Somewhere North of the Moon


There is a place, I  imagined and I go there often-everybody ought to.  I call it “Somewhere North of the Moon” and you can get to it from anywhere.

My niece graduated from High School,  a few days ago.  That is quite a milestone. . . and there are many more to come.  During the ceremony,  I began sending her wishes for a beautiful journey and of course, they weren’t ordinary wishes.  I will not spend a wish on such things .  The things that have mattered to me most came about without any grand effort on my part-and I have quite a collection that I have stored just north of the moon.  They can’t be stored on shelves or in closets and they have  certainly never showed up in my bank accounts-but they are very real and my heart remembers them clearly and calls upon them about daily.  I wished those things for her too.

I looked at my niece and remembered making a lot of cakes with her.  She helped me paint the barns at the rabbit patch and climbed in to places I couldn’t,  to find their secrets . We watched old black and white movies together.  Once we took a midnight stroll around the rabbit patch.  The account of all this is alive and well-just north of the moon.

I am a lot further on my journey than my niece is on her’s.  One thing I am completely sure of is , the road can take a turn you didn’t see coming and a bridge may be washed out along the way.  I ended up at the rabbit patch on account of such things.  Sometimes there’s a good long stretch of easy going and that may be shocking too.  No matter what you do and how carefully you plan,  the truth is things work out like they ought to.  After a lot of vain attempts and  sometimes  the “luck of the Irish”   along the way, I can declare with my whole heart it’s going to take some Faith.  You might start out without it, but you’re going to end up with it, more likely than not.  I have needed it to get around those washed out bridges- and to stand steadfast on shaky ground  and  at such times,  it is Faith ” that has made all the difference.”

I have a lot of beautiful things that I have come acrossed so far and  most of those things presented themselves in broad daylight.   Some events have  seemed a disappointment at first sight.  It took the moonlight to see their beauty.

I have been working on another Sunday dinner as I write this-and rain is falling again.  I listened to the “water music” while I peeled fresh peaches.  I washed young cabbages while the baby chattered with her sweet voice.  I thought of the roses and hydrangeas blooming in the yard.  What a pretty arrangement they will make for the table, I thought.  I sent all of that somewhere north of the moon where my redbirds , roses and wild violets  are kept- along with the way my mama touched my hand after  the graduation, when we said goodnight.  It all went north-somewhere north of the moon.


                                          Go well, and live happily ever after










A Spring to Remember

Happy Birthday Tres

There is a birthday in the rabbit patch today.  Children grow up-I can prove it. I have five-and they all did just that.  My son, Tres is thirty one years old today-but I remember a time before now, when he was a child and I was young.

I was quite determined that my children would grow up just a bit uncivilized-and they did.  It was easy to accomplish this those days ago-before computers were in every home. Nobody had cable.  Most ball games were organized in a back yard or an empty field, by the children.  Who ever showed up got to play regardless of age or ability.  It was an uncomplicated time and I remain glad of that.

We read a lot of books and raised a lot of animals.  We walked many miles through wooded paths and watched meteor showers on blankets in the yard, no matter how odd the hour.  They all learned to play the violin and memorized poetry-still, my heart remembers.

I watched them play and predicted their futures by it.  Mostly I have been right.  Tres was my analytical child who sought answers.  He works in research today.  When he comes home to the old farmhouse on the rabbit patch, he immediately assesses what repair needs to be done next.  Now I listen to him about how to proceed.  This is the way Tres loves.

I will not see Tres today.  These days we celebrate on whatever day we can get together.  How it came to this still shocks me .  How does twenty years slip by?  It seems impossible, but it did. ” It s mystery to me” as my grandmama would say.

I think it may have been all those details that come with raising children, that confused me. I reckon there’s a cello waiting for me to play it-and a canvas waiting for me to paint it and I console myself with such notions.  I have some good friends, and we have good plans.  There is the inspiration of the rabbit patch that speaks to me with sweet thoughts.. .and there is Lyla, soon to be rambling in woods and learning to recite poetry by heart.  This is a good time too and I am glad of it.

I will think of these things when I say goodnight to the rabbit patch later on tonight.  I will speak of my “great expectations” under the millions of stars I have been seeing-and I will remember a spring from a long while back- and  with a grateful heart.   Happy Birthday, to my Tres.



Strawberry Bread Pudding

  1. I take the basic bread pudding recipe and add strawberries, when in season.  We like raisins and cinnamon in the fall.



          2 eggs                                                                                                                                                                      1/2 cup sugar                                                                                                                                                       1 2/3 cups milk                                                                                                                                      about 2 cups bread crumbled in to bite size pieces * I use old biscuits, but any stale bread would do.

Beat eggs and add sugar,milk:  fold in bread – Pour in a buttered pan and bake at 350 for 25-30 min.  If you are adding fruit, fold it in with the bread. I cut my fruit up in small pieces.

I bet bananas would be good, too. It is quite good without any fruit-and especially good when you share it with a loved one.

7e13f344ad5a8b1ac4040762a3041091*From the “Roses and Strawberries” post.

On Any Given Sunday


Sunday does not pass in the same fashion as the other days-at least it doesn’t at the rabbit patch. All other days have their schedules and obligations of how I spend my life and Saturdays are often unpredictable occasions.  Chores around the rabbit patch can vary greatly on a Saturday-but on any given Sunday, I celebrate.  

A celebration does not have to be an “all out affair”.   I begin my celebrating at my “morning table” with Cash and Christopher Robin dreaming close by and totally unaware that I am singing their praises at the sight of them.  I am glad for them and make it known.  I do my best to remember all of the beautiful things that happened the past week. Conversations with my children are remembered and tucked in my heart for safe keeping.  I am glad for my parents and feel privileged that they are my own.

I keep a close eye on “Sunday Dinner” lest I get too caught up celebrating.  This past week I was especially happy because my daughter, Jenny was coming with “the baby” and my newest son,-her husband, Will.  This Sunday, the table would be full.  I was cooking and celebrating like my life depended on it-because in some way it does.  I put the biscuits in the oven just before twelve and sent Kyle out to gather roses.  

There was plenty of food-all slow cooked as it ought to be on Sundays.  The table was pretty too and fit for a Sunday dinner.  I made an upside down apple cake for dessert and was proud of that-but Lyla stole the show anyway.  I know everybody thinks their grandchildren are just perfect-but mine really is!  She is beautiful and very bright.  Lyla is a loving child and I am convinced was kissed by fairies before I became her “Honeybee”- well that would explain the magic she brings.

When everybody left and the kitchen was quiet, I began sorting out the aftermath of the event.  I washed the dishes and sang while I did it.  I thought about redbirds – I had seen a lot of them this past week.  I was glad I had roses to give mama and extra cake for daddy.  A friend dear to my heart for a long while, Janet had given me pillows with rabbits on them!  Another dear friend, Rae would be returning from a week long trip- I had missed her!  Friends ought to be celebrated.  The next thing you know, the kitchen was clean and I was eating my own piece of the cake made with fresh apples and caramel.

I went out and saw that the foxglove  was celebrating too.  Lilies were joining in like a chorus to an old song.  I heard some blackbirds arguing in a pine and wondered  what they had to quarrel about.  

It does me good to turn my thoughts to the rabbit patch often .  It does me good to celebrate often too.  How i spend my time, is how I spend my life and it makes me live deliberately when I think of that perspective of things.  I have found it a pleasant task to ” consider  the lilies” and to “look at the birds of the air”.  It makes no sense to me  to give so much attention to the complications of  the world and  ignore the genuine and authentic beauty in an ordinary life.  The answer to the worlds’ commotion might just be to remember the goodness of the week on any given Sunday.


The First Part of the Day


The first part of the day on a Saturday morning is a favorite time of mine.  I “rise and shine” everyday and wait for the morning light.  Every day feels like it’s my birthday, when I get up early.  I love the changing light.  Its’s an old and familiar magic-and nothing less.

The time of very early morning slips away dependably too quick for me.   I love to spend some time hoping for the best- and wondering what that will be.  It is a time to send prayers and best wishes to the world. I remember the reasons I have to be glad about.  This is the shine after the rise.

When I linger too long in sleep,  I feel like I robbed myself of something beautiful-truthfully that is exactly what happens.  Those days start with a hurry, which  I have decided is unhealthy and ought to be avoided .  All day long I miss my lost time at my morning table with its’ books, coffee in a china cup, journals and favorite pens.  That table is neatly piled with things that I love- And on Saturday mornings I spend a good deal of time there.

This morning, I am glad for Magnolia trees.  They are already showing off this year!  I walk by a row of them daily.  They are young trees.  I have been noticing their dear-to-my-heart blossoms in the highest branches.  I have smelled the fragrance that makes me stop in my tracks to breathe it in deeply.  A young friend of mine, Melissa spotted a flower on a lower branch, yesterday and invited me to go with her for a closer look and of course I did.  It was a lovely thing to do and I considered it time well-spent.

Finally, my “Mothers Day  Rose” is blooming.  It is really a pink ladybank rose, but it faithfully has bloomed on Mothers’Day for as long as I remember, until this year.  It is too beautiful for me to complain about that, though.  When the little pink roses hang about a picket fence and spill on to the grass of the “Quiet Garden” I feel like singing an out of season “Joy to the World”!

I plan “Sunday Dinner” on the first part of the day, on Saturdays.  Tomorrow will be an especially nice one  as Mama, daddy, and my  daughter, Jenny is coming with my son-in-heart, Will and our Lyla.  Lyla is just one. Lyla was born on an Easter sunday, which is a big factor in the “rabbitpatch” naming.  She calls me “Honeybee” because of a silly song I made up to make her laugh.  She says “Bee” with a french accent of sorts and it is adorable!  I will show her the Ladybanks  in all its’ glory tomorrow.

I heard a beautiful family story this week.  I wrote about my great-grandmother recently and how her husband died young and suddenly.  She was left with four children and a farm in a time void  of any organized social assistance-but she got some anyway.  As it turns out, the situation was as dire as I had imagined and it came the time that the farm was to be auctioned off.  Mama Hodges had lost her husband, and now she was losing the farm.  When the day of the foreclosure dawned, she and all the farmers in “Old Ford” turned up at the courthouse.  Not one farmer would bid.  They had made a pact that they would stand united on her behalf.  Mama Hodges bought her farm back for $1.00.  The compassion of those farmers did not last just that day.  Their nobility meant something for four generations.  This happened around 1940.  For four generations, that was our Mama Hodges’s house-the house known for its’ daffodils and  where Christmas came every year and called us all home. 

Beauty has many sorts of forms.  In the first part of the day I think about that- and my heart is grateful for  things like ladybanks roses and magnolias, for Sunday dinners with loved ones -and  an old story about a young widow and some noble men who conspired together to become heroes.


I Remember

3ec30cddb619150761cd65733d65ef1bThe rabbit patch is wet and full of mud.  The air is damp and the garden is not fit for man nor beast-On these  kind of days,  I like to remember.

I talked to my cousin, Faith, last night. I don’t have much of any memory before Faith.  She is just a bit older than me and so has been there all of my life. Faith grew up in a full house-a house full of my cousins. My favorite childhood memories include the big fancy farmhouse with the huge kitchen she grew up in.  Her mom, my great Aunt Agnes was always in that kitchen.  The kitchen table was huge and the folks around it were loud .  Aunt Agnes had made a name for herself as a fine cook.  Her recipes are still used today and we declare they are the best every time we have them.  She made the pickles in the family each July.  Her house would smell like vinegar for days.  There would be huge  vats sitting around with concoctions known only to her.  I was always glad when she was through with that.  She wore perfume and played the piano like she was born knowing how-ragtime music and hymns.  Faith can too, though she wouldn’t admit it.  

Mama Hodges, was Aunt Agnes’s mom, and my mother’s grandmama. Mama Hodges was old when I was born, and lived til i had my first child.  She was old a long time.  She lost her husband as a young woman and wore black dresses or black and white gingham, every day til she died about forty years later.  Her house stayed “hot enough to cure tobacco” year round.  She made pound cakes on a regular basis-the kitchen always smelled like one. She raised her four children and a grand daughter too. None of us kids acted up in her sight.  We did not “disturb the peace” at her house as we were prone to do when we got home.  My sister Delores and I sat in that heat on Tuesday mornings without interrupting the adults nor getting up til we were told we could sit on the porch.  Mama had told us that elves lived there and she had seen them, so that helped us out on those long mornings.

There was a brother and sister that lived right by Mama Hodges, John and Dephie.  John made homemade wine . He gave me my first violin.  Miss Delphie crocheted things for babies and could make flower arrangements from things growing on a ditchbank.  Faith talked back to her once and got in big trouble.

Sometimes, Cousin Tillie would send a letter full of details about her travels.  She had quite a bit of status because she was seeing the world . It didn’t bother me one bit, that my world was just a few miles wide.  There was the Church, the A&P and people like Faith, so I was content.  

We had stories too.  It turns out my own Grandmama had saved the lives of all her siblings once.  They were on their way to school, when the horse pulling the buggy got spooked and ran like the devil was after him past the school and only God knows where else.  Grandmama was a little girl-but she climbed on to that horse and changed his mind!  That’s a story!  It made me fearful of making her mad when I heard it.

My own mama had a story.  Once when she was little, she snatched on my grandma’s china cabinet door and ended up pulling the whole thing over!  The precious china must have made an awful racket, shattering and breaking up in the little house-and at just that moment, God sent the preacher in the back door.  I am sure he saved her life.  Thank goodness he had the good sense to stay awhile til things settled down.  That must have been mighty hard on Grandmama.

I remember these things now on days like today. This is where I came from.  These are  people I remember .  They had dreams when they were young too.  I could not imagine that as a child.  Now I wonder how Mama Hodges felt, becoming a young widow -suddenly, and left with four children and a farm.  I wonder what Aunt Agnes thought about when she was washing dishes all afternoon.  I think about miss Delphie making baby clothes for everybody but herself.  When i consider all of it, then I have a sense of pride and courage.  I knew these people.  They were real and they all had a story-and I vow all over again, that I will remember.



The Church in the Wildwood

c1936acfac4b74957f2d3147fefe9d5fMostly, days at the rabbit patch pass in an ordinary fashion.  I am content with this as I love all things familiar.  The world and the habits of humans change by the minute, but the rabbit patch remains constant.  The “way” of the rabbit patch is timeless and unhindered by  how the world measures progress.  There is no status in the rabbit patch either.  Wealth, prestige and power are not valued on its’ holy ground.  The rabbit patch is my ” church in the wildwood” that I sang about as a child.

A dear friend, Jo Dee, came to Sunday dinner . We drank tea in fancy  glasses and talked freely about whatever came up. We have “no fences” between us.  Our hearts are “open books”.    We ate chicken and rice at a kitchen table yet I do not believe that royalty dines any better than we did this past Sunday-at that time I was every bit as wealthy as anybody.  

On Monday, I had car problems.  I drive an old car and can not complain.  It seems to be minor and I hope the mechanic will agree with me on that.  It did change my routine. With my extra time, I went on a walk around the property.  I was delighted to see that the fields behind the rabbit patch were a mass of lavender, white and pink blooms of sage.  Looking at acres of flowers  with that big sky overhead all at once , about brought me to my knees-it was that beautiful.  How nice to get a pleasant surprise on a Monday morning.  I was suddenly glad that the car had not worked properly today.

A trip to the mailbox yielded something else sweet.  A friend had written a letter!  I do not know the last time that happened.  On the envelope she had written a verse of inspiration.  Inside was a cheerful message and a question about goats!  This was a far cry from the usual fanfare of the mailbox and I took great delight in it.  Long ago, the women before me had a “correspondence table” and I declare that I want to do the same.  The art of writing a letter should not be lost because then the happiness of receiving one will be lost as well-and that would be a shame.

Life on the rabbit patch is far from glamorous, but it is not short on beauty nor selfish with its’ treasure.  It knows the language of love and speaks it well.   It is a place of tender mercy at times and it can be  a mighty fortress too.   It is my “Church in the Wildwood”,  where friends come to eat chicken and rice-and the fields of sage bloom all around it.


While There is Light


The light on the rabbit patch is as beautiful as it has ever been these days.  Fog and light seem on the same mission.  They are casting an enchanting spell-and I am taking note of this occasion.

Morning makes its’ presence known without hurry.  The nature of fog is slow and it has no shame about that.  Fog mutes the color of the days’ first hours or the day altogether, like a silver shadow. Like its’ cousin, rain, fog begs for our attention-and with dependable success, we notice.

Once in my life, I saw fog roll in.  It is not the same as when fog seems to fall.  It came across the field on the north of the rabbit patch and moved like an ocean wave. It is odd for me to describe fog as having a “force”-but on that day it seemed to, and I have yet to forget it.

When we were young, my cousins and I played hide and seek in the fog. The usual chores on the farm were delayed on the foggiest mornings, so we loved fog.  By breakfast, one of us had already gotten hurt or somebody was mad about something. Still, playing hide and seek in the fog remains something I like to remember.

I am in the habit of going out after dark to see what the night looks like. This week, the moon and the stars shone through the fog . The silver of the fog made the stars look like little, scattered pearls .  It made me want to gather them, but I was sure it would offend the moon.

 Fireflies are back and I have seen them.  When I grew up, we called them “lightening bugs”. Either name is a good one for those little bugs with flashing lights.  The fireflies love pine trees and when they conjugate in  one, then the pine looks like a Christmas tree, even in May.

Children take great pleasure in catching fireflies in mason jars. I gave that habit up early in the game.  I caught them as a child, regularly in the spring. I was never able to collect many.  I was too careful not to harm one, and it made me slow.  We always let them go before we went in-but one time, I decided that a mason jar full of “lightening bugs” would make a great night light.  I fell asleep and woke, only to find to every little one of them had perished.  I felt just awful.  I was ashamed and I felt selfish, all at once.  I never caught another one.  I have been content for many years since to watch their shine from a distance. The world does not need one less firefly.

Today, the rabbit patch is a bright and shining place.  The sun is out with a golden glory.  The sun does not whisper, as the fog does, but shouts its’ light.  Nature has a lovely sense of balance and the light tells the story to teach us the lesson thoroughly.  Light changes as it needs too, and we ought to do the same. To me, light is a natural clock and I hope that one day, I can acknowledge that .  I dream in a “far-fetched” fashion and I am well aware of  it. . .  but while there is light, there is hope.b26001e738788ea9961e21067b730b41                                                             Live happily, ever after.

Things Growing Wild


There are all kinds of beautiful moments in life.  Most  every day is full of them. I look for them diligently and am rarely disappointed. It seems that whatever we set out to look for, we usually find and so I think , it may as well be something lovely that I seek.  Usually, I just need to get still-and there it is right before me.

This week is an especially busy one for me. I have all sorts of obligations right now and the rabbit patch is a bit more demanding this time of year, too.  Grass is growing and so is the garden.  The flower beds are waking up and so are the weeds.  No matter  the “state of the rabbit patch nation” and all of the world around it, I get still and quiet anyway.

When I got still on Monday, I saw children catching tadpoles  and it made my heart glad.  They were very serious in their work. I watched them peer into their little buckets for a while and then they poured those little tadpoles right back in the same pond they came from. I remembered doing the same thing a long time ago.  It was a good thing to be reminded of .  I felt like something lost was found- and it was.

Honeysuckle is blooming .  Old abandoned barns, half-gone fences and every patch of woods around is decorated with the sweet smelling blossoms. The evening air bears witness to the presence of the beloved  wild honeysuckle vines.  The vines sold in the civilized nursery must be a very distant cousin to the ones in the woods.  The wild variety is far superior in fragrance.  They grow as they please, and some people complain about that -even so the one that cuts and tears the vines can not help but smell the sweet blossoms.   I have a place where honeysuckle grows wild because I love it like that.

I love clover too .  The flowers are good for honey bees and the scent of clover is shamefully under rated.  Clover smells like green and sweet all mixed up.  Little girls make necklaces and crowns with the lowly flowers and wear them proudly. People complain about clover too, but I let mine grow for a good long while.  In evening, the rabbits come out and eat clover in the moonlight.  It is a beautiful event to see.  If I were a rabbit, I would do the same.

The iris is back.  Someone before me planted them and so my heart is grateful for a stranger, that loved flowers too.  Mine are shades of blue and lavender.    They look like a  living watercolor with their soft colors. Some way or another, there are irises in the edge of the young woods of the rabbit patch.  It is a charming mystery , and I have spent a fair amount of time wondering about it.  If there is such a thing as a wild iris, then I know where some grow.  Sometime, in the dead of winter, I will remember the iris.

There is an art to living well and the older I get, the more I reflect on that. It seems we spend a good part of our life collecting.  These collections add up, and then we begin the process of discarding what has lost its’ appeal.   Finally, we understand that “All that glitters, is not gold.”

 Time has a way of defining authentic “shine” for us.  

When days are busy and complicated, it is good to get still, even if it is just  for a brief moment . It gives you a chance to find your  shine – Mine , is when wild things are blooming and rabbits are playing in the moonlight. 


99be56f4bf6a952ec17dba69c4c9a45c                                                            Live Happily Ever After


Roses and Strawberries


The “sweetest month” is here. . .and it came bearing gifts.  Roses are blooming and strawberries are ripe- and the world is better for it.  The beauty of May is showing up everywhere and refuses to be taken for granted.

The strawberry fields are ” alive and well”.  They are happy places for all ages. Nobody leaves a strawberry patch empty-hearted or empty-handed.  Most people end up picking enough to share.  Twice this season, I have been gifted with a basket of the sweet berries-both occasions made a nice difference in my day.  Strawberries are pretty to look at and their familiar  fragrance is nothing short of delightful.  A  kitchen full of strawberries is a happy kitchen.  A meal that ends with strawberry shortcake, is a good one.  There are plenty more options  of things to do with strawberries and none are bad.  Last night, I made a strawberry bread pudding and it felt like a holiday at the rabbit patch just because of that.

I used to grow my own strawberries, but I couldn’t get enough to make a pie because the rabbit patch community seems to like them as good as we do.  I am generous by nature, but to say it was a “fruitless” endeavor is about accurate.  I did throw the scraps of the berries out last night and the first-born bunnies of this year found them quickly.  I have only just started seeing baby rabbits these last few weeks.  Cash, my boxer, and I go out at the twilight time and watch them . Cash has too much pride to be mistaken for a “rabbit dog” and  so does not hinder their play.

The smell of roses is heavy in the early night air now. The “Quiet Garden” is bragging like “nobody’s business” and without shame.  I best like small flowers, but the rose is one of my favorites.  It is hard not to love a rose.  I love the fragrant varieties best, but any rose is worthy of  adoration.  Roses seem to have a language all their own-one that is felt, not spoken and not easily forgotten.

Redbirds are all over the rabbit patch and everywhere else now-a-days.  Cardinals are a noble bird.  They will perch in flowering trees with “airs” as if they are lending some prestige to the tree-and they do.  A male cardinal must be a very brave bird.  It matters not if he rests in an old magnolia or on a ditch bank-he is easily spotted with his flashy feathers- which ensures the safety of his wife.  Cardinals  mate for life.

 In a world full of schedules with quick ticking clocks and all sorts of obligations, it is good to remember that the  roses, redbirds, young rabbits and strawberries of May, come without demands and price tags.  Things in the wild do not honor such systems- and the world is better for it.


The Heart of a Mama


There isn’t another place on earth like the heart of a mother.  It is a place of immeasurable love and unlimited forgiveness.  Her heart is a storehouse of memories .  You can safely store your secrets there too ,without the slightest fear of betrayal.  The heart of a mother, is the first miracle we encounter in our life on this earth.

I have been blessed all of my life to have a constant dose of women, who were on a mission to make sure that I was loved like the first child ever known. It has made all the difference in my life.  Besides having my mother, I had a great-grandmother and great aunts- as well as grandmothers and aunts to help me grow up properly.  Mama had learned from them the way of motherhood, and she learned it well. Those women were like a book of life when combined.  I am quite sure, that as a unit, they knew mostly everything.  They had seen it all and there was “nothing new under the sun” to them-when it came to raising children.   

My mother was so young when I was born and I was her first child.  People had hardly started writing ” manuals” on raising children at that time.  She loved me instinctively  because her heart knew how.  As much as I love books, some things are not in them and a mother’s heart is one of them. 

The women in my family all came bearing gifts, like good fairies-each unique and equally important, when I was a child.  They were a generous lot and gave as naturally as they breathed. Character was of utmost importance. A little southern girl had to be well-mannered too. They taught me work ethics, generosity and gratitude. I learned compassion and how to practice it.  Wastefulness was to be avoided and cleanliness was to be embraced. It may seem old-fashioned, but they weren’t wrong.  Some things do not change, but instead are worthy through out a lifetime. They took their duty seriously-I was that precious to them.

My mother did all of that-and took me on picnics too – and I mean real picnics with a basket full of everything and a pretty cloth to sit on.  She talked to me about things as they came up and that wasn’t on anyone else’s agenda. I told her  my secrets without fear. I told her “my truth” and she listened.  On top of all that, she explained “the world” to me-while we were cutting paper dolls out, picking strawberries or hanging clothes on a line.  A mother’s heart is always open for her children, no matter what else is going on in her world.

When I had my first child, it seemed like a light came on. I realized how much I had been loved and it was about overwhelming.  Something changed inside of me that I had nothing to do with-and it was beautiful.  I loved my own mama even more in just that moment.

Now, my own daughter is a mother.  I see her with all of her countless details in a day-her world is in that little daughter.  Her mission is to raise her well and she thinks long and hard about how to accomplish that.  The conditions sure have changed in the last fifty years, but the mission has not altered a bit. The heart of mothers is  a dependable   force.

If you had a good mother, you were born with a “silver spoon in your mouth” and nothing less.  The wealth of a mama ‘s love is endless.  It shows up her entire life and takes different forms, depending on the needs of her children. Children grow up and with them goes a lot of “busy”‘-mamas get still, so everyone else can move.    `A mama will not leave you stranded when she “goes home” either .  She leaves her story, a tale of love as constant as the North Star and every bit as bright.  










I Remember Rain


Springs are full of rain-this one especially.  Rain will stop a picnic and it will ruin a clean floor. Rain makes a clothesline useless and it makes shoes muddy. Treehouses are empty and swings are still when the world is full of rain.

I remember the rain in my childhood.  The men worked on tractors under tin roofed shelters when it rained . The shelters were dark and dirty.  I couldn’t even tell them dinner was ready without getting some sort of stain on my clothes-or worse, disturbing the sacred order of their tools.  A bolt was sure to go missing in the brief moment I entered and they acted like it was the last one in the world.  If the dogs followed me in, and they always did, then the men took to hollering about that too.  I was always so glad to get back in the house with mama and grandmama, even with the stain on my perfectly good clothes.  

The little farmhouse was the place to be when it rained.  The women knew what to do with rain and children. There was a wooden chest full of yesterdays’ trends for my sister and I to dress up in. There were pocketbooks with Avon lipstick samples.  There were shoes with heels and there were sheer scarves.  We played for hours in the “front bedroom”.  We had dolls that looked like babies-almost.  The dolls got sick and had birthdays too. They got scared and needed their mamas.  Sometimes they were naughty, but we loved those dolls and took our mothering seriously.  

When the dolls napped, my sister and I went dancing. There was a record player and  quite a grand selection of records by Hank Williams ,Patsy Cline and Loretta Lynn. We had to dance carefully or the record would skip.  

Grandmama had a “button box” that we could play with, if it rained.  There were hundreds of buttons in it.  We always sorted them out, which took a good long while.  It was quiet work, so the dolls kept napping.  They never woke up til we finished.  I understand what “cute as a button” means because of that button box and a rainy day.  The buttons looked like pearls,roses and crystals.  Some had pictures painted on them. Mama still has that box of buttons.

Often, the smell of a cake filled the house up, even if it was the middle of the week. . . if it was raining .  This sent my sister and I tossing the neat piles of buttons carelessly back to the box they lived in.  We never got a piece of cake before supper, but we still went to the kitchen, just in case.

So the rain did not mean a gloomy day when I was a child and it does not do so now either. I simply can not complain about rain . All is well at the rabbit patch- and a cake is in the oven.  I see the lights on early in the homes of my kind neighbors and it cheers me thinking they are all there safe and sound.  

Rest assured that I love sunshine and it will be a welcome sight when it falls on the rabbit patch- you can also rest assured that  I will wait  for it with a grateful heart, for  I remember rain and  I know what to do with it.