My furlough in Elizabeth City is coming to an end this weekend. I will travel back to the rabbit patch, where things need fixing and the territory needs mowing. I will abide in the presence of woodlands and in the absence of sidewalks, once I go home. I have missed Kyle and Christian-and the animals. I am sure by now, that my cat, Christopher Robin, is holding a grudge. He is inclined to be judgemental when I abandon the rabbit patch for more than a few days.
It is always hard to say good bye, after wonderful visits with any of my children-this time was as well. I had slipped into a routine in the week. Morning strolls with Lyla and then again in the later afternoon, sometimes-and sharing meals. Jenny and I had leisure conversations on the front porch. We talked about flowers and recipes. We talked about our hopes and made wishes . . we just talked about everything.
I have so many sweet memories of the week. On our walk, yesterday, a gentlemen asked me “if I knew what time it was?”. Of course I will not be encumbered with a watch. I paused and said after great thought, that it was “sometime in June.” I made a note, to verify that, when I got back to Jennys’, as July seemed due to arrive at any minute-and that meant bills would need to be paid . . again. Lyla and I walked that day til we were hungry, as is our habit.
One evening Will blew bubbles and Lyla chased them. What a cute sight that was. When one would escape over the fence, Lyla would say “it got away!” That same evening, I told Will and Jenny, the story of Lyla saying I love you to a cat. When Jenny was taking Lyla in for a bath, Lyla stopped at the top step to the porch. She turned and pointed at me and said “I love you”. Now that was the “icing on my cake”. She immediately did the exact same thing to Will, so we could neither complain any longer about that-or anything else either. Speaking of cake. . .Lyla loves it. Jenny is a sensible mom and does not want Lyla expecting a cake on a regular basis. I had found a recipe for a cake that used flax meal and fruit. I asked Jenny about fixing a “C-A-K-E”, spelling it out. Lyla chimed in and said “A-B-8-9”. These are some of things I pondered as I was packing my bag.
Tres called as I was gathering my belongings and said he was coming home. Now that made a nice difference. He wanted to finish the rabbit patch “roof repair”, which has gone on long enough now to be considered a plague. I do hope the day comes soon, that when Tres comes home, it is to eat home cooked meals and sit on the porch. He has been so diligent in concluding the ruckus at the rabbit patch. He comes in like a hero and restores order . . and in the process, restores my hope. I feel that this is the way Tres points at me and says “I love you”.
Around noon, I headed home. I cross three rivers and I pass through several small towns. on the way back. There are some large fields of corn along the way and I noticed the corn was “tasseling” So it is July, I thought. I drove up to the rabbit patch. The tiger lilies are blooming and the grass needs mowing, I noted. Kyle and Christian had kept the old farmhouse in good order. Only, a few dishes needed washing, but the laundry was done. Most things were in their proper place. Cash, my boxer was especially glad to see me. Even Christopher Robin could not “put on airs” but for so long. Tres drove up within the hour and that made the reunion, all the better.
Almost immediately, the boys got to work. My sons cast the shadows of young men, I notice as they cut new wood. I hear them discussing how to proceed using a language that I can not make heads nor tails of. They spend their own money on the supplies, though I argue about that-so, I decide, we are having fried green tomatoes and sweet corn for supper, as I know they love both.
As I write this, there is sawdust in the house. . .again- and, I will need to buy more paint. I want to complain awfully bad- but I can’t.
Dear Diary, What beautiful moments made up the week. I am glad for the miles , walked by a laughing river, with Lyla. I am glad for boys who grow into noble young men and little girls, who grow up to be good mothers. I am glad for June, when the tiger lilies bloom and time is not so dull as to be measured by clocks.