In Late December


In late December and in the absence of Christmas, the rabbit patch is most quiet.  The children went home yesterday.  When the back door shut, I started missing them.  I always indulge myself, on such occasions, by sitting quietly in the den and mourning for a while.  For many years, I just cried outright and convinced myself that surely I  suffered from some mental calamity.

 Yesterday, I tried to avoid a ” nervous breakdown”-as folks used to call it.  That term, when I was young, covered every sort of condition and mostly affected women.  It could be brought on by such things as a flock of children in the house after three days of rain-though it was always the men that were yelling out and seemed in a state of panic.   If a woman was caught crying, she was most likely having “a nervous breakdown”.  So, in that case , I have had one most every year for a decade now, when Christmas is over, and the children go home.

Christmas was a beautiful affair, altogether.  The days before it, I was with Jenny and we made every day count.  There was a family gathering and later a luncheon.  We shopped and wrapped presents. I came home early, Christmas Eve morning and went to work at the rabbit patch.  I cleaned and cooked while the linens were washing.  Mama and Daddy came for an early supper and Brant came home later on that night and so waiting for Tres, Kelsey, Jenny, Will and Lyla was more bearable.

The hours progressed in a typical holiday fashion with a sweet fanfare. Christmas night, we always gather at my parents. Christian brought his guitar and Lyla managed to hand out a few gifts-so there were some truly beautiful moments.  The most shocking thing happened.  I have said earlier that I had started a collection of a Lenox china pattern, Winter Greetings-I soon regretted that as  it is entirely too expensive for my budget- and I am almost sixty years old.  At the rate I was going, I needed to live much longer than members of the tribal communities in Brazil- My mom and sisters gave me twelve dinner plates!    I opened the plates with its’ redbirds and ribbons and was on the verge of tears-My sister, Connie told me several times in the process, that this counted for my birthday too and daddy said I ought to be careful with them.  I just kept unwrapping more redbirds with ribbons.  I finally said “Now, all the children can get married!”  -because now, I had a plate for each.  It was a touching and funny moment, looking back.

Yesterday, we shared our last Christmas meal of this year.  The sunroom needs a ceiling repair and a bedroom needs a new floor-but my table showed indications, that all was well at the rabbit patch.  That table was “set by love” by the women in my family and I may sound vain, but it was beautiful!

  This morning, is especially quiet and so I have already planned a strategy to avoid a “nervous breakdown” again, today.  I will part with some of my other dishes to make room for that china.  I will deal with left over food and I will look for Christopher Robin as he took a “a walk-about” and has never done so before.  I looked this morning and saw a lifeless creature in the road.  I glanced as it is all I could bare to do.  I commenced to crying and vowed I could carry on without him.  A neighbor saw me upset, and when I told her the story, she declared to me that what I had seen was not Christopher Robin, but a poor little rabbit.  I went out again to the dreadful scene and found she was right.  I had been crying an hour over losing the sweetest cat I had ever known, but now, with renewed strength, I will search again and proclaim him a naughty and worrisome companion, when I find him.  I will fuss about his poor behavior, when a door is opened . . . . but oh, how, I hope I find him.


39 thoughts on “In Late December

  1. I am with you….when my kids leave the house feels empty and way too quiet. I am always grateful when they call to tell me they have made it safely back to their homes. (One lives 4 hours away and the other 5 hours away.)
    I hope Christopher Robin comes back home. Keep us posted on that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. my boys live 3 hours away in the same city-Jenny just an hour. I would love if they lived here. I can’t be everywhere! some of this may be that I grew up with everybody around. I will let you know about C, Robin. I thought he would be hungry by now at least. Maybe tomorrow. Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. How fabulous – about the plates. I love it when folks get together, in secret, and plan like that, coming up with the perfect present.

    With regard to Christopher Robin … One of our cats did exactly the same thing after a family together Christmas a couple of years ago and she scared me half to death. She’s a bit shy and will hide herself away until either visitors leave or she feels comfortable enough to come out of hiding and say hello to everyone.

    She had never stayed out all night before and I was just beside myself with worry and grief. I didn’t go to bed until about 1.3oam, hoping and waiting for her to come home. I’d convinced myself that she’d been run over or locked inside a garage or some such, and because she has such a tiny ‘meow’, I knew she wouldn’t be heard. But, the very next day, there she was, outside the door, asking to come in. Now though – I always bring my cats home for their tea, and they’re not allowed out after 6pm in winter, and 8pm in the summer.

    I can totally, fully appreciate how you’re feeling, and will pray that Christopher Robbin comes home very soon, says sorry for upsetting you, and after some food, settles down for a long sleep.
    Sending love ~ Cobs. x

    Liked by 2 people

  3. OOOOOOO my Heart hurts for you. Firstly the letdown after Christmas every year I cry. Oh yes you are not alone. Secondly you are now in my prayers that Christopher Robin comes home. Oh I’ve been in your shoes and believe me it is terrible. BIG HUGS from me. My cats and I mean ALL of them do not like people in our house. He’ll come home. ❤ ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thank you-I have felt silly that I cry-So many say they are glad it’s over and they get their house back etc-I just want to wash their clothes and cook for them! Well, we all get along so well. We spent 3 weeks together this summer and they cried too when it was over! thank you for your sweet comfort-

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Nothing silly at all. The sense of loss is real, and I think crying is just allowing yourself to feel it. The good thing is that you enjoy your family so much that you do feel sad when they leave!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. My heart is there with you, though mine isn’t quite the same. Each time we leave my parent’s house, I cry. Every. Single. Time. They live 5 hours from me and I don’t get to go home all that much. I know what you mean about that emptiness when the holiday ends. I rarely get to see my 3 nephews and 2 nieces and got to spend several days with them over Christmas. Such joy. Leaving was hard.

    Congrats on your new dishes. They sound lovely. Bet you were a happy mess when you unwrapped them. ❤️ I hope Christopher Robin turns up soon. Our newest cat Skunk does that occasionally- takes off for days. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. you love your family deeply too-so sweet and admirable. I was stunned as they have been on my wish list, a long long time. We had dinner with them tonight too! Thank you for telling me about Skunk-gives me hope! you are so very delightful to hear from.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Likewise, my dear friend. Yes, Skunk disappears for days and returns. The first time he left for a week, I bawled. Thought I’d never see him again… Stinker showed back up.

        That was so sad when you thought that bunny was him. I’d have cried, too. Still, I feel sad for that poor little bunny who was just crossing the road. Today I saw a squirrel that had been hit, makes my heart ache that they don’t reach their destinations.

        Your sweet kitty will return. He’s part of the reason I fell in love with your blog in the first place. We believe!! 💗

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I hope so-I get upset when I hit a butterfly! I always think how I have altered the energy of the universe! And I felt relieved when I saw it wasn’t Christopher Robin, but a bunny-then guilty as that poor little rabbit died! Oh well-I console myself that there is a heaven for all of us!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Sometimes we do need to mourn; I view it as part of joyful living. If we didn’t find joy in others and in our world, we wouldn’t have anything to mourn. How fortunate you are to to still have your parents to love and enjoy. And, oh, how I hope you find Christopher Robin.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. It certainly is such a let down when the kids leave after such a wonderful gathering at Christmas (or anytime) I too have a nervous breakdown! Hoping by now you have found your darling cat! Wishing you much joy and happiness in 2017

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I enjoyed reading your post so much and I am waiting to hear about Christopher Robin. I had cats when I was growing up and they periodically left. I would cry and cry until they came back! It seems like yesterday that “Big Cindy” and “Little Cindy” were my cats, but it was a long time ago! Your Christmas present sounds just beautiful! I am going to look for that pattern! I am not familiar with it…at least, I don’t think I am!! Being sad when your children go back home is normal! When our children went away to college, we were so distressed. A friend told me…”Really…there is no reason to be so sad! They are doing exactly what they are supposed to be doing! Be proud! Be excited!” and I always say that to myself!


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