Fathers’ Day . . and the Days Just After


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I rose early on “Fathers’ Day”.  It was the first day, I had been at the rabbitpatch, since school had adjourned.  Will and Jenny were at the beach, Christian had to work, Brant was in the mountains . . .well everybody was somewhere else.  I was cooking a “Sunday dinner” and taking stock of what project to tackle, this week.  

The morning was quiet and unlike the mornings, I spent on the porch, at Jennys’. this past week.  No one walks a dog in the “Farm Life” community.  There are no joggers -or walkers, and certainly no skateboards going by the house.  I can not imagine living in a major city, for even a small town, perched on the banks of a river, offers a life of contrast.   I like both.  I used to spend part of the summer time in Wilmington, which is not a small town. Brant lived in a townhouse community.  The neighbors were a friendly lot and the place was full of old trees and flowers-and so tidy.  I took walks daily, but other than that, I was “housebound”.  Traffic there was a nightmare for me.  There is no courtesy amongst drivers, for it seems they are everyone late for something. Whenever, I got a ride to a grocery, I made it count.  

I cleaned the porch, while a load of laundry washed and a pot of green beans simmered.  I heard my grandmothers voice, reminding me to “season the water first, before adding the beans”.  I never understood this practice, but I practice it faithfully, because Grandmama did.  Besides, Grandmama was an exceptional cook.  She used  ingredients of quality and cooked with a tender spirit and a gentle hand.  She did not cook hurriedly, either.  My eyes still sting, at her memory.

I made JoDees’ barbecued chicken , for that takes the better of two hours and potato salad for Mama, as with it being “Fathers’ Day”, the dishes most all, centered around Daddy.  A cinnamon cake, chocked full of raisins, was baked for dessert.  When it was all finished, the dishes were packed up like a grand picnic parcel for today I was bringing “Sunday dinner” to them.


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Of course, I am bound to sing the praises of my dad to today, especially.  When you are a child, and know no different, what a good father does, does not seem spectacular .  My own dad worked-long and hard hours.  Though we were taught to be thrifty and sensible, I was never made aware of any time there was a lack of money.  I never heard my parent argue.  “Sass” was not tolerated and “sass” included tone of voice and flippancy.  Mama taught us sterling manners-Daddy made sure, we “minded” Mama.  Daddy took  fatherhood seriously.  He was not the sort of man, to read books to us, though I do remember him reading me a “little Golden Book” which ironically, was “The Tale of Peter Rabbit- and another one . . “The Billy Goats Gruff”.   Daddy taught us other things, not found in books.  He taught us  how to saddle our ponies, constellations . .and leaf and bird identification.  He bought us sturdy shoes and winter coats, and flew kites with us.  I could not appreciate such things, as a child.  I had never gone without a good nights’ sleep, nor worked in sleet and hateful heat.  I had no knowledge of what it meant to provide for another living soul.  I was ignorant of working all the overtime you could, to buy dolls and tea sets for Christmas – and eating out of a lunch box, every day. Fathers do such things, at least mine did.  . .and what a thankless job, it can be, for years.  

Thankfully, I have lived long enough, to realise  the advantage I have, in having a good father.  Thankfully, he can know, my gratitude for it .

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On Monday, I got up when I felt the notion-in spite of a clock.  I still got up early, but to have the liberty of that decision, felt good.  It was a clear morning.  A young mimosa was blooming for the first time in a delicate shade of pink.  The thing is full of feathery blossoms and though it grows in an inconvenient place, I haven’t the heart to remove it. . .and most especially, now.  Mimosa trees are so common, here.  They adorn the edges of field and wood- and come up in flower beds -and sidewalks.  The trees are quite tropical looking, with palm like branches, that always mange to grow in a graceful canopy form.  The abundance of the mimosa, does not decrease its’ value to me. I love them, as my grandmother did-and Jenny does now.  I remember laying with Brant, under a mimosa, when he was but days old.  It was one of the first times, he was outside, and I couldn’t wait to show him the beauty of the world, he’d come too.

I had two projects on my agenda -but didn’t attempt either of them.  I dreaded both of the tasks, truthfully. One was painting the kitchen ceiling and the other was painting the front porch.  I decided to put off, today, what might get done tomorrow.  Besides I was weeks behind in reading and I have not written nearly as much as my heart desired, as of lately.  I did cook, for I organised the freezer.  There was nothing to discard, but plenty to cook. I washed some laundry, and I read page after page after page, til the rabbitpatch was bathed in moon shine – and at last, my obligations were satisfied. 

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On Tuesday, I behaved as I did on Monday, upon rising.  Early light fell in bright splashes on the territory-so that was what time it was.  I did not dally, but went straight away, to find the paint for the ceiling.  I sat it out in plain sight, so that the gumption might well  up inside me to paint that ceiling.  In the meantime I put on a large pot of chicken to stew.  I was wanting to try to make a chopped barbecue, using chicken.  Now, this goes against  my southern roots.  Eastern NC barbecue is highly regarded as the best there is, and rightfully so.  It is made painfully slow, with pork roasted over a wood fire.  Stewed chicken,  is a far cry, from that, but I had some recently-and liked it.  I will season it, and chop it, as if it were pork . . and hope for the best, though I may not breathe a word of it, to my neighbors.

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By noon, I was sick of ladders and painting, altogether.  It was also apparent that it would take the best part of the day to finish.  . . . longer than I had expected. . .like everything else, I start.  Since the cabinets are white, the bright ceiling made them appear dingy.  There was nothing to do, but to paint them too. I took a good many breaks, but each time that I climbed down, meant another time to climb up, too.  I wanted to stop many times, but I knew I could finish it today.  When the kitchen is closed down -well, it is awful around here.

Everything was finished and the kitchen clean . . .around midnight.

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Daddy had an early appointment at a hospital, in a neighboring town, on Wednesday morning.  That turned out just like my kitchen project,  .  . . dreadfully, under estimated.  I regretted not carrying a book, as I usually do, but we all expected to be home by lunch. We got home , just before supper.  Thankfully, all turned out good for daddy.   We took great comfort in that.

With all the imagination, nurtured in me, I hadn’t enough to see my daddy in a wheelchair, or my mother putting his shoes on, for him.  I knew, they would both grow older, as we all do . . as I do, but it always seemed a far away time . . .too far to think about on any given day, thus far.  My parents seemed as ordinary as other folks, when I was growing up . . .now as I watch them, a half century later, holding hands ,  united in heart and spirit, throughout all seasons, I understand, finally, that they have never been ordinary people.  They were always great people, doing the  ordinary things,  life called for.   

It seems  as if I under estimate, most everything.

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Happy Birthday Brant & A Lesson from a Willow


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The last few days have flown by like a “whirlwind”.  When “the dust settled”. children had graduated and a closing ceremony, concluded the school year.  I headed straight away to Elizabeth City, for  Jenny has a lot more on her plate than usual.   . .besides, I never turn down a chance, to see my children and grandchildren and will traipse headlong , at the drop of a hat. But, Jenny has two appointments this week and has to pack for a week at the beach.  She must bring linens, towels, kitchen necessities and toys, besides clothes and toiletries, for their week by the sea.

The weather feels like September!  The humidity is so low, that a neighbor informed us the records have been broken.  This allows the “laughing river” to turn that beautiful shade of indigo.  With the lawns being an emerald green just now, the village, is a lovely sight altogether.  One day, I took Lyla and Brynn on a long stroll in a double stroller.  Brynn sat up and took note of everything.  It was a windy day, and we all loved it.  Everything is blooming.  We stopped under a magnolia tree, just to drink in the scent of the saucer size blossoms.  Not long after we stopped again, in our tracks, on the sidewalk, for the wind was filled with the smell of the Cape Jasmine .  We stood there and let the wind blow around us, til we had the notion to move on. Lyla learned about hydrangeas, this day, for most every yard has one.  A kind lady was working in her yard and gave us several for a bouquet.   What a lovely day! 

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Baby Brynn had a doctors’ appointment one day.  While she and Jenny attended that, Lyla and I went to “The Recycled Reader”  which was just a few shoppes down.  Book stores  are one place I like to shop.  Now, regular readers know, that I am on a mission, to live with less . . .still I bought THIRTEEN books, this day.  Most were for others.  I found a “Black Beauty” book, for young children actually using Sewells’ original words and illustrated beautifully.   I am quite a snob when it comes to books for my grandchildren.   I just will not tolerate poor quality in books, and most especially for children. I shutter at the watered down version of the classics and the cartoonish quality of many.   I also found two for my future grandson-also well written .    I found a book for Jenny and one for Will and several for me from the “Covington Series”.  What a jackpot for meas these books are hard to find.  Lyla enjoyed herself as much as I did.  I have a feeling, we will go again, shortly. . .and carry a bigger bag!

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Friday was Brants’ birthday.  Brant is my oldest child and he is the one expecting his own first child. . .my first grandson.  He and Sydney are in the mountains, on vacation, so we had to make due with a phone call.  Brant is a beautiful human inside and out.  He is far from shallow and is as compassionate a soul as I know of. If this sounds like bragging . . it is because I am.  He has never lived anywhere, that his  neighbors (especially the seniors), did not love him.  Children too – and dogs.  There is  just something about Brant.  Of course, I adore my children, but I have valid reasons to do so.  . .and Brant is one of them.

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Friday was the day of packing.  The car was cleaned out and strollers were scrubbed down.  It was a full days’ work.   Lyla and I did manage to get in a visit with Miss Thelma.  We carried flowers and cookies and Lyla recited her poems.  Miss Thelma just lost her husband, last week, whom she refers to, “as her best friend for eighty years”.  Her only son passed  a few years back, so how tragic.  I hope to spend many hours with her this summer, for I have come to love Miss Thelma, and am quite distressed about her situation. 

 Lately, it seems a lot of sadness has plagued  our family.  I can scarce recover from one thing, til it seems another has sprang up.  What a toll it takes.   Sometimes, I feel like I have been in a perpetual state of mourning, for quite a spell.   My grandmama used to say, “There is ALWAYS something to worry you . .if you let it .”   (My elders used the word “worry” when they meant “bother”.) She was right.   

One of the truest test, life offers, is what to do with “bother”.  It is a skill that will be required by all of us and I am convinced, may be one of our most significant factors, in our overall happiness . . .and our health.  I sat on the porch swing, Friday night and wondered about all of it. I admit, that life had been going smoothly, for me for a long stretch and I grew accustomed to that.  The next thing I know, is that one thing after another unfolded, resulting in loss of loved ones, doors slamming on hopes and threatening circumstances, for several of my dearest ones.  I am not at liberty to “tell all” just now, but rest assured, I am not exaggerating.  I am in the proverbial “rough patch” and “things could always get worse” does not comfort me one iota, for yes, I believe  it!   . . .and meanwhile, the eyes of my children are upon me- and I realise, that I am still “teaching them” – about what to do with “bother”. 

I sat on the swing, when the village was quiet, and there was no sign “of man”, for a while, sorting out each care – as if I would come up with solutions.  I found myself to be quite dull, at such a task and decided to just “Be still” -as it is written. This is much easier, said, than done.  

Saturday morning dawned cool and bright. The very first thought, that I had was “to just love everybody”.  How odd, I thought, for such a thing to pop in your head upon awakening!  I could not recall a single dream, but somehow, the idea rang true and I felt it deeply stirring within my heart.  I had no explanation for it, for I doubted any conditions had changed over night, but I could not deny feeling more peaceful, than I had in a fortnight. . .that had changed.  My concerns were still intact, but I felt more able to bear them.  Love seemed especially powerful -and enough. 

I  gently got out of bed, so as not to wake Lyla.  I sat on the front porch again – and listened to the robins chattering, as they fed their young.  Somewhere a mimosa bloomed, for it made its’ presence known in the morning breeze.  The willow swayed gracefully, giving in to the desire of the wind.  It was like watching poetry.   . . a natural choreography . . as is so often found in nature.   

When I grow up, I want to be like that willow.

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In Good Company & Happy Birthday Sydney


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On Monday, the sale of the rabbitpatch, fell through.  It was disappointing,to say the least.  The thing I had going for me, was experience, this time around.  In December, the deal was off, just two days before closing.  It was a horrible shock at the time and dampened my spirits considerably – and right before Christmas.  Well, I carried on with high hopes, for the coming spring.

Though, I was better prepared, this time, I can say,  there was not an absence of some melancholy.  I had not even put the house on the market, when a prospective buyer approached me.  In all honesty, both of us thought it would work out.  

Lest, anyone think, that I spend all of my life, watching sparrows and talking to trees, I want you to know, that such things were not on my mind, that day.  I shed a few quiet tears and then I got grumpy.  Of course, all sorts of noble thoughts kept popping in my head.  “It was not the right time” -“the best is yet to come” and on and on.  I dismissed them all, for I needed to mourn. I wanted to mourn.  I was frustrated and felt stranded.   It was not my best moment.

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I went out to say good night to the world, despite my poor behavior.  The pine trees were whispering and a dove cooed sweetly.  A pair of young rabbits were frolicking in the star shine, like all was well.  

I woke early on Tuesday.  It was a cool morning . The sweet country air came through the open window . . . and a mockingbird sang.  The realization of the “failed attempt” washed over me again, with a slighter sting, than the day before.  Every verse, I knew about trust and faith sprang up in my thoughts, while I prepared for work.  This annoyed me, to no end.

On a brighter note, it was Sydneys’ birthday. Dear Sydney glowing and so content    – so full of hope and joy as she awaits the birth of her little son.  . .and my first grandson.  What a beautiful time it is for all of us. Few times are sweeter than waiting for a baby, I think.  Everything else, I was thinking about started to pale in comparison, to that.

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I wish I could say that I abandoned my gloomy thoughts, but I did not feel a conclusion for a while.  Really, I just wanted a direction to follow.  I came to doubt the whole business.  I wondered how a path that seemed laid before me, would be so hindered.  Of course, I thought that maybe the “timing” was off.  I pondered it all til I was weary of it.  That is when, things got suddenly clear.  It occurred to me, that  I either trusted . . or I didn’t.  It was as simple as that. . . I decided to trust. 

Later, I laughed at myself, for acting as if selling a house- or not, could have caused such an internal commotion .  What a big and unnecessary  production!   In my defense, though . . .this has gone on for a while and there are plenty more details, I am not yet at liberty, to tell.  Not one of them is small, either. 

 I have no idea, how I will continue to manage this territory -or how I will pay for it.  The house and property are bigger than they used to be and like me . . .older.  I still deeply desire a smaller rabbitpatch,   but for now,  I will trust in this winding journey with its, “blind spots” and twists, after all, I am not going it, alone.  I needn’t even be brave, I just have to trust.

Dear Friends of the Rabbitpatch, I write this in hope that  your own disappointments will be few . . but also knowing they are as certain as rain, to come along on occasion.  At such times, we are bound to falter . . .as I did . . and make mountains of molehills . . . as I did.  Should anyone find themselves, in such circumstances, I did not want them to feel lonesome .  I have a fair share of short comings . .  .but at least I am in “Good Company” as I go along.  The truth is . . .We all are.

 

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A Birthday, Biscuits and Books


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Temperatures have been rising steadily . . .til now it is hot.  Even the steady breeze is too warm to afford any comfort.  There hasn’t been a drop of rain in a fortnight, and so the lilies are complaining along with the roses.  The grass at the rabbitpatch hasn’t grown an inch, since my neighbor, Susan mowed it two weeks ago.  What a saint Susan is!

 With “summer weather” showing up early, we cut the air conditions on, in the old farmhouse.  This is dreadfully early for such measures, but the hateful southern humidity is just  an unbearable heritage.  The forecast calls for rain and cooler temps in the next few days, so hopefully, this is a short lived affair.

A pleasant thing happened on Thursday.  Tres came home!  He is here for just a few days, but long enough for me to make a supper and for  Mama to make his favorite cake.  We had a small belated birthday celebration at Mama and Daddys’.  And in the midst of it, rain came.  It was really a quick thunderstorm, but we were all happy about it.  Cool air came with it and what a difference that made. I drove back to the rabbitpatch at dusk, when fireflies were on the wing.  What a pretty picture it made, to see their flickering shine in the evening mist.  I came home and cut that air conditioner off.

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If things had been different, I would have taken Friday off.  Tres had spent the night, after all.  

Friday passed quickly.  I left just after school, for Elizabeth City.  The sky was a threatening shade of blue and now and then a shower fell for a mile or so.  The young corn, in the fields held their blades tight, for this is the way, corn begs for rain.  

Along the way, my friend Rae called.  Rae and I have been friends for more than thirty years, which shocks me to think about.  When a friendship endures for that long,  you really “understand” one another, deeply.  Several years ago, Raes’ whole life changed in a flash.   First, her job ended – and a month later, her husband died , suddenly.  Both of her sons had recently married and so Rae was a widow, dealing with an empty nest, all at once. . .and no job to distract her.  I am sure those were the bleakest years, for her.  Still, my friend trudged on, til today, when she called to say she was married … . .and happily.  I smiled the whole way to Elizabeth City.

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Not  too long, after I arrived at the Riverside Village, by the “laughing river”, a thunderstorm struck.  Lyla and I listened to the storm, safely snuggled in bed.   Like me, Lyla loves rain-and a thunderstorm.

The next morning, was quite cool, such a shock from the last week.  There were morning showers, but by noon, the sun was shining.  It was as lovely day, as I have ever seen.  Will and Jenny were attending a downtown festival and so the bright day was perfect, for that.  I had a stroll planned for Lyla and Brynn, but alas, Lyla fell asleep and just before she woke, so did Brynn.

On Sunday morning, I made biscuits for breakfast.  With the cool weather, lingering, Will and I sat on the porch. Somehow, we started talking about books.  Both of us agreed, that with all of the modern ways to read, holding a book and turning the pages, remains our favorite form, of the pastime.  Our favorite books, sit on our shelves, and become like old friends , over the years.  I will read a good book more than once.

Back, when I was young, and the world was safer, Mama would drop my sister and I off at the local library, while she shopped for groceries.  Delores and I took the library as serious business, and observed the quiet policy, and we were very careful to return books to the correct place on the shelves.  After we had checked out our selections, we would wait for Mama under the huge magnolia trees, just outside the door of the library, reading our books.  To this day, the innocence  of those happy days, moves me to tears.

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Lyla and I carried Miss Thelma  some biscuits while they were still warm.  After a short visit, Lyla and I headed to the grocery.  This was to be a short visit, and though I knew this full well, I dreaded leaving.  The time had gone cruelly fast, but I consoled myself that I would be afforded greater liberty soon.

I left in a light rain that quickly turned to a blinding rain.  When it started hailing, I turned back.  It was a  short but perilous journey.  The crashing hail was deafening and I couldn’t  see but an arms’ length, beyond me.    

 

 

 

Willows and Robins …and Apples, Too!


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The days of late spring, continue to come and go in the most delightful fashion.  It is a bit warmer, now, but in the absence of humidity, it is a pleasant thing to be outside.  Right now, the rabbitpatch territory is tidy  and full of blooms.  It is highly likely, to see the wild rabbits now, scampering about in the evening. .  .and the birds sing nonstop.  Foxglove blooms in odd places and I am glad of it.  The elderberry joins the ranks of the foxglove, claiming  any available  spot on the territory.

I love neat lawns that look tended, for they look loved, but too  much tending and then the place looks too controlled, to suit me.  As much as I can, I let “nature take its’ course” – of course,  this does not apply to the greedy thorned vines nor poison ivy, that I do battle with regularly.  Yet I also love rambling roses, that spill carelessly  on the lawn and flowering bushes with flowing tendrils, left to their  own devices.  

I left right after school on Friday, for Elizabeth City. I had not been there for a several weeks.  First one thing and then another had come up.  It was a beautiful day to drive and the highway  traffic was light for a holiday weekend.

I drove past the sprawling fields , now a tender shade of green.  “Queen Annes’ Lace”  was blooming all along the roadside and so were the wild day lilies.  I love an arrangement of the two.  When paired, neither look like mere, roadside flowers. The three rivers I cross sparkled enough, to rival a large cluster of diamonds. The highway, now familiar, offered all sorts of beautiful tokens.

Of course, there was a sweet reunion, when I walked in the back door, of Jennys’ home.  No one is ever as glad to see me, as Lyla.   She ran down the stairs calling out “Honeybee!”  Little Brynn did wave and smile sweetly, tucked safe in her mothers’ arms.  What a beautiful baby she is.  The old fashion word “bonnie” comes to mind and just suits her.

 That night, agendas were made.  Projects for Jenny and I, like cleaning out the pantry.  Lyla and I would make a strawberry cake, and visit with Miss Thelma, besides stories and “lessons”, for I always have a few “up my sleeve”.  Lyla especially loves poetry.

On Saturday, Lyla and I went to the grocery, for she was especially anxious to make the cake.  When Lyla and I shop for groceries, I do not rush hastily as is my usual practice.  Instead, we gather each of the produce items,  and I always have Lyla find them.  Next, is the bakery section.  We look at all the decorated cakes, leisurely.  Then, the fresh cut bouquets, which Lyla always checks for  sleepy fairies and on we go, til at last we have completed the list.  Lyla is always very concerned if we buy anything that is not on her mamas’ list.

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We made the cake that very day and made strawberry whipped creme, too.  While we worked in the kitchen, I played, Duettino Sull ‘ Aria, which I declare  is one of the most beautiful pieces ever written.  Lyla loved it, and so did little Brynn, in her high chair.

We carried some of the cake, to Miss Thelma, who was sitting on her porch, watching birds.At ninety three, Miss Thelma remains “sharp as a tack”.  She taught school for over thirty years and I am certain, that her students were “happy little larks”, for Miss Thelma is a gentle and loving soul.  Lyla loves to recite her poetry, for Miss Thelma for Miss Thelma showers her with praise and declares her “bright”.

Sunday was Tres’ birthday.  It is always odd to me, when one of my children have a birthday, and I am not with them.  It matters little to me, that they are all grown.  I always remember their birth and the details surrounding it, on their birthdays.  I suppose all mothers do.  I did get to talk to Tres. He had spent the day doing school work and had at least, scored 100 on a calculus exam.   . .and yes  -I am bragging,  without shame, for I am a fan!  I always have been.

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One day, Jenny and I did get the pantry cleaned out and reorganized.  That was a huge mess.  On that same day, Will and Jenny both wanted a banana pudding.  We had a special supper planned as well.  We ended up inviting Brooks and Mandy, and daughter Riley, to join us.  Mandy is the one who started a florist business called “Pansy & Ivy”, which ended up being a sweet success.  I still remember her first arrangement.  It was lovely and a far cry above the usual.  Mandy seemed to be a natural and her face nearly glowed.  When she left, I told Jenny, “There is someone who has found her passion.” . . .and I was right. 

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Another day, and I say that for I lost track of the days, Jenny and I organized the nursery and made plans to go through Brynns’ clothes, again.  It will not be the grand effort it was, a few months ago.  I can scarce believe that “Baby Brynn” is now crawling, waving and standing! But she proved it this week end by getting out of her cradle, on her own!  What a shock it was for all of us!  I suspect that cradle will be passed along to Brant and Sydney, shortly, for their little son, due in September.

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There were many bright moments, during my visit, but one I hold especially dear.  Early one morning, Lyla and I were sitting on the front porch swing.  It was a beautiful morning with a slight breeze that made the willow dance gracefully.  Lyla awakes full of chatter and this day, she wanted me to tell a story about “Gypsy”, a naughty doll in our saga.  I somehow, convinced Lyla, that surely Gypsy was still sleeping, for I’d  had but a bit of coffee. I also said how good it was for us, to just sit quietly sometimes.  So, she did.

A few minutes later, she slipped her little hand in mine, though she sat as still as a mouse, and said “I want to talk to Jesus.”  She meant,  that she wanted me to pray . . .and so I did.  We prayed in thanksgiving for robins and willow trees and Lyla chimed in with “and apples”.  Next she said “all the old people” and then “all the   babies, most especially Brynn and her future cousin”- She next added “all of the Japanese children’, for she is learning a song in Japanese.  Well, a lot of the world got blessed that morning at our “early service”.    I know for certain, that I was.

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Happy Birthday Tres

 

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Under the Flower Moon


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I do not believe, I have ever seen a more beautiful spring, for this one lingers.  Mostly, a southern spring is a few weeks of pleasant weather and then it is hot and full of humidity.  Not so, this year.  The whole week has hosted days filled with sunshine and nights just cool enough for a light blanket.  The mornings warrant a light sweater.  Birds sing day and night.  . .and now the magnolia blooms, lending a sweet fragrance to the air. Rain has tapered to an occasional shower, making each day, the perfect day for a picnic.

It remains busier than usual at school.  The grand event, of the dances from around the world, is tomorrow and so that will lighten my duties, considerably. There are mere weeks left in the school year anyway.  I tell myself, that someday soon, I will read  books again and think about things like geraniums and curtains.   , ,and on some morning, maybe a Tuesday, I will stroll with my grandchildren. by the laughing river. These are  the kind of things, I hope for.

The contents of a life have great variation.  What satisfies one person, seems dull to another and unfulfilling.  Even a single lifetime varies from one season to another.  What was once necessary, no longer is. What was once sought, is no longer desired. Our needs change and our values may as well.   Sometimes, we must broaden our former thoughts and sometimes, we may need to  use greater precision.   Hopefully, we refine our lives as we go along and discard accordingly, else our own authenticity may be hidden from plain sight.  I have often wondered if finding our own truth, and daring to live it, may be the quest of mankind.  What if it really were as simple as that? 

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On Friday, the day dawned bright.  The forecast promised  ideal weather for the open air program.  Since, one of the dances, featured a may pole, this was especially good news.  I spent the whole day consumed in details and answering questions.  It was more exhausting, than dancing with the children.  . .and a lot less fun.  

The program was held in the evening, just as the sun hung low on the horizon.  Every class performed exceptionally well and so I went home “as happy as a lark”.

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Daybreak on Saturday, was a far cry from the cool dawns of the past  week days.  All of my bragging about the spectacular weather, must cease now, as the temperatures have risen to “about hot” and is expected to remain so, from here on.  In this case, I packed the rest of the blankets away, today.  The prospective buyer, who has seen the house before, is coming this week-maybe tomorrow.  I have been in a state of limbo, for such a long while, that I  am used to it. Of course, it would be wonderful if the thing works out, but if it doesn’t . . .well there are worse things, than living on this rabbitpatch.  Up until a few short years ago, you couldn’t “have moved me with a shovel”!  When ever, the affair, is over, I will write about the “accident” that landed me here, in the first place. . . (and by “accident” I mean, “Divine Intervention”).

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Will and Jenny came in town for a birthday celebration.  They met me at my parents’ house, to drop the little girls off.  Brant and Sydney were with them, and so there was a “short, but sweet” reunion for me. Sydney  is “fairly glowing”  these days.  Being “with child” agrees with her.   It has been several long weeks, since I have seen Lyla and Brynn, which is way too long for any of us. It nearly melted my heart, to hear Lyla call out “Honeybee!” and dive in to my arms. Brynn, was a bit unsure, but managed to smile, when I started  to sing, “You are my Sunshine”.  

Mama showed Lyla a bird nest, full of baby robins.  What a pretty picture, they made, walking “hand -in hand”  in the long slanted rays of  late day sunshine.  Later, there was “hide and seek” and then supper.  Brynn was growing less tolerant and finally, she cried.  No amount of swinging or singing consoled  her.  Brynn wanted her mama, and no one else would do.  Mama built a tower of wooden blocks, and Brynn did hush and  watch  intently.  In moments, Jenny walked in and all was well with Brynn,  again, at that moment. 

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I drove home under the “Flower Moon”, –   whose name has a lovely ring to it.  There it was, above the fields like a golden lantern, shining its’ light on all peoples, animal wild and tame, wildflowers and fancy roses . . .old trees and saplings, alike.  Oh, if we were all as generous as that dear “Flower Moon”!  

Dear Rabbitpatch Diary- I am grateful for nests of baby birds and magnolias . . and days fit for picnics. and . . . the light of a blue moon.

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A Silver Spoon


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The Sunday, that we call  Mothers’ Day, began with a light rain.  I slept a bit later, because of that.  Few things are as pleasant, as waking to rain, and no place to have to go. 

Tres had called last night, and we had a long deep conversation.  We talked about all sorts of things from “the state of the nation” to the Bible , the environment and current research in medicines . . .and space.  We talked about Einstein, too-well we talked for a while.  A conversation with Tres, is never dull.  He will call again today with warm greetings, as he can not come home.  At least, he is finished with school, for a short time.

Christian had to work today.  Will and Jenny are on a vacation.  Kyle is away and so my holiday , will be with Brant and Christian, when Christian gets out of the “rat race”.  We decided to eat at home, as I can not bear the thought of any restaurant on Mothers’ Day.  It is the worst day of the year, I know of, to eat out.  Besides, I will take any chance I can get, to cook for my children.

In light of all this, the morning was calm and quiet at the rabbitpatch. I took full advantage of the lack of duties.  I knew full well, that a lot of folks were already busy preparing for gatherings, but I did not envy them one bit.  It soothed me deeply to have a morning lacking details.  Certainly, I am all for, celebrating our mothers,  and I suppose that I would be singing a different tune, if my clan was all able to get here. 

Rest assured I consider, motherhood, one of the most sacred states, that this life offers.  For me, being a mother, has been the blessing, that I hold most dear.  . .and  I will be the first to say, that having a good mother is sterling . . . I ought to know, as my own mother is just that. 

My mothers’ generation did not lament over the work of raising children and running a home.  Mama  never “announced” the almost daily sacrifices she made,   nor  “denying her own dreams” to be a mother. Truthfully, I do not believe she considered, putting her childrens’ needs first, a sacrifice and I think being a mother, may have been her dream.  I admit, I agree with her.  Mama made being a mother, “a valuable contribution, to this earth” and one to take seriously. It is hard for me to think of a more noble endeavor, myself.  After all, what does it matter if we own a kingdom, or rule a dynasty, if our children are spending a childhood in the shadows of such accomplishments?    

Motherhood is a complicated affair, and no matter how  and the decade we do it, it takes the wisdom of Solomon and the patience of Job.  Parents, must be a “jack of all trades” and today, more than ever, maybe.  There is an overload of  available information, that convinces us , we are bound to do something wrong.  Unfortunately,   many families are often not even in close proximity, any longer, and so young parents,  are without the  constant and vital support of previous generations.    Things like fevers, and teething, poison ivy and bee stings   take a toll, on young shoulders.   . .and that is only the beginning.  

When our children are little, we are far busier than we will ever be again.  We do our best to teach them to become independent.  We are consumed, in those early years, with the numerous details that go along with the days. Then, the children really do grow up . . .and it seems, in a flash!   Suddenly, there are less settings at the table and the laundry is more manageable.  Bedrooms are cleaned and stay that way. Now mothers have to adjust, to that.  The once, constant activity slows  now, and so mothers get still, so everyone else can move.  It has always been this way .  Some things do not change. Some things really are the same, every where.   Motherhood, is an understanding, that could bind women, from every continent, from every way of life, together.

No matter, how times have changed, no matter how circumstances are presently, the thing that remains, that covers us all, is love,  and that is the greatest inheritance we can bestow, upon our children.   I have said it before, but it bears repeating . .and remembering . . “If you were born, to a good mother, then  “you were born with a silver spoon in your mouth.” 

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