Dear Diary, I Remember Pop


It looks like somebody lives at the rabbit patch today.  Kyle and I worked yesterday, the better part of the day, restoring order to the territory.  The weather was mild and just did not give me any excuse, to put it off again.  Now, that I am older, the lot is bigger.  There are more sticks and branches, too.  Nevertheless,  the  yard is almost tidy and I lived to tell about it.

I worked in the “Quiet Garden” and that is where I saw the wild violets. Violets are so dainty and do not cause a bit of harm.  I have used them to decorate cakes and to toss in spring salads, but I love watching them grow too.  I find them growing in their usual places.   (There is a whole community of them, beneath the grape vine.) but they grow where they please and what a nice surprise to find them, where you didn’t expect.  I felt a surge of energy after seeing them beneath the roses-and as I carried dead branches and vines to the garden for burning, the garden did not seem as far away as it did  in the first hours.

The “Quiet Garden” is green.  The rose bushes have really grown and some will give shade this year.  No matter how tenderly, I care for them-no matter how sweetly, I speak to them-the rose bushes still “bite” me hatefully,  as I trim and clean around them.  Kyle was content to leave the rose garden to me.

The Japanese roses behind the barn are a mass of bright yellow.  I bet you could see them a county away. The “cape jasmine”  known also as gardenias, are awake-so are the foxgloves, and so are the weeds.  I managed to get two flowerbeds cleaned up.  

I also worked in the herb garden and was delighted to see young chives and all sorts of mints, were growing.  Everything is better with fresh herbs, I think.  By mid morning,  the clothes line at the rabbit patch was adorned with blankets of every sort, in good faith, that we can afford to pack at least pack some of them away, til October.

A lot was accomplished, in a day at the rabbit patch-and  so, maybe I can convince the neighbors and those driving by, that somebody does still live at the rabbit patch, after all.

Sunday Dinner

By eight, this morning, the kitchen smelled like Sunday.  Cabbage, chocked full of onions was simmering and eggs were boiling.  Kyle did not find those smells appropriate just after waking, and grumbled right off-but come noon, when the table is set,  he will not complain. Kyle and Christian are both here today, so with Mama and Daddy, the table will be full-and I won’t complain either.

About Thirty Years Ago

It was a typical March morning, almost cold, but bright.  Daffodils bloomed on time, that year.  I was a young mother of three children-the oldest one was four years old.  Of course, I was in the kitchen, when a cousin and neighbor came in with bad news.  My grandfather, Christopher S. Haddock, had been found in his yard, just outside his shop.  He had passed in the new spring grass, while his beloved “goldenrods” (forsythia, really) were in their glory.

I knew him as “Pop”.  Pop, was loud  and known to cuss, even around the children.  Brant, at four told me  on one occasion, that he was going to get the “damn newspaper” as that was what Pop called it every time.  I did not reprimand Brant, on account of that and thankfully he forgot it.  

Pop had a fondness for spirited horses and apparently mean cows, as he always had both.  Of course, he had a herd of ponies for the grandchildren and goats that could pull carts.  He had pigs too, that he said would kill you if you fell in their parlor, so we kids avoided those at all cost.  If you heard the tractor coming home at an odd time, it was best to “make yourself scarce” as something on it needed fixing and you could bet he was mad.  That is mostly why he cussed, I think.  Pop could get mad, but no other adult could -especially with the children.  Pop would not tolerate a child being scolded, unless he was the one doing it.  If you just stayed away from his tools, you were pretty safe, anyway.

Pop went to school til the sixth grade, yet he was known for his superior math skills.  A farmer has to do a lot of math and Pop was quick with numbers.  

I could write in this diary, all afternoon with stories about Pop-and probably would not give an adequate account of his life.  He was not perfect, but he loved me perfectly.  Today, that  still means every thing.  Here it is decades later, and I know his influence made a difference in my life.  It reminds me how important grandparents are.  Pop might have taught three generations to cuss,  but he also told stories and taught us to plant by the phases of the moon.  

Love is a mighty thing.  Memories can fade and details can dim, but the feeling of being loved is very powerful and it endures for at least thirty years, I can declare, today. . .because. . . I remember Pop.  

38 thoughts on “Dear Diary, I Remember Pop

  1. As I sit here and read part of your life, of our people who have come and gone, it brings back so many memories.. I remember Uncle Sherman, (pop) to you, and as you said, we never played around him alot. He was a good man, from what I can remember. I remember him making the cement potato house into a swimming pool.. unless that was a dream. But the wheeling willow tree that was in the front yard, was the prettiest tree I had ever seen. I think that my mama said that it died the year Aunt Edna passed away. Boy does time pass by so fast.. cause all that seems just like yesterday. Please keep writing in the Rabbit Patch, cause it brings back memories of yesterday’s.. Loves you cuz…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you sweet sister-cousin!youare right about that swimming pool. Pop was not the same after grandma died-he was never as lively. heartbreaking to remember. I remember him sitting and crying by himself for a long while. I am going to ask mama about the tree. thank you-I so love your comments. love always and always!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I thought that my Grandpop hung the moon and the stars in the sky just for me. Everyone should feel that loved. I am happy that you felt it and I am happy to report that even at 67 I still feel it and feel special.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Grandpas are indeed special and hold a special place in grandkids hearts. I know my sons will always speak of their gramps with love. He did not teach them to cuss but he does teach them to speak plainly. He has taught them the art of the joke and how to live with joy. He has also taught them respect and what it is to be a man. I am so grateful my dad has been active in their lives. My husband is doing the same with our grandkids and I love watching that.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Memories of those we loved that are now gone – a person can look back ans smile. Your Pop sounded like quite a character. Thanks for sharing your family stories – it definitely makes me smile. I never lived close to my grandparents – so I am making sure I live close to mine. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Your Quiet Garden always sounds lovely. That is so neat the flash back of memories. My plan is to begin this year with a smallish garden like the one in Susan Branch’s Summer Book. My husband has graciously been looking at my plans and nodding agreeably at all the right times 😉 so it’s been fun. I’m a bit behind I think on starting some of my seeds, but I will give this all an old-fashioned try. I have to start somewhere. We are at a new home and I’m itching to put in some color and life. You inspire me.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I agree about the lots seeming bigger. Ha. We’ve been working at our lake property, getting it ready to sell. The yard is huge! And, full of limbs and sticks. They never run out… 🙂 Your Pop sounds like several I knew growing up. Memory makers for sure!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. oh yes he was! Sadly this man who ruled the roost was so sad when my grandmother died, he just never recovered. I am so very grateful to have spent a big part of my childhood with them-and I still miss them! I hope you get your lot cleaned up-you will feel so much better! I know I do!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I guess you can understand his sense of loss… ❤️

        I’m glad you had lots of time with them. It’s easy to miss our grandparents, isn’t it?

        Got my lots cleaned up! Listing them tomorrow to sell.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. This is such a reassuring post in a way- that your grandfather held on to grandma’s memories for as long as he lived. I am a strong believer in one partner for life.


  7. What a great story about your Pop. I could just picture him with all your descriptive words. My mother loves cabbage and I remember when she would make a boiled dinner on Sundays. The house would stink of the cabbage. I was not of fan of that but I was a huge fan of the chuck stew meat, the potatoes and carrots…she also put dumplings in too. Funny what memories you stirred up. It’s fun to remember such precious times!! Thanks for sharing your stories with us! xo 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Lovely post as usual. Loved your description of the hard work done on the rabbit patch. And the memories of your pop and of his immense love for you and your grandmother.
    Those were the days of strong relationships, I guess.
    And you are building strong ones with your children and granddaughter as well.
    God bless you !


  9. I think your pop and my dad would have approved of one another. As you described your grandfather, I kept recognizing my father, particularly in this sentence: “He was not perfect, but he loved me perfectly.” We were blessed, weren’t we.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I love, love , love being Pop Pop (a moniker I inherited from my own Pop Pop).
    You have described two of my greatest hopes in your post:
    That my grandchildren will know how well I loved them,
    And that I might die peacefully, amid the spring grass (or winter snow), and be found outside my shop.

    Blessings to you,


    Liked by 1 person

  11. How absolutely beautiful, Rabbit. Such wonderful memories. I loved every single word.
    Thank you so much for sharing not only the memories, but also Pop. What an incredible man he was. I don’t know him, but I love him to pieces.
    Sending bunches of love ~ Cobs. x

    oh … almost forgot! … (I was so full of Pop that I forgot everything else…).. Very well done on the gardening. I agree … Roses, although beautiful, they can be spiteful little monkeys!
    C. xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Loved it all the way through, but the finish is a mighty finish. “Love is a mighty thing. Memories can fade and details can dim, but the feeling of being loved is very powerful and it endures for at least thirty years, I can declare, today. . .because. . . I remember Pop.” beautiful. I was smiling about Pop cusing, sounds a lot like my late uncle. He too was a farmer. I think I did blog about him once.


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