January 28, 1812

Today, I am three and twenty. By some grace of God I made it through the day with little to no comments or suggestions of my becoming an old maid at this ‘late stage of my bloom’. I must confess though I have had not a single suitor other than the horrendous Mr. Vincent, I have no fear of what my fate may bring. I find it is better to not think upon the subject if I can help it at all. Mrs. Hegwood, though her intentions are nothing if not wholly good and just, was the first to remind me of my “growing unfavorable circumstances” as I have shown no sign of being in a hurry to marry. How can I think upon such things when other thoughts weigh so heavily upon my head?

Mr. Hegwood has declined even more so this week. He has grown desperately thin and his gray, pain haggard face does nothing but look out of his window all the day. He has ceased to speak to any of us, and his hand has grown cold and listless each time I hold it in mine. I have ordered the pianoforte moved from the upstairs parlor into his bedroom so that I may play for him and he does not have to stir nor disrupt his comfort. I did write to Dr. Allison about the condition of my dear Mr. Hegwood, and sent it with the greatest of haste. Dr. Jackson has been dismissed, finally, as Mrs. Hegwood caught him nosing about in her private boudoir, near her jewelry, no doubt in a desire to lift some to enhance his means. I have no doubt his living is so meager considering how inept of a physician he truly is. I will wait for a proper prescription for Mr. Hegwood by Dr. Allison, but I am of the opinion he must be moved to warmer climates, where the entirety of the winter months are not spent shrouded in snow, and the sun is more readily available and not as weak when it is about.

I took the liberty today, as we had a dreadful downpour of snow last night, to walk about in the fresh drifts while I could, as there was sun to be enjoyed along with it. It was so quiet and peaceful on the property that I nearly forgot the world back inside the Hegwood Estate.

I listened for birds, and watched the ones I could with my little spyglass, given to me last September by the Doctor. The Cardinals looked like little rays of joy with their bright red cloak of feathers splashed in places across the snow. I could not but laugh at them as they hopped about fluttering in the deep snow, making such sweet little noises and raising such a fuss that the Hegwood's cat came about to also watch them, but I am sure with a different motive than to laugh at them. The cat and I took a few turns together, until the snow began to freeze my toes and cause the cat nosmall amount of frustration as he kept sinking into the deeper, looser drifts of snow.

 I entered the house with rosy cheeks and a much finer spirit, to see a letter from Dr. Allison waiting for me in the frantic hand of Mrs. Hegwood as she had intercepted the letter before myself, waving it about as she scolded me for going behind her and Mr. Hegwood. I calmly removed the letter from her hand and told her that it was only for a second opinion, and to not give herself into a fit of hysterics if she could help it. I opened the letter and to my shock found a very brief note scrawled hastily urging us to move Mr. Hegwood to a warmer climate as soon as it was possible. I relayed the information to Mrs. Hegwood who set to such a frantic squawking and rambling and panicking I thought she was near to doing herself some sort of harm! Abigail and Mrs. Murpheys, Mrs. Hegwoods personal maid, came into the room briskly to calm her and bring some sense into the immediate vicinity. I took the opportunity to escape to my own room to pen a response to Mr. Allison, informing him that we would prepare to quit the Estate by week's end, and to please find us suitable rooms until we could arrive and look for more permanent lodgings. I do hope that Mrs. Hegwood will warm to this idea rather quickly.