It has been far too long since I have put pen to paper, but being without the aid of my diary for nearly a month makes it terribly difficult to fill it, one would think. It was left behind shortly after Christmas at the Plantation when I had to good fortune to spend some time with my good friends Mr. and Mrs. Jackson whilst the coarse and disgusting work men finished fencing off pastures and erecting the barn whilst we had a good spell of weather. It has been so strangely mild here this winter, not a touch of snow like I recall last winter. I should not complain too much of it, since Mr. Hegwood has benefited very well in his health by the conditions. Mrs. Hegwood, however, complains a vast deal about her pains in her head and flutterings all about her body and nervous spells. I am more apt to believe it is boredom that she suffers from, and not much else. Who can possibly blame her? It truly has been one of the dullest winters of my life.
Christmas was spent well enough. For my part, I would have gladly given up anything for it to have been only Mr. and Mrs. Hegwood and myself instead of the company we did end up with. Mrs. Hegwood had written to the Vincents to invite them for Christmas. I of course knew nothing about it until the morning before their arrival as Mrs. Hegwood got quite up in arms about how “shabbily I was dressed to welcome in a family of a vast fortune”. I was quite shocked to find out I was to be welcoming the man and by extension the family that very easily brought me no small amount of discomfort and anxiety. Mr. Vincent, however, took very little notice of me other than to sneer and remark how coarse I had become since “settling myself here in the wild”. Whilst I do not appreciate being slighted and insulted by any human being, I would rather him insult me than make any advance on me. They departed after only a two week visit, Mrs. Vincent complaining all the while of a cold and wishing to be home.
Shortly after their visit had ended, I was whisked away by the ever charming and attentive Jacksons who read between the lines of my latest letter and knew I was rightly miserable and needed a change of scene and society. They were even so kind enough as to invite some of my dearest friends on January the 28th, it being my four and twentieth birthday. It was a very merry party, and even the Coopers made the long journey from Ohio to spend the day with me, though because Mr. Cooper already had business in our part of the country it made the visit that much easier. The Doctor was of course part of the party, though he did not arrive until after luncheon, and I was worried he would not arrive at all. It was indeed a very lovely way to spend my birthday, and to make me forget for a moment Mrs. Hegwood’s nagging reminders how I had better ought find a suitor if I wanted to avoid the dreaded spinsterhood. I could do well without her reminding me that she and Mr. Hegwood wed after just her first season Out. Mrs. Jackson and Mrs. Cooper alleviated my worries by reminding me that the society was very limited where we were, and things certainly moved at a different pace, and my bloom of youth was by no means faded and I possessed the lucky image of one much younger than myself. I suppose that shall keep me well and desirable for marriage well into my thirties. Truly, I have no desire to marry someone just because by standards I am getting well on past being marriageable. I wish to marry for love, not to prevent gossip about how there must be something wrong with me. Maybe this is what irks Mrs. Hegwood so.
Mr. Hegwood is gone to Kentucky to make the first purchase of a number of Dams and two Sires for his race horses. He has spent much more time and money than I think completely rational on this pleasure route, but if he is content who am I to disagree? Besides, I am of the opinion he has more money than he rightly knows how to spend, and I cannot worry too much about the loss of it. I remain, though, very excited to see them when they arrive. There are four acres fenced and cleared with the stables completed and looking resplendent and perhaps a little too showy at the corner nearest the house, so that Mr. Hegwood can properly see them both from his bedroom and from his study. He also told me, upon leaving for his journey, that he would keep his eye out for a suitable mount to carry a lady. This, of course, brings me more joy than is sensible, but when it comes to horses, I am hardly sensible
With foals and riding in the spring, I can hardly spend the rest of winter with any sort of sensible decorum.