I drove home from Elizabeth City on Sunday morning. The daylight was the kind that did not reveal the time. It could have been seven am, but it was really nine, when I left the Riverside village. If it weren’t for Kyle, Christian, my dog and cats, then it would have broken my heart to leave Lyla sitting in her high chair.
I had gotten used to lingering over coffee, with Jenny. We would loosely, plan our day, while Lyla chattered away. One morning, Lyla got up in an especially good mood. She said “Good Morning, Honey!” with such a smile-and then she said ‘cake and cookies!” several times. Jenny said, Lyla had said that in her sleep, too. What truly “sweet dreams”, she must have had.
Lyla has a “kitchen”, given to her by her aunt Mari “Bea”. There is a little telephone mounted on the set, and so of course, Jenny and I started “calling in orders’. You can order whatever you want . . but you are only getting cake. Jenny ordered corn, once and Lyla said “cake?” Jenny said “corn” again, and Lyla said “cake”. This went on til Lyla hung up on Jenny! After that, I ordered cake.
Thankfully, I had a nice drive home. When I turned in the rabbit patch drive way, I saw that the yard needed mowing again, but I also noted that the front porch really did look good, with its’ fresh paint. . .as did the awnings. the geraniums were blooming with blossoms as red as the front door. When I walked in the kitchen, there was my dog, Cash and he was in a state of delight at the sight of me. Moon Shine, the cat that used to be wild, turned his back on me and walked out. Christopher Robin, the cat that casts judgement “at the drop of a hat” was lying on top of the refrigerator. I have never seen him there before, as that is against the “house rules”, yet he barely flinched. I knew right that moment, he was holding a grudge against me, for leaving, in the first place.
I went to work, straight away on things I had to do for the “inspection” that is coming up, by the realtor. Oh, gone are the days of leisure strolls watching birds and rabbits. Farewell, to the hours sitting in a swing, watching the river turn a delightful shade of lavender, just hours after noon. It is back to cleaning out barns and climbing ladders, again. . . and picking peaches.
The peach tree is boasting just now-and it ought to. There are enough peaches to make cobblers whenever I feel like it. Of course, I plan to make ice cream with a few. Miss Claudia will agree with me on that. It does not surprise me a bit that the peaches are ready to pick and preserve, the same week as the appraiser is coming.
Mid summer is always busy at the rabbit patch. The “sprucing up of the rabbit patch” took the place of the gardening this year. Lord willing, next year I will tend a small garden. I do know, especially now, that I would rather be growing tomatoes than going through paint, “like it’s water”.
This coming week, will be a far cry from the last one. But, since arriving, I have cleaned out and organised the storage barn and eliminated a large upright cabinet in the house. While going through boxes in storage, I found letters, I had written my grandmother, over thirty years ago. There was a time when people wrote their thoughts and best wishes down on pretty paper, I remembered. I was a young mother at this time and wrote about my babies, mostly. One was written just before Christmas letting her know how much I looked forward to seeing her. I read them without hurry. Oh, it made me so sentimental that she had saved them, that I closed the door on the little barn without sweeping the floor.
The light never changed all day, but I know that the hours passed, anyway. A lot happened . . . and I was tired because of it.
Dear Diary, I am glad for midsummer when peach trees are laden with gold and lavender rivers drift peacefully by. I am glad to hear Lylas’ “sweet dreams” and I am glad for finding the old letters written to my own grandmother, long ago. No matter where I go . . across three rivers- in the kitchen at the rabbit patch or an old barn- love abides . . .and I am especially glad for that.