The things you find in the garden.

As some of you might have surmised, Guy and I are not in our normal digs this summer, but have temporally moved up north to escape the heat.  We are renovating a home built in 1910, leaning heavy on contractors but doing the outside gardens and yard ourselves.  It’s in a small town, and though it’s different from my forest retreat, it is reminiscent of the first home that Guy and I bought, and it’s starting to feel comfortable.

Which brings me to the tombstone in our back yard.  Okay, at first, I kind of freaked out when Guy turned over the step and saw that it was really a tombstone, thinking someone had scavenged it and decided it would make a good, if macabre back step from the porch to the yard, but I’ve since talked to my good writer friend, Faith Hunter, and she tells me her husband, who knows these things, says that it was probably never used, but recycled when the stone chipped, cracked, or they made a misspelling when they were cutting it.  Apparently it’s quite common to find these, especially in older homes like the one we have.  So if you have a thin marble step in your garden, lift it!  You might have a piece of history.

I think this is very cool, and it will go up in one of my shade gardens as soon as I get it done.  It may never have been used, but it probably has a twin out there somewhere, weathered and faded.  I’d like to find it.  I already did some research, and I think I found the family associated with it.  If you want to dig for the research yourself, the stone was found in Washtenaw County, MI.

And as sort of a secondary note, I found a ring while digging up the earth in the shade garden.  It sparkles.  A lot.  It’s probably paste and base metal, but I’m taking in today to see if I’m going to be wearing it as a” nostalgic gift from the house” or a “holy crap your kidding gift from the house.”  Either way, I think it’s been fun.  Guy unearths tombstones, and I find diamonds.  -laugh-  I’ll let you know what I find out.

Tomorrow, though, I will have one of the first colored pages from the Hollows Graphic novel for you.  Whoo-hoo!!!


Filed under Drama Box

77 responses to “The things you find in the garden.

  1. Hello Ms. Harrison,

    Honestly? I would’ve been frightened that the child was buried in my garden. That would’ve been my first thought. The second the tragedy of loosing a child. I go to a nearby graveyard sometimes for a visit and spend my time later walking through the tombstones, reading names – reading messages. The small child graves always makes me pause, especially when they have a full name already, even though some of them never lived past their first day. Hmm. It makes me think of the text: “Fear not, for I have called you by your name, and you are Mine.”

    As for the ring though, I cannot wait to hear what it’s worth! lol. Even if it is nothing. 🙂

    Have a great day Ms. Harrison!


    • Hi Alyssa,
      That there might be a small body in the back yard never occurred to me. I was just upset that someone might have scavanged it, but I think it was just recycled. I like to tell people that I’m about as psychic as a rug, but the house “feels” good, and that’s good enough for me. Although, I have a short story brewing about a three-year-old ghost who gives a pretty ring to the little girl who moved into his house. Very sweet. I hope I get to write it someday.

  2. -grin- Ok, doing some of my own digging sounded too fun to pass up – especially after you gave us the deets. 😉 You didn’t say what you already found, but here’s a Croman/Groman Family page that might be something – one of them died in Washtenaw Co, MI and had children at the right time (V-28). Maybe the A should have been a J? They sound similar when spoken – just ask someone with a hearing loss – oh hey, that’s me ;-). Maybe the guy from V-27 did the tombstone, we share a name and my loss is hereditary after all. 😉 I tried to help you find its twin – ””>here is something interesting. It seems to mention the same couple who ended up in Michigan, but I don’t know if they’re just mentioned as genealogy details. Diamonds too? -grin- Awesome! And good eye there! (Hawkeye Harrison? 😉 ) Hmmm, I wonder what’s under the dirt in my garden? *Goes to get shovel*

  3. Lurker

    Hiya Kim.
    That is so cool finding weird stuff in your own backyard. I love old houses and properties like that. You just never know what will turn up.
    hmmm.. I guess that can be good and bad lol
    Hope all is well 🙂

  4. aoann vidgis

    Gifts from the Fae. How lovely. 😀

  5. Sandra

    I just have a small questions. Does anyone know if a tentative date has been set for the release of the 1st graphic novel? I am like wetting my pants over that. I can not wait for it.

  6. Theresa

    Hi Ms. Harrison
    i really like your books me and my mom are waiting in line at the library for Black Magic Sanction. I wonder how you come up with all of those awesome ideas. Your books have gotten me through summer break a few times its cool to know that an awesome writer like yourself is gardening i garden with my mom sometimes to we haven’t found anything cool in ours but Washington doesn’t have much cool things. Anyway i just wanted to say hi.

    • Thank you, Theresa! I’m really glad you’re enjoying the books so much. As for ideas? They come from all over. The ring I found this weekend has a story in it. So does the lady walking her dog just passing. Everywhere.
      I’m honored that both your mother and yourself read the books. Thank you!

  7. Chelikins

    Kim.. you have yet another yard to make into a masterpiece. I hope you enjoy your second home and remodeling. I so wish I had the talent. There is stuff I would love to do to my house.

    I agree a picture of the ring too! That was cool about the headstone. My ex brother in law had two graves on his property. It used to be a family cemtery and got sold. I mean the graves were like 20 ft from the house if not closer.. lol! But it made for some interesting conversations 😉

    • Hi Chelikins. I’ve been enjoying the yard. Maybe a little too much. -laugh-
      I’ll try to have a picture of the ring tomorrow. I have to work at it because it’s a close-up and the light scatters everywhere.
      Very cool on your brother’s grave sites!

  8. Hi Kim!
    I wanted to tell that the brick walk you posted a few days ago is simply gorgeous! That’s an amazing job!
    You indeed found awesome treasures in your garden. I think it’s nice that you want to give a place for the thombstone to be. I also like the idea of the scavenger hunt for the twin stone. *laughs*
    Will we get to see the colored pages? At least one… please! 😉

    On another matter, I wanted to tell you the NaSty initiative has grown. We’ve opened a website with the project of hosting one themed writing project a month. I’ve just started recruitment on my blog. I sure hope it works!
    I wanted to thank you again for encouraging us back in February. The NaSties have become a second family and, hopefully, the NaSty Writing Web will enthrall more people. And burning bunnies.

  9. Welcome to hot humid Michigan. I am in Macomb County and find interesting bottles and marbles and such in my yard but so far no headstone. I would be a bit creeped out. I used to live in southern California right next to an Indian burial ground. I used to have dreams of Indians walking up to my front door trying to get in!

    • I hate to admit it, Colleen, but after South Carolina, Michigan seems cool and dry. It’s funny, but I’m out in the garden, and I know my neighbors think I’m nuts because it’s so hot, but honestly, it doesn’t feel hot to me.
      Very creepy about the dreams. I wouldn’t be able to handle that. I’d have to move.

  10. I’m glad you have a blog. I just found it, and this post made me laugh. Why do you find gravestones in your backyard??? Very cool. 🙂

  11. Antonio

    Hmmmm…Probably the grave was moved, and the land re-claimed for other purposes, which isn’t unusual considering most churches/graveyards of that time were very small. The headstone just didn’t make the trip. Just a guess…

    Have you done anything else up north besides working on the house? Are you close to the lakes? You guys like to sail, right? A little golf with mom? 🙂

    • I’m still thinking that it was reclaimed marble. I’d rather think that then that it was scavanged. And really, it doesn’t look a day weathered.

      I’m very close to the area lakes, yes, but I’ve not been on the water yet. The house (and work) is taking up all my time. I’m not on vacation. -pout-

  12. Lisa

    Welcome to Michigan. Washtenaw County has a number of old communities. The story is very interesting and I’ve only heard of a couple of them. You are very lucky!
    Macomb County.

  13. Marsha

    How sad that someone lost ason of only 1year, 9 months. It makes you think how lucky we are that we have modern day medicines. That was before the date of the great flu epidemic, it was likely scarlet fever or consumption. Maybe you have a little angel blessing your home.

    • That’s the first thing I thought, as well.

    • I know, Marsha! It makes me feel almost protective of a small child that I have no blood relation to, and have never met, and who died a hundred years before I was born.

      See, that’s the stuff of us. The stuff that makes us do weird things. The quirks that make us who we are. Why in the hell do I care? Finding out makes a good story.

  14. becca

    wow kim
    you do indeed lead a wacky,exciting and intereging life.
    our house is proberbly about the age of that tombstone(or a touch older) but i dont think our house has ever given us gifts(except dust bunnies,damp and drafts!!)
    the ring sounds intresting though,love having storys to go with old houses.
    the only thing i ever found in my nans garden was plates or broken plates,fragments etc but saying that we do live in a very pottery orianted area,my part of the world is well known for its english pottery,it was just nice to see what people use to eat and drink out of.
    looking forward to the colour page(s)
    hugs to u,’guy’ and the gang

    becca and crew

    • Hi Becca. Still, pottery is cool. We found a paper printed the day after Peal Harbor was bombed. It was stuffed in a wall. The mice had been at it, but you can still read it.

  15. Jessica

    LOL. When I was little my older sister and I dug up a bunch of old glass bottles, nothing too fancy but we felt like pirates for the rest of the day. Just one of those things that brightens your day.

  16. JanisHarrison

    Oh, so that brick walkway is in Michigan! Ahh So. And I’m jealous. All I’ve ever found, digging in gardens, are rocks of no particular beauty, and broken glass. Not interesting, old glass, just broken glass. That taught me to wear gloves with reinforced fingers. My mom LOST the center diamond from her wedding ring; maybe someday someone will find it. We’ve never been able to.

  17. Jason in FL

    Hi Kim!

    I was wondering if you might enlighten us on when Book 9 is coming out for the Hollows. Is it expected for the same February slot?

  18. Jemma

    Veeeery cool!

    Seems like you and Guy have been busy. 🙂

    I can’t wait for the page(s) tomorrow. I’m so excited for the GN. 😀


  19. Carla Clark

    Sad to think a child died so young. When I was younger I lived way up in the mountains in my town, and where we lived there were ruins of an old sawmill. I once found a few tombstones from around 1893. I was really young then but when I think about it now, it really creeps me out. I can’t believe I played on some poor souls grave. =[

  20. Becca K.

    haha, dang that is just too cool. It kind of makes me want to go out and dig a little.

  21. Karen

    Please consider putting the tombstone on Genealogists will thank you!

  22. Judi in NJ

    A tombstone in the backyard? Of COURSE! Not at all surpised that it’s YOUR backyard! I, too would love to see a pic of the ring! What wild finds. Stoked about the GN pics, tooooo! Big waves to “Guy” & enjoy the renovation. The house sounds cool…any 100 yr old house has got to hold a lot of secrets – have fun discovering them! xo Judi

    • Hi Judi. Yup, right in the backyard. I’ll have a pic of the ring tomorrow, and probably a link to the history of Henry’s family. Guy says hey.

      Oh, and some of the secrets are not so fun, like a sinking foundation, lead-based paint, a furnace as old as me, and ductwork that runs like a scared octopus. -laugh- Can’t forget the asbestos in the basement.

  23. Linda (germany)

    Wow. Can’t wait to see them 🙂

    Sooo, loocks like your life becomes more and more like Rachels life. I couldn’t live with a tombstone in my backyard. Well, at leat i need to adjust to it. ^^

    • Hi Linda.
      My life becoming more like Rachel’s? Gosh, I hope not. The stone is going to have a shady place of honor. I think it’s majorly cool.

  24. Hello Kim,

    This no-commenting feels too much like look-but-don’t-touch. It’s not like i was an everyday commenter, but i missed this 🙂

    That said, you are uniquely creepy, you know that right? I can’t imagine many people would actually be happy about finding a tombstone in their backyard. I don’t mean it in a bad way, no. Quite the opposite. I like this appreciating aspect of you. Appreciating life as it is; from unexpected sprouts after the winter to racing slugs and to faulty tombstone that never made to their destinated graves. You know what i mean?

    On a side note, Dates From Hell got translated to Turkish. I got one and gave it to a secretary at work who was into urban fantasy. Then we discussed the story, comparing them. I made a few points how yours stood out and she admitted that she never thought about it like that. The publishing company says they’ll get The Hollows soon. I’m trying to promote it as much as i can. I even posted a comment to the website about Rachel Morgan series, and people are agreeing with me. I am not alone here.

    Needless to say, i’m looking forward to this GN. And the next one too.

    One more thing. Got this question the other day; are babies and children distinguishable in each species? If yes, then how? With their scents? You said their features are pronounced when they hit puberty. This got me thinking.

    Thanks so much for turning comments on. 😉

    • Hi Ezgi.
      Sorry about the comments being turned off. I’ve always got the three pages open for you guys to talk to me, but I couldn’t keep up with all the comments on every-day life, so I had to close it down but for special occasions. (even though every day life is what makes us, us)
      Oooh, thank you for all the promoting you’re doing for me! That really makes a difference, and I can’t thank you enough.
      You asked about Inderlander children. It varies from species to species, and most of it is indeed scent related, which us poor humans can’t detect. There are some physical differences, and some species modify themselves to fit in. -grin- Sitting on my hands here, trying not to give anything away.

  25. Vampyre

    Howdy ma’am,

    I think it’s very interesting that you found a head stone in your new back yard, especially considering what you write about. After all Rachel, Ivy, and Jenks have a whole cemetery full of them out back. 🙂

    Finding the ring is also very cool. It sounds like your new home likes you and has given you a gift. I hope it doesn’t get jealous of Guy. 🙂


    • Hi Vampy.
      I’ve always wanted to try my hand at horror. Now I have an idea. -laugh-
      It does feel like the house is giving us gifts. I think it appreciates the work we are putting into it. It had a beautiful past, and a not-so-beautiful middle ground, which we are trying to fix.

  26. Lisa

    a year and 9 mos. old. that is very sad. little ones should get a chance to live and enjoy life.

  27. melody

    Growing up in rural Ohio, we found a lot of things like arrowheads and railroad spikes, but the most amazing find we ever made was a Native American hatchet (Mohican tribe we were told) that still had feathers attached to it.
    Nowadays the most exciting discovery I make in the garden is slugs on my lemon balm *shudder* or the occasional garter snake.

    Can’t wait to find out of this new find of yours unearthed a whole new breed of burning bunnies underneath the tombstone!

  28. Laurie

    How very interesting. The only thing my husband and I have ever found was a antique aspirin tin. It was interesting, but that is the only thing we have found redoing our house and yards.

  29. Costume jewelry from eras past are still valuable. Congratulations!

  30. Angela

    What an interesting find! I always like finding things like that out – it’s unique and creates a story (which is usually helpful when doing laborious work).

    Fun little tidbit: My dad, who worked as a maintenance toolmaker, recently told me that in his field, several people use tombstones as working slabs. They have never been actually used as a tombstone, but were sold or thrown away because of faults or other reasons. I guess it is significantly more economical (price-wise) to buy a marble recycled tombstone than a marble working surface.

    Enjoy your stay up North!


    Angela – MN

    • Hi Angela.
      That’s what I’ve been hearing, which makes me feel a little better about having a tombstone in my back yard. I would love to find its twin someday.

  31. Indy

    Hi Kim!!! I’m always amazed at how much you accomplish. Seriously, can you bottle some of that home improvement drive and send it to the mid-west. 🙂 We’ve had an organization flurry of our own. Had friends visit for the weekend, so we did some big summer cleaning. Closets are next, but it looks great.~Indy

    • Hi Indy.
      I have very full days that seldom include TV. It gives me a couple extra hours a day to get to the stuff that I normally wouldn’t. I miss a lot, though, and can’t join in in the conversations about Lost and the latest reality TV. Ah well.

  32. NickinColoma

    Miss Kim, nice to see you are up this way. I am working this summer at a state park on the other side on Mi in Muskegon, so I can’t avoid the heat. Have a good time this summer.—Nick

    • Very cool, Nick. I once worked two summers in 90 degree heat in the woods running live-animal trap lines for a research project. I still kind of miss it.

  33. suzannelazear

    oooh, a pic of the ring, please. 🙂 Sparkle, sparkle. I love the cool things you’ve found in your backyard. We’ve only found scary things in ours, lol–mummified animals, a plastic bag of stuffed animals, etc…

    Have a great day!

    ~Suzi and the tot

    • suzannelazear

      The tot did rescue her first animal the other day–the tiniest baby bird I’d ever seen. She fed the bird with a dropper and kept it warm with a lamp, but the birdy still didn’t make it and she cried. ~sniff.~ It made me remember the first time I brought home a baby bird. ~sniff sniff~ I think it’s one of those lessons that all kids learn, not that it makes it any easier.

    • Hi Suzanne,
      Hopefully I’ll have a picture of the ring tomorrow. It’s very shiny. And may I say yuck on the mummified animals? YUCK!

  34. Araidne

    The new place sounds awesome! Yes, please post a picture of the ring! Sounds very interesting!

  35. cynthia sherman

    please post a picture of the ring.. costume jewelry or real.. it needs to be seen..