Dogs and Mockingbirds


This Past Friday

The farmhouse on the rabbit patch is old . . almost a century old.  It was built at a time, when real wood was used and put together with nails made of real iron.  I know every inch of it personally, by now.  This week I have reunited with every nook and cranny.  The only things left in this house are things we need or love.  To say, I have “cleaned my act up” is an understatement.  My bones will attest to that.

Today, I am cleaning out two more barns. There are nine of them.  These barns are not little garden sheds and   I am quickly losing my affection for them.  The flowers and verses I have painted on them, no longer tug at my heart.  The painted wreaths on the doors do not cheer me.  I am too tired and dirty to find them “cute’.  It is hot enough to “cure tobacco” inside of the barns, as well.  I have found all of the missing flashlights and hammers, though . . and the pitchfork. 

Today was the hottest day so far this summer.  I took a good many breaks.  I am quite sure the sycamores saved my life today.  I drank ice water , in their shade and felt the cool earth beneath me, while a mockingbird sang.  Cash, my loyal friend, laid beside me.  He is determined to guard me while I work.  He followed me all over the territory, from one place to another, in spite of the heat-no rabbit would get me this day!  I love dogs.  

I can never do just one task at a time.  I have some sort of condition, I suppose, which comes in handy on occasion.  When I needed to get out of the barns, I  would cut vines.  Southern vines are vicious and grow faster than they have a right to.  I cut vines growing up the side of barn, behind the azaleas.  Why I did not see a snake is beyond me.  Some of the vines had thorns and scratched me quite hatefully.  Others are known to be poisonous. . .  I cut them too.  . .and hoped for the best.  I noticed the lone pine , in the front yard, with vines creeping up its’ trunk and so I set out to free the tree that whispers in the wind.  I stepped and sunk into the largest mound of fire ants, in all the world.  They had quite an empire, tucked neatly behind the irises. That was it for me, on this day.

Once I was cleaned up and in fresh clothes, I felt civilized again.  It was just after five and for me that was an early time to quit working.  I  secretly wished it would rain and relieve me of the guilt of stopping chores early.  I decided to go to the grocery as I had not been in weeks.  That is when it rained.  The downpour came fast and I walked in the grocery soaking wet.  The store felt so cold after working in the heat . . and being drenched.  I remembered catching rain water, when I was young, to rinse my hair in.  Rain water really does soften hair.  Of course, it is much more pleasant to catch rain in a bucket, instead of a parking lot.

Saturday Morning

It is early as I write this.  Today is supposed to be as hot as yesterday-over one hundred degrees, even in the shade of a sycamore.  The territory needs mowing and so I will hopefully get started on that.  Mowing is hot, but it is easier than cleaning  a barn out.  

I still want to pressure wash the house. . .and the biggest barn of all really needs organizing and sweeping.  I wonder if the hateful bees are still there.  They clearly won the first round.  The floors of the old farmhouse need scrubbing and there are curtains and linens to wash.  The appraiser comes on Tuesday morning.  After that, I plan to  think of something besides chores.

I have tried to keep things in perspective.  I am simply downsizing and people do it every day.  After all,  to quote my friend, Mrs. Cobbs, “It is not world peace”  at stake.  Besides, the Japanese roses are blooming again.  They really look like carnations, to me.  The apple and two types of peach trees are bearing gifts, too.  Black-eyed-susans and the rose-of sharon bushes are doing what they can and the red geraniums on the porch are as cheerful as ever.  There is the sunset, when the sky turns shades of gold, lavender and pink. . . and then the grand finale – when millions of stars fill the sky with silver.  I  think  of Yeats who penned “the golden apples of the sun, the silver apples of the moon”.

 I take these things personally and highly recommend we all do.  It evokes a sense of well being and snuffs out frustrations promptly.  Gratitude wells up and even if you are not a poet . . . you are liable to cry at such beauty. 

Dear Diary, I am glad for trees that give shade and trees that give fruit.  I am glad for trees that whisper in the wind, too. I am glad for dogs and mockingbirds.  I am glad for rain.  I am glad for all of the holy wonders of this world.  




28 thoughts on “Dogs and Mockingbirds

  1. I long for you to be through with this time-eating cleaning and neatening. I rested with you under the sycamore tree, but I’d just as soon not feel the heat myself. You are doing a marvelous job. Your hard work is going to be rewarded, but meanwhile, I’ll keep on cheering for you in summer’s heat. The best I can do right now is send you virtual buckets full of coolness and peace.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am tired just reading of all the work you’ve done in the 100 degree heat! I’m sure the appraiser will be impressed and your efforts rewarded. I love the picture of the farm house it takes me back to my youth. My husband and I are trying to decide when to downsize. We’re in the house we raised our kids in and they’re all grown but the grandkids are here visiting and they love the big house. I’m tired of cleaning it! LOL I hope the temperature cools down for you!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. First, you have a husband-a companion to share and I think it is so wonderful that the grandchildren love the house. For me, it is the work and truthfully, I pour every extra cent into the upkeep. My youngest boys are here, but part of that is they do not want to leave me stranded. Oh please pray about this for me. thank you, love Michele

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I don’t envy you with the ants and all of the jobs you’re doing. However, I admire your energy and all that you’ve achieved. 😊 I hope you are relaxing a little this weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Dear Ma’am,
    I would have loved to come and help and see your sights, barns and verses included and of course, faithful companion, Cash.
    When you move, what will will do with all the dogs and cats ?
    I hope the people who buy your house will love it as much as you do and not pull it down.
    You are illustrious as the ants ( you sat on).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thank you Susie-Cash and the cats will move with me. I have been praying that the new owners will be just right for the place and will be happy here. I wish you could have been here, but you are better off to have just read about it as it has been hard work-and so hot! I do not know how long the selling will take-but I have made good progress on being prepared. Please pray about it for me-thank you sweet susieshy!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Dearest, most sweetest Rabbit who I love to the moon and back ….
    I have just been talking to Mr.Cobs about you (and about how much I love you to pieces too), and I asked him to sit for a few minutes, so that I could read this new post to him (I hadn’t even read it myself at that point), as I wanted him to get a ‘feel’ for why I sat here most days, quiet and filled with peace and love ….

    Once read .. he smiled. I could see the peace which had settled upon him too. You cast a magical circle of love and wonderment over me and mine. Every single time I come to visit you on the Rabbit Patch, I end up so ‘at one’ with you, the world and nature that I swear you should be available on prescription.

    Have you thought about making these blog posts into a book, Rabbit? Maybe a new ‘hobby’ of getting them all together and making a book out of them. Obviously, when you’ve moved and settled in to your new home and made it yours. Time will then become available again to you, and I think a book would do really well indeed.

    As for World Peace … YOU dearest Rabbit, hold the secret to how to slow things down and give the world some peace, simply by writing your words. Peace resides at the heart of your posts, tucked inside words of love.

    But your lovely home … about to be sold and you are moving on. Moving forward. You will take your memories of this wonderful home with you. No one can sell those.

    But … just after you’ve (or your realtor) shows your home and it’s looking so clean and tidy without a random shoe being out of place … go round your home and take photographs. LOTS of photographs. Photo’s of anything you think you’ll never forget so you think you don’t have to remember to take a photo of them. TAKE the photo.

    It’s amazing how quickly beautiful things which we ‘know’ we’ll never forget, suddenly get pushed down the list inside our heads.

    I took photos of every part of our old cottage and today, almost [only] six years later I am SO SO glad that I took those photos. That one which I thought was a stupid thing to tae a photo of, has now become precious to me in a way I never thought it could be. Take photo’s Rabbit.

    Sending you love, and praying that the temperatures there cool so that you find it easier to finish off the things you want to do. But remember … It’s not World Peace that you’re aiming for … you’re aiming for making your home look as special as it actually is for the right person to see it.

    The World Peace Council aren’t coming to visit … you just need the right person. And the right person is there …. waiting to find your incredible home.

    Relax a little … remind yourself that you fell in love with it once … and I bet it didn’t look as amazing back then as it does right now.
    You are in my prayers, my fabulous friend. ~ Cobs. x ❤ ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  6. My goodness, what a job, it sounds overwhelming. I hope everything goes well, and quickly. I am sure the new family will enjoy the fruits of your labor. I know downsizing isn’t easy but it will not take long for you to get used to and start enjoying your new home. ☺☺

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Michele, thought the appraiser was coming this past week, so ‘prayed ahead’ for you. Will keep lifting you up as you prepare for Tuesday. What a gift amidst all your hard work to see the holy wonders around you – and share them with us. We are all blessed up! Lots of love & prayers – Virginia 🙏💜🙏
    p.s. STAY COOL -it’s hotter than fireballs here in Williamsurg, too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. the appraiser had to cancel, but thank you and keep praying. If it weren’t for holy wonders, I couldn’t keep on. I am no fan of southern heat-but goodness the countryside is cooler than a parking lot! Thank you so much Virginia!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh Michele I missed a few of your posts while on vacation and see now that you are planning to move! My, that is just so much work. I hope you find the perfect buyers and if you haven’t already, the perfect new home. I know when we built our first house in the woods I prayed that it would be a refuge for people, and years later, I realized that indeed it had been a refuge for my widowed mom, my sisters boys who came often on their summer vacations, and for us, and then it went on to be a refuge for the new owners. They even held a memorial there for her father because he had loved it so much.
    It must be bittersweet for you. I can feel your love for the place through your words, and yet I also understand the need for respite from all the work you must do to maintain it. We are at the same place here, just trying to get stuff done, feeling like slaves to it, and wondering where we will go from here.
    I’ll keep you in my thoughts and prayers. I hope you will still have a blog so we don’t loose track of you!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Bless your heart. You are working so hard in all the heat. How lovely you can appreciate the cooling shade of the tree. It’s terribly hot here too. Breaking records daily 110-111. I only go out to check the animals thru out the day, not the chores you are doing. Do you have your sights on another home yet?
    Praying for you as you make this adventure!

    Liked by 1 person

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