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.
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.