Farewell to May

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In May, the fields of sage turned white-and fireflies flashed their little light.

The scent of elder filled the air and not a single tree was bare-

The winter wheat was spun to gold and sunshine chased away the cold.

 The “Quiet Garden” caused much ado, for roses bloomed in every hue-

The “Bob White” sang his name in May-and little rabbits came out to play.

May is too kind to leave us stranded, and does not leave us empty-handed-

Instead, May gave us, in good measure, a host of things to praise and treasure.

The smell of clover, I’ll remember, one chilly night in late September.

When January comes with ice and snow,  I’ll think of May, when the iris grow.

“The Tie That Binds”

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In the Morning . . .

By the time the sun was up long enough, to cast its’ first slanted rays of the day, a pot of chili was simmering in the rabbit patch kitchen-so was a large pot of navy beans.  I couldn’t look forward to a “Queens’ Ball” anymore than I do to the simple backyard picnic, we are having today at my parents’ house. It doesn’t seem so long ago, that, it was a common practice, for my children and my parents to all be together.  Now, a gathering of this sort is limited to rare occasions-such as today.

I grew up on a small farm.  In those days, there were a lot of small farms.  Few young people left the farm.  I had first, second and third cousins that I grew up with as if we were brothers and sisters.  Everyday was a “family reunion”.  When someone grew up and got married, they often bought an acre or so-and stayed on.  I also had, great aunts, uncles, great grandmothers and grown up cousins-most within a five mile radius.  It was very hard to have a secret, back then.  Somehow, all things came to light by supper.  If I had played by the farm pond or someone said an ugly word, the adults knew.  I knew what my cousins got on their report cards, because such things were of great importance and the adults sought counsel of one another,if need be.  I knew  everytime,  that Faith needed stitches, not long after she knew herself- and if Aunt Josie burned a pot of sweet corn, I knew that too.  It seemed stifling at times, but it kept me from all sorts of troubles- I had “the village”  to answer to, after all.   This “way” of life did not prepare me for children growing up and ” moving off”.  So today, when we are all together, for a picnic, it is nothing less than a beautiful act of God, to me.

The Picnic

By noon, the home of my parents, was full of family-and hotdogs were cooking!  Several tables were adorned with tablecloths, blowing in the constant breeze.  The mighty sycamores shaded a good deal of the back yard.  Lyla sat contentedly with a slice of watermelon watching all of us scurrying in and out with all the necessary accessories for a picnic.  At some point, we all settled on a place to sit.  It was not uncommon, for us to move about from one table to another, if we got up for more iced tea.  In that way, we all visited with one another.  I like to watch them all conversing.  I like the chatter.  I like to see the affectionate  looks given to one another.

Mama made Tres, the only cake that he likes, for his birthday.  It is a orange and pineapple cake with a whipped cream frosting.  Lyla was especially happy about the cake.  Not long after that she was tired of everything.

Departure , from a family  gathering, takes a while.   There is food packed up and sent with folks, and pictures . . . and the good byes are heartfelt and personal. and very unhurried.  I start missing everyone as soon as they leave.  “Out of sight, out of mind” does not ring true, for mothers, when it comes to their children.

After the Picnic

I came home full of good intentions to continue where I left off with the mowing, and then planned on cleaning up a small barn.  I came in and put things away and Kyle said we ought to rest.  I thought he was right.  I sat down and within minutes-was asleep.  I roused an hour later and took off on the mower minutes later,  I mowed til I couldn’t see.  The barn remains as it was.

As I walked to the house, I remembered the night before.  Kelsey  had wanted to stay out long enough to see the “lightening bugs” come out.  We stood at the sage fields and then walked by the edge of the woods finding the first blossoms of the wild honey suckle and the last blossoms of the privets.  We saw the sunset turn the sky a shocking pink and orange -and finally the “lightening bugs”  appeared.   Tres caught one for Kelsey and she held it briefly.  He was like a “diamond that  flew away”,  I thought.    When I was  a child, it was a common practice, for children  to catch fireflies.  One time I collected a small mason jar, full of them, thinking I would have a  living nightlight.  I was too young to know to punch holes in the lid.  The next morning, to my horror, all of them were dead.  I felt awful and ashamed that I had killed such a beautiful thing.  I never did so again, believing that the world needs lightening bugs-I still believe that .

Dear Diary,  The children came home while the sage was blooming.   Four generations gathered under mighty sycamores, planted by the first generation.  it was a merry time, and one to remember.  “Blest be the the tie that binds”.





When My Children Come Home

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Today, the children will start arriving at the rabbit patch.  It feels like Christmas Eve, but it looks like May.  The sun is not yet over the barn, but already Christian and I have loaded a pick up truck with things like old lamps and broken chairs.  He is on the way now, to dispose of them at a landfill, twenty minutes from here.  I got at least two acres mowed after work, yesterday-so there is that to finish, and linens to wash.  

The refrigerator is bumping full of things for the picnic on Monday-so is the top of the freezer.  There are many tasks at hand, besides the mowing, but today, I feel propelled to accomplish them . . .because the children will be gathered around the same table, once again.

There are five of them.  I have four sons, one daughter and one grandchild, Lyla.  All of my adult life, I have been raising children.  Brant, my oldest is thirty-five and Christian my youngest, is twenty-four (as of recently).  It has taken me a long time to get used to the fact, that they all “grew and flew”.  I mourned pitifully for a good while.  The farmhouse got bigger, all of a sudden- and the clothes were always folded.  I did not know how to cook or even shop at the grocery store, anymore, as there was less than an army to feed..  Friends said that a grandchild, would make a difference . . .and as it turns out, they were right.  Lyla is just two  . . .and she has made a  wonderful difference.

I find it notable, that all of the work that is necessary, today, does not cause me to grumble.  Instead, I find myself humming as I go about the chores.  I know it is due to the arrival of my family-but I think I ought to adopt this practice under lesser circumstances, as well.  Humming is certainly better for the spirit than grumbling.  This inspires me to remember that I can perform the same chores , on any given day, in the state of mind, that I choose. Today is surely easier than most, to consider that.

 I have always believed that the heart and the mind are so closely entwined- and that is why, we must often search, to distinguish their separate contributions in situations.  “As a man thinks in his heart…”  comes to mind and proves to be true.  It is beneficial to have a happy heart .  I always teach young children this concept.  I say that when you are troubled about something, to try quickly to remember something you are glad about.  A few years back, I had an awful knee injury.  It was painful and took a long while to heal.  As I was walking between buildings at school, the pain became about unbearable. I stopped, wondering how to proceed, when two little children seeing my despair, came running.  I did not want to alarm them.  Children have such compassionate hearts.  I fought tears just to remain standing there.   I just could not take a step.  I explained to them, that I was waiting for the hurt to go away, when one of them piped up and said-“Quick! think of something you are glad about!”  This was no small task at that particular moment.  But, I said- “I am glad it is not raining.”- and I was.

Today does not require such lofty effort.  I will hang the sheets on the line and be glad of sunshine.  I will scrub floors and give the animals a bath.  I will mow where roses abide . . and beside the fields of sage and I will probably sing an out-of -season rendition of “Joy to the World”, as I do so.

Dear Diary,  The children are coming home.!

In a Twinkling

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There has been a lot of “rain and shine” on the rabbit patch  as of lately.   It is not the time to plan a picnic or hang clothes on the line.  

I love rain.  Some folks declare  the event of rain, a gloomy affair causing a sense of melancholy.  I find it calming-of course there is the leaking roof.  The hallway is still a horrid mess.  The leak was an insignificant repair, but the entire ceiling was effected.  The old farmhouse was built almost a century ago with materials that are hard to match and so replacement is never an easy task.  Thank goodness, Kyle has progressed enough, that at least,  it does not “rain in the house.”

There ought to be more than a few four-leaf clovers, on the rabbit patch territory, just now, as the whole land here,  is covered in mounds of the sweet smelling flowers.  The daily showers have put us in quite a predicament.  It is just too wet to mow.  It wouldn’t be of any consequence, except the yard is close to four acres.  Hence, I smell the clover blossoms in the night air and think  I should enjoy the time when the world is full of clover.  Besides, I have seen the first young bunnies.  They are finding the world, beyond their burrows and how nice that they are greeted with every rabbits’ fancy-  endless tufts of clover.

The holiday week end affords me the delightful pleasure of having all of my children home for a visit.  Not since Christmas, has this transpired -and to say I am thrilled,  would be  quite an understatement.  Gathering five grown children is no small task.  We will also celebrate Tres’ birthday, which is actually tomorrow.  I do not know when he grew up-but like the rest of my children, he did.  I think mothers, may be the last to know such things.  

Tres went from one of the fairest children, the world has ever seen, to a very handsome young man, over six foot tall.  I did notice my son was tall.  Not even, when he started shaving, did I have a clue, that Tres had grown up.  When he moved out of the home, in my mind he was “just staying” somewhere else.  Tres grew up right before my eyes, and it seemed when I realised it,  I was shocked.   It seemed like an entire decade had passed swiftly . . . and in a sly manner.  It seemed to me, that he was collecting rocks and plowing fields with little tractors, a short while ago.  It had been just a few years back, that he had seen the only kangaroo in eastern North Carolina, on the way to the mailbox.  

When Tres is home this week end, I will ask his advice about down sizing.  He will survey the old house and make a check list of priorities of repairs, after all, Tres did grow up, even if it was in “a twinkling”.  

Dear Diary,  I am glad for seasons of “rain and shine.”  I am glad when the world is full of clover.  I am so glad for a holiday when the family can gather . . .but most of all, I am glad for  a little boy that grew up and became a noble man  . . . and calls me “Mom”.


Cousin Dotsie’s Reunion and Other Nice Stories

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Cousin Dotsie ‘s family reunion took place yesterday at a little house in Windsor,  a small town about twenty minutes north of the rabbit patch.  Reunions seem to be the sole purpose of the old house, as Cousin Dotsie has another residence in Windsor, as well.  All of  her last minute details unfolded as if she had labored over them a fortnight.  It was a lovely occasion, to say the least.

Somehow, there was barbecue, chicken, many sides and a sideboard full of desserts. I arrived a bit after twelve, straight from the woods.  I had been cutting elder flowers, mint and other such  things, to take to Elizabeth City.  I used coolers to transport them and had wanted to wait to the last minute, to cut them.

Cousin Alice was there from New York.  I met her a little over a year ago but,  it was as if we had know each other a very long time.  Her mother, my  great Aunt Astor, died when Alice was just a little girl.  Alice grew up in New York, where her father was from.  I greeted her yesterday, with band aids from battling briers and I suspect leaves in my hair.  It didn’t matter to her or anyone else there,  I have  never known a one of them to ever “put on airs”  in all of my life.  They are a genuine lot, altogether and it makes me glad  that they belong to me.  I often say, that when you are born into a loving family, you are truly “born with a silver spoon in your mouth”.

I arrived in Elizabeth City in mid afternoon.  There was a very cool wind churning up the laughing river.  Thankfully, I had brought a light jacket.  There was a festival in the downtown commons which is just a few blocks from Jenny’s house.  Will and Jenny went to hear a band , so Lyla and I spent the evening  together-Dear Diary,  what a sweet day!


I got up early on Sunday, but not earlier than Lyla.  Unlike me, Lyla does not wake up addle. She does not need coffee, to form a thought. Upon waking,  Lyla is ready for her day and she is hungry.  She wakes up happy and hugs everyone as if she is glad to see them again.  

I did not spend a great deal of time in “communion” this Sunday morning.  I noticed the cedar tree was lovely and was wearing  its’ tender spring boughs.  Birds love the cedar .  Cedar branches are dense and can keep secrets-still,  I know where a pair of Robins are building.  I watched a male robin struggle a good while with an object.  He dropped it several times as he attempted to fly.  Whatever it was, it was  bigger than he was.  With valor and persistence, he made it to the nest to present to his companion.  She took it from him, and immediately tossed it away.  She did not do this in a friendly fashion, either.  The male robin flew off unhindered by the whole affair, on a mission to do better.  “There is my sermon”, I thought.  Apparently, robins do not hold grudges.  

Not long after a light breakfast, we all took off for the little fair, downtown.  The day was overcast, so Lyla saw the colorful lights a good ways off.  The streets smelled of cotton candy and funnel cakes.  Lyla rode a little train-and later a pony.  We had ice cream by the river, after that.  We walked around for a while.  Lyla had a blue balloon and a small stuffed toy, Jenny had won, in the first five minutes of our arrival.  Later we saw a man, with a stuffed bear.  It was huge and we wondered what amazing thing he had done, for that!    I did not feel my years  while at the fair-of course I  had worn sensible shoes.  

The little playground  at the end of the street, was completely empty.  We stopped, so Lyla could take full advantage, and she did.  We heard the music and watched the fair go on-and we still smelled the cotton candy, while Lyla practiced climbing and sliding.

Being, it was Sunday, Jenny and I started working on a nice evening dinner, while Will worked in the yard.  Wills’ mom, Miss Claudia came and what a nice visit we had.  When darkness fell, the little fair said its’ farewell to Elizabeth City with a display of fireworks.  We watched from the front porch as the night sky sparkled with all sorts of colors.  In  the little village dogs were barking and children could be heard squealing in delight , while the sky snapped into  colorful ribbons  of light.

Dearest Diary,  I am so glad for the family I came from.  I am glad for robins and small town fairs.  I am thankful for sweet elder flowers and for the Cedar, that keeps secrets.  I will collect such things in my heart, til at last I have a storehouse of what I love . . .and little room for else.

“There is a Season. . . “

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The “crack of dawn” comes a lot earlier than it used too.  I wake with light, by nature, and unless it is raining, I am ready to “find my day.”  It is early now, and the light is still soft at the rabbit patch.  The old trees are full of new leaves now so I watch the shade and sunlight duel for territory.  The effect is charming and I remember that I  love light and shadow too.

Today, I will stop by the town of Windsor, on the way to Elizabeth City.  It is a small town, about twenty minutes from here.  A cousin “threw a family reunion together”- at the last minute.  Her daughter says “it is her nature to do such things”.  Cousin Dotsie, will not bother herself with mighty plans and details-but   I expect it to turn out as if she did.  I have a cousin from New York that is down and I think that inspired Cousin Dotsie’ idea.

I have not been to Elizabeth City in three weeks.  I have missed strolling the historical river village with Lyla.  I know that the mock orange is surely done blooming, but I bet the cocky mockingbird is still singing.  We may see young bunnies.  Elizabeth City helped inspire the name ‘Rabbit Patch”.  I have never seen so many rabbits in any one town.  They are not at all skittish, like their country cousins.  Some one dear to me there, claims a mother rabbit was nursing babies in his yard last year-and I believe him.  Lyla and I get practically close enough to the rabbits to introduce ourselves properly as we walk in the evening!  I have never heard any of the residents  of Riverside speak a word against the rabbit community-but I notice, they do not grow strawberries there.

I am packing light today, as this is a short visit.  Usually, I cook meals ahead of time for Kyle and Christian, but this time they are left to their own primative devices.  They will probably scramble eggs.  I will leave the house in good order as usual, excepting the wide hall, where the roof is being repaired.  There is a hammer and a crowbar on the shelf beside my books and plant-and a large pile of debris in the floor.    The yard needs mowing too, but I am “throwing caution to the wind”, and spending time with loved ones, instead , this week end.  I am older now, and would rather watch rabbits with Lyla, than most things.

Life has a way of helping us define, without great effort, what we truly love.  There really is a “time for every season” as Solomon wrote.  I am at a place, never imagined in my youth.  I thought “old people grew flowers, because that is about all they could do”.  Now I know, old people grow flowers because it is beautiful to do so.  In youth, we gather, and in time we “cast away” what doesn’t matter-we “break down” what we once thought was good and we “build up” what we found was of value.  Now we “laugh and dance” in authentic joy -and “we heal” as we need to.   We have learned full well, that “all that glitters is not gold.”  The other day, I remembered a fancy stereo system, that I had actually made payments on.  I do not know what became of it . . . however I know which book has pressed violets and  sweet gum leaves in it,  gathered when Brant and I walked in the woods, now decades ago. I have a basket of rocks and twigs that Tres collected -they did not get  “cast out” as I moved about.

And so, in light of this . . the grass can grow as it pleases, this weekend.  It is the “season to love”, after all, as well. 

What a Little Bird Told Me


By mid week, at the rabbit patch, routine has “set in” comfortably.  Thankfully, for me, variations are few and far between.  I just love familiar. It does not make for a dull life for me.  I have never been anything but a “homebody”.  Of course, the one exception, is when  I visit my children.  In that case, I am ready “at the drop of a hat”.   Otherwise, after work and an errand or so at times, I generally come home in great spirits and hum while I fix supper.  My grown up sons come in and  smell supper cooking, and I am happy.  

There is a little country store, just a few miles from the school, that I stop at several times a week.  Yesterday, as I was leaving, upon opening the door, a tiny ,little, baby sparrow tried to hop in.  He was so curious, it seemed and hardly afraid.  I considered it a pleasant surprise.  I convinced him to go in another direction and wished him well.  I thought of the old hymn, “His Eye is on the Sparrow” and it gave me great comfort, for the little bird-and me.

Kyle and Christian,have finally started repairing the leaky roof.  As it turns out, the repair is not nearly as complex  as they first thought.  Kyle called me to come see something and so I prepared myself for the awful mess it was making.  There was a heap of debris-and it was awful, but what a treasure lurked beneath the paneled ceiling. . .there was beadboard in a pleasing, pale , shade  of turquoise.  It was preserved  beautifully and perfectly.  This was another pleasant surprise, that day.  Suddenly the leaking roof did not seem the tragedy, that I had deemed it.  The wide hall, painted white should make for a pretty thoroughfare into the living room-and I just happen to have a turquoise bird to sit on the shelf that adorns the wall.

As happy, as I am to find a pretty ceiling, I remain steadfast on my mission to downsize.  Of course, spring is an especially beautiful season here and I remind myself, that I will have a lot more time to visit with my children and only grandchild, Lyla.  This spurs me on to lofty notions of a little cottage somewhere, that will probably need to be painted- and flowers will need to be  planted.    I have a great deal of peace about  the whole affair.  It has taken me two years to get in this state.  First, I kept looking at other big old houses as I am so drawn to them.  The children would not even slow down, when I pointed one out.  Then there was the concept of a smaller yard, to grasp.  There just has to be room for roses and Sweet Williams.  I so hope for at least one old tree, too.    I can safely say that “hope springs eternal” in my heart for all of this to come to pass, though I do not know the hour.  

Last night, when the world fell silent, I went out.   I find such conditions quite favorable for my spirit.   The stars reminded me of strands of diamonds.  Everywhere I looked, it seemed silver garlands were strewn about the night sky.  Somewhere, far away a dog was barking.  The only other sound was the occasional breeze whispering in the pines.  Such moments bring me to my knees and make me sorry for any  doubt I may have ever harbored, for any unkind thought I may have  ever entertained.  Such conditions make me want to sing, sometimes.  And so, I joined up with whispering pines and the far away barking dog and sang what ” a little bird told me” . . . 

“I sing because I’m happy-

I sing because I’m free-

for His eye is on the sparrow-

and I know He watches me.”  

It Happened on Sunday


On Saturday night, I was in the rabbit patch kitchen- the same could be said of Sunday morning.  This past Sunday, was no ordinary Sunday.  It was Mothers’ Day, after all.

Mama and Daddy were coming , my sister, Delores, and my niece, Dana.  I set out to  serve something everybody would love.  I ended up with  Jo Dees’ barbecued chicken, as the main course.  Everybody enjoys it and once you put it in the oven, you can just forget about  it and go about other things.  I had peeled at least a peck of potatoes, Saturday night and made potato salad.  Mama loves my potato salad.  I had also concocted a trifle of strawberries, pound cake and cheesecake dressing-because, Mama likes strawberries, too.  On Sunday morning, only a big pot of green beans had to be cooked and cheese biscuits made-because Dana loves cheese biscuits.

While the kitchen filled with aromas that foretold of  a “special” gathering . . .I washed floors.  Later in the morning, I went out to gather roses.  Right on time, the “Mothers’ Day” rose was in full bloom.  It is a rambling vine, with small pink roses that cascade over the picket fence, in a delightful fashion.  When paired with red and white roses,  and the white fragrant spikes of the spice bush, it made a lovely arrangement.  

The cheese biscuits were made at the last possible moment, so they would be piping hot , as biscuits ought to be.  A few of them were eaten just as everyone arrived-and before the blessing was said.  As, we were eating, Delores said she had finally made it to Sunday Dinner and I suspected, she thought that ought to be mentioned in the Rabbitpatch Diary.  She  was right, as she lives several hours away, and besides, this was no ordinary Sunday.

We had a nice visit . We ate the trifle and not long after, we said our good byes and vowed to spend time together in the summer.  The kitchen seemed especially quiet.  My oldest sons had to work, but called in the afternoon.  I couldn’t help but miss them.  At some point, I felt too sentimental, and so I took a walk around the territory.  Taking a walk, is as therapeutic  as peeling potatoes or washing dishes and  my spirits were soon restored.  Besides, I reminded myself,   in a few short weeks, they will all come home for the “Memorial Day” holiday.

The moon took its’ sweet time rising last night.  It was a particularly beautiful shade of amber.  I had walked by the fields of clary sage, earlier and decided I had to see them in the moon shine.  I stood before them, moments later and was glad I had come.  The fields seemed aglow as if a spell had been cast -a spell that rendered a stillness and a sense of well-being.  Fireflies flickered here and there -and all I wanted to do was pray, under such conditions.  It was a wonderful grand finale to the day.

Dear Diary,  I am glad for roses and fields of clary sage.  I am glad for slow rising moons and strawberries . I am glad for tables laden with foods served in pretty dishes, with loved ones gathered around-and I am glad for Sundays- all of them, but most especially the ones that are far from ordinary.

When the Elderberry Blooms


This week at the rabbit patch, passed swiftly and full of details.  Our annual spring dance performance happened last night.  I do not get to say this often, but I have danced every day of the week, lately.  Supper was from a crock pot several days and Kyle brought chicken home one night.  All week, I slept soundly, which gets me to thinking of the many benefits of physical activity.

The event, normally takes place outside.  Most days were beautiful and I was glad to be outside.  The  stately magnolias on campus and the wild honeysuckle, along the edge of the woods, are blooming.  While waiting their turn to dance, little girls made clover chains and I wore a necklace of them, most every day.   Little boys presented “good sticks” they found and a fair share of bugs.  It was a lovely time.  On Thursday night, the rain came.  The chill in the air warranted a jacket on Friday morning.  I surveyed the campus and called our administration to tell them there was a puddle right by the area where the children were dancing.  They asked about the size of it and I told them in the best way I could describe, “that it would hold three large pigs.”  We moved the performance to the gym, on account of that.

Jenny, Lyla and Mama attended.  Jenny was impressed and Mama praised my work.  Lyla was not impressed in the least.  She was not understanding why her very own “Honeybee”  was putting attention elsewhere.  Several times, I announced the next performance with Lyla on my hip.  If I put her down, she ran for the drums .  Several times, I handed her off to whoever was standing next to me. Still the children danced their folk dances and we were all proud of them.  Jenny said Lyla was asleep  before they were out of the parking lot.

Now, Saturday morning has dawned cool and overcast, and the only  current details revolve around Sunday Dinner. I could not commit to any menu, til now.  In between, the dances, words like “potato salad” would pop in my thoughts.  Now, on this cool quiet morning,  I have a plan and will not need to enter a grocery store and shop desperately.  I will make potato salad, as it turns out.  

Now that, I have the menu for the Mothers’ Day dinner,  I can think about this last week at the rabbit patch.  The elderberry has bloomed. I have a great affection for the flowers of the elderberry.  They are flat lacy flowers that make the night air smell heavenly.  There are plenty of them in the young patch of woods on the rabbit patch.  When the elderberry blooms, the whippoorwills  sing.  I have heard them this week.  The whippoorwill sings in the evening.  This habit, seems to make their song a lonesome one.  I love the sound of the whippoorwill , but  I may become overly nostalgic and lonesome for every thing beautiful that has  ever passed from me, if I listen too long.   My friend, Julie says that springs makes all of us nostalgic , and I have found her to be right on most subjects.

Thank Goodness, for the “Bob White”.  He sings when the elderberry blooms, as well.  I remember my daddy teaching me to identify the bird that sings his name.  “Bob Whites”  sing their name out, like they are glad about things in general.  Their song is easy to mimic and they always answer for as long as you call to them.  I have never been able to whistle, but the “Bob Whites” of my childhood did not mind, and answered me anyway.  I am as likely to call out to one now, as I was a long time ago.

Dear Diary,  Every day in May seems to bear witness to lovely things-things like whippoorwills and Bob Whites-children dancing in sunshine and presenting jewelry made with clovers  and the “best sticks”  . . . and it all happens  in May  . . .when  the elderberry booms .

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…

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Three Days in May


Yesterdays’ “morning shine” did not last long at the rabbit patch.  By mid-morning, clouds covered the land making the chilly breeze almost cold.  It was that kind of day when the sunlight is muted and showers are likely at any given moment.  

I finished the kitchen floor and finally the kitchen can be used fully.  We can walk where and when we please-even the cats.  With the showers yesterday, the roof did not get fixed, but at least, it did not leak.  The rabbit patch property  remains in a poor condition.  There is a good day of work there, to be reckoned with, but the flowers grow as if they do not take notice of the condition.  They seem as happy as a lark, on a Sunday morning.  I noticed yesterday that the foxglove is blooming down side one of the barns,  and so are  the wild privets  along the edge of the young woods.   Behind the oldest barn, there is a small orchard of sorts, and beyond that are the fields of clary sage.  What a sight to behold when the sage is blooming, as it is  now.  Looking at acres of lavender, white and purple spiked blossoms acts like a tonic, for me.  It always makes me want to pray , too.  Today, while the sun shines, I will “go to Church” out behind the grapevines and apple trees.

Mama and Daddy are still in Ocracoke, so instead of “Sunday Dinner”,  I am having “Sunday Supper”.  Jo Dee and her son,  Joehn are coming for roast beef and potatoes, green beans and cornbread.  I will probably make a yellow layer cake with old fashioned “hard icing” for dessert.  It will be easy work to gather a bouquet of flowers today, for the centerpiece-“pickings are not slim”,  in May.

In spite, of all the chores that demanded my attention,  the extra day in the weekend allowed me the chance to read, rest and write. I even watched an old black and white movie.  Those are my favorites.  I had never seen “Rabbit Trap”,  but I will watch it again. .  It was a simple plot, a father worked all of the time for a money-hungry boss.  Finally, he was allowed a vacation and rented a cabin with his wife and young son.  He and his son set a rabbit trap with hopes of taming a wild bunny.  The boss interrupted the vacation, and the family left in haste, forgetting the trap.  I will not tell the ending, but it touched me deeply-so much that it set me to wondering.

We tend to set “great store” on finding our purpose.  We worry that we may miss the mark-or we await with lofty notions that at some point “the secret” will be revealed.  Surely, we must not blink, or we may miss it altogether.  I wonder . . .what if, the purpose is to simply “live our truth” to “stand up, in our truth”.  Somehow, this makes sense to me.   I do not think in my older age, that there has to be some great mysterious reason for our life.  It makes less sense, that our purpose would be “shrouded” or tucked away in some far corner of the earth.  Maybe, our purpose changes, depending on the circumstances we face at the moment.

 I will wonder some more about this-later when I stand beholding the fields of clary sage, behind the barn on the rabbit patch. A lot sure can happen in three days in May.



From Fields to Shining Sea


Once again. the rabbit patch is full of morning shine.  Yesterdays’ clouds are nowhere in sight.  The first rays of sunlight lay in long, golden slants and makes the place look holy.  Of course, there is standing water in the usual places and the breeze that moves through the sycamores, has a chill to it. The rain stopped, so the roof doesn’t leak anymore.  Hopefully that will get repaired today.

Mama and Daddy are visiting with my sister, Connie at her beach house in Ocracoke.  Mikes’ mom, Miss Louise is there too. Yesterday, when I called, everyone had settled in.  Daddy was watching a movie, Mike and Connie were working on a jigsaw puzzle and Mama and Miss Louise were working on word puzzles.  This painted a cozy picture for me.  All was well and it made me happy.

 Ocracoke is a small island off the N.C. coast.  It is a quaint and lovely place with candy shops and ice cream sold out the back doors of small cottages.  Once, when I was there, I met a lady who made dresses and had them hanging on her front porch, to sell.  Vendors sell cold , tropical drinks or hotdogs in Ocracoke.  People walk or bike to get around the village circle and so if you  are prone to rushing, you may be in a bind right when you get  off the ferry-which is the only way you will get there.  Of course, my family will be fishing.  Connie and her husband Mike, catch enough fish to feed a small army, everytime they fish.  They needn’t exaggerate the size of their fish, either.  The fish are huge specimens and reeling them in, has got to be as hard as digging a ditch, I think.

The long time residents of Ocracoke speak in a brogue with all sorts of phrases not heard anywhere else.  They pronounce words as they see fit.  There are wild horses on the island and the beaches are never crowded.   There are no “chain stores”  but there is a general store that sells groceries -and bait. There are plenty of restaurants run by locals and worth bragging about.  Ocracoke seems further away from the mainland, than just a few hours.  Our  Connie is “at home ” on her beloved island.

I have not seen Lyla in two weeks now.  Jenny said she loved watching the storm yesterday.  The “laughing river” spilt in to the streets, but without causing serious threats in the historical neighborhood- and the wind blew with might, in gusts.  They watched from their porch , the same place that Lyla saw her first rainbow.  To say that “I miss her”, is putting it lightly.  I have to wonder, what she is saying now, what is her current fancy and what new thing has she learned to do.

Back at the rabbit patch, the roof needs fixing and the yard needs mowing. Woodland birds are singing while they dash about finding all sorts of seeds scattered by yesterdays’ storm.  The only fish here, are in creeks and ponds, often hidden in the woods.  Young boys will battle briers, redbugs and poison ivy just to catch a small fish . . .and the horses abide in quiet pastures. The breeze here, does not smell of salt, but of cedar, pine and wild flowers.  Instead of an ocean view, I look at fields  and woods from my porch.  There are so many beautiful ways to live a life, I think.

Dear Diary,  How lovely this world is, with its’ oceans,  ponds and laughing rivers -with its’ wild and tame horses.  No matter where I go, there is something to be glad about and people to love are every where!