutler’s this week. Knowing my garden will be soon growing is like knowing a field full of friends is coming to visit – which is a poor choice for an analogy as I do not eat my friends as I intend to eat the vegetables.

As a side note, the word I used above, “bountifullity,” is not a word according to my copy of Webster’s American Dictionary of the English Language. I should write to them and petition for its inclusion.

 

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The great maple syrup debacle of 1853

Greetings from Emily. March is already upon us. 1853 is burning by more quickly than a narrow candle while reading an engrossing book.

One of the annual joys of March is it means we are immersed within the maple sugaring season. Trees throughout Amherst have sprouted wooden buckets (and here and there I’ve seen some metal buckets as well!), catching the sweet sap. A new and notable invention this year is the introduction of tubes to collect the sugary goodness, but this is an instance when innovation comes at a steep price.

Local maple sugar producer, Occasional Creek Maple, is using these tubes to direct the flow of sap from the trees to his sugar shack. Where does he get the tubes from? I’ll tell you! He is using the Internets tubes!

What Internets tubes look like when attached to a tree, of all things.

As you can very well imagine, the sticky syrup not only greatly slowed down the speed of the Internets, but it also tends to clog the tubes. Father had taken no notice as his t-mail still clicks along unabated with his AOL (America Over-telegraph Lines) subscription. Vinnie, however, was quite upset as this inconvenience considerably limited the number of cat videos she can see per day.

Determined to fix this grievous error, last night I suited up in my battle dress, loaded up on weaponry, donned my mask, and walked to Belchertown. I easily found the Occasional Creek Maple sugar shack from the sweet smell and the column of evaporated water pluming up from the vent in the roof. A light was on inside. I considered climbing a nearby tree to pounce upon the proprietor when he exited the building, when a little voice said, “Why not simply knock on the door and speak to him?”

I turned and saw Lavinia standing behind me. Drat. She had followed me yet again! It is difficult to conduct missions with a nosy younger sister following my every movement. Her suggestion did have merit, so I removed my mask and we lightly knocked on the door.

An overview of a long story: no blood was spilled. We had an enjoyable evening as Mr. Delaney showed us how the sap is boiled and becomes maple syrup. He did apologize for our slower Internets but was forced to use the Internets tubes for his sap collection because someone had stolen his tree buckets. It is not an ideal solution for him either as he is frequently having to pull cat videos out of his sap collection tank. So, not only is his syrup clogging the tubes, but the Internets content is also interfering with his sugaring operation! I pledged to track down and apprehend the thieving so-and-so and get his sap buckets returned to him so everything can get back to normal. He said he would pay me with syrup and maple candies. Vinnie was overjoyed.

I will go out tonight to find the scofflaw, but first I will enjoy pancakes topped with sweet, local Occasional Creek Maple syrup.

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Have a joyous 1853!

Good afternoon. This is Emily. I know I am almost two weeks late in writing about the new year, but the Internets tube between Amherst and Belchertown froze up, yet again. It took an unseasonably warm day and several beefy men with chisels to free up the flow of of Internets. It is good to be back on here, the Twitters, and Pinterest again.

The new year has come upon us again. I think 1853 has a positive ring to it and I hope that ring resonates throughout the year and keeps our town trouble-free (or, at the very least, zombie-free).

I am quite looking forward to my upcoming trip to Boston to visit my dear brother, Austin. I’ll be sad to leave my Amherst, but I’m sure he and I will have an adventurous time in the big city.

In case you have (incorrectly) assumed that I had anything to do with this silliness, I would like to say no. As I may have stated before, I cannot fly, so while I do dearly wish I were the one responsible for that “unidentified flying object”, it was not I. Instead I could be described as an oft-invisible, non-flying object, which really make little sense.

I must go now. Lavinia wishes to use the Internets to look at daguerreotypes of cats. An entire world of information on the Internets and all she wants is to see cat pictures. I wish there were some way to convey the magnitude of the exasperated sigh I just let out.

 

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Happy birthday to me!

What a wonderful day! Why yes, it was foggy and dreary out, but not inside the Dickinson home on Pleasant Street! I was up for most of the night reading a delightful book…which is exactly what I tell my family when I have really been out on patrol. Apart from a stray cow, nothing happened last evening.

I digress – the day started out nicely. I thought it was strange that the noon hour came and went, but my family had yet to wake me up and demand I participate in the household chores. Our family, like most, do not celebrate birthdays, so their gesture was warmly received by me.

When I had risen, I found a wonderful lunch waiting for me in the dining room. After I was full to the bursting point (as it felt!), I was whisked out-of-doors by my sister. A few minutes later we were at our secret destination: John Lovell’s studio – which was odd since Lavinia had brought me here for a daguerreotype slightly over a month ago on Halloween. Mr. Lovell is wonder at making his pictures, but honestly, the man has not a bit of creativity. Looking at the sample pictures on his walls, every person is sitting in the exact same pose. No matter, it is the thought that counts, and I have a nice picture of myself, wearing a festively silly hat. That cupcake featured prominently beside me? I ate it straight away without sharing and without remorse. It was delicious.

Thinking about my age, I have to say that being 22 feels exactly the same as I felt when I was 21.

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Interview at Indie Author Land

Hello and good afternoon. This is Emily. It is quite a dreary December day that is more reminiscent of November than the normally wintery month that the calendar says it currently is. I should be gleefully assaulting my dear sister with a flurry of snowballs, but there is no snow and instead I just have to make do with daydreaming about it.

During my daily perusal of The Internets, I went to one of my favorite “sites”, Indie Author Land, to read about what wonderful new authors and books may be found…only to see a daguerreotype of myself staring back at me. See below -

I was stunned to see that the man who spied on me and wrote a book about it was interviewed right there, on one of my favorite places to go on The Internets. After my initial anger wavered, I read the lengthy article where I was able to glean much information about the mysterious writer person. I was sure to take a good many notes, but then I had to relinquish the Internets Box to Lavinia so she could see how many times she was “Poked” on the Facebooks. I tell you, she has not an ounce of shame.

I spent the rest of the afternoon sharpening my sword and thinking about meeting this Eric Nixon person. Mark my words, someday I will find him – and when I do, I will be successful in dissuading him from writing another word about me.

(Or, I will just kick him in the shin.)

As an asides, if you do not follow me on the Twitters, you should (unless you’re my sister or parents, in that case, please do not).

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