Beyond the Laughing River

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I left school on Friday and headed for Elizabeth City.  I had not seen Lyla in  almost three weeks, and it felt like longer.  I had  bought a full tank of gas on Thursday, as already some stations were out of it.  I was quite determined to get to the village by the laughing river, before the next storm came through.  . .and thankfully, I did.

 The sky over the village was gray and so was the river water.  This made the village seem quiet and sleepy.  No one was out to see the magnolia still in bloom nor the dogwoods first red leaves.  Lamps burned brightly in the windows of the  quaint cottages, as well as the stately manor homes.  What a pretty picture it made.  The little bridge was already sparsely covered in water, by the time I crossed it .  The large flat rock, that Lyla had wanted to nap on, in July, was hidden under the gray water, like a sunken treasure-and to me it was just that.

It wasn’t too long, after I arrived, that Lyla and I were watching it rain, from the porch.  The constant wind was cool and sometimes blew raindrops on us.  The rain was silver in the light of the street lamps and it fell generously on the “just and the unjust” as it is written.

On Saturday, conditions were the same, as had been  predicted.  This did not stop us from making some last minute plans to go to the beach.  The Atlantic ocean is just thirty minutes or so from Elizabeth City,  and so in good faith that the sun would shine, Will, Jenny, Lyla, Miss Claudia and I  packed a few things and we were off to the seaside.  As it turns out, Miss Claudia is a great traveling companion.  She stopped by a bakery and purchased lemon bars and cheesecake bars before she left Elizabeth City.  On the way, she stopped at a roadside shop that had fresh peaches and watermelon.  There was also a bakery that sold fresh bread and pecan pies.  She bought pear and fig preserves for the bread.  Well, that made a difference, in the state of our affairs. 

The sun was shining brightly on Sunday morning.  After breakfast, Jenny and Will walked to the beach, with Lyla.  It is a short walk, comparable to my walk to the oldest barn on the rabbit patch.  I joined them later.  The beach was not as crowded, as I had expected.  Kites were soaring and umbrellas of every hue lined the shore.  It was a happy scene to view.  Lyla played in the sand and loved the kites.  I loved the yellow butterflies.  They were everywhere.  How beautiful they were fluttering above the ocean.  They looked like confetti, I thought.  When I got back to the cottage, I learned they were  named cloudless butterflies and were preparing for migration to Florida.  Whatever their plans,  I was glad to have seen them on their merry way to somewhere.

After spending the morning on the beach, we opted for a picnic on the top deck. From there, we could see the ocean over the dune, and smell the salt air.  The “Joe Bell” flowers dotted the landscape .  The bright yellow and orange blossoms looked so dainty that it was hard to believe that they could survive on sand and wind full of salt-but they do, dependably.  The cottages along the shore are all shades of blue, from lavender to periwinkle.  There are also pink ones and turquoise, yellow-well almost every color can be found in a short distance.  Trees do not grow so tall and the birds do not resemble the woodland birds, I am used to.  It is such a different world, just a short drive from the laughing river.

Will and Jenny took Lyla to visit friends, after the picnic.  Miss Claudia and I relaxed at the cottage.  I spent some time sitting in the sunshine, much like the habit of  my cat, Christopher Robin.  I tried not to think of anything, except the warm sunshine and the soft cool breeze that was blowing.  It worked-and I nearly fell asleep. Later on, Miss Claudia ordered us plates of  fresh seafood and her first cousin, Vivian and husband Val came.  They have a cottage just a few miles away.  (Vivian reads the Rabbit Patch Diary) I found them delightful and friendly folks.

In late evenings, Lyla and I would walk to the beach to see the moon.  It was an almost full moon, we saw last night.  The sky was pink after sunset.  The ocean followed suit, and for a while, appeared the water was pink while a silver moon was rising.  It was a beautiful sight.  The waves weren’t causing the same commotion they had earlier, but instead, broke gently.  The crashing sound of the waves was now more like  a contented purr.  Lyla ran about in complete freedom, as the only other folks on the beach, were some fishermen in the distance.  We lingered on the shore, til it was dark and Lylas’ hair was full of sand.  We walked back to the cottage hand in hand.  Neither of us said anything.  Holding hands was enough.  Miss Claudia had the porch light on, like a beacon, welcoming us back.  

Sometime today, we will head inland where mockingbirds sing and trees are tall and mighty. . .where fields lie golden and silent.   . .and the leaves of the dogwood are turning red.

   Dear Diary, I am glad for oceans and silver moon shine.  I am glad for the yellow butterflies of September . . and kites with long dancing tails.  I am glad for a world with sandy beaches strewn with shells and . . . tree lined sidewalks where acorns fall .  

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42 thoughts on “Beyond the Laughing River

  1. Oh, how I miss the beach! What a splendid day! I love the picture of Lyla on the beach – adorable! I will be keeping you in my prayers as I watch the latest storm gathering in the Atlantic. Stay safe my friend 🙂

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  2. Goodness…I have missed news from the Rabbit Patch! I have to catch up with your comings and goings! I like thinking about the pastel cottages at the beach…at least I envision the cottages as being pastel. I hope that your children at school are wonderful and happy!

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      1. Thank you, Michele! I am trying to get caught up with reading blogs, but I can’t seem to write a few posts and keep up with reading at the same time! I am still so very tired…I will recover from that! But…when?? I do finally start physical therapy on Monday…it has been one month since the stroke. They can find no real reason why it happened…every test has turned out just fine. It could quite possibly be the high altitude coupled with a very small blood clot that has already disappeared. We have been to Colorado many times and I have gotten dizzy several times. It would quickly stop! In Rocky Mountain National Park, we drove to the very top…the highest peak and back down to Estes Park. When we stopped at the gift shop and restaurant in the park…I could not walk at all correctly. So…next time we go to Colorado… I will be taking special medicine! Whatever that is!!! Love, Pat

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      2. Dear Pat-I am glad there isn’t some awful condition and it seems high altitude does affect you. Thank you God, for taking care of my friend! I get being behind on blogging-gosh it is hard!! I wanted to cry when the tab says 60 new posts! I am caught up now-for the moment! thank you dear and Godspeed! love Michele

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  3. I’m so glad you had a nice weekend to go to Elizabeth City, to see Lyla, Miss Claudia, and friends. I heard about the gasoline situation. Good to hear you had enough gasoline to go to the beach. The photo of Lyla is precious.

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  4. Everything from the story is so real,I thought I was there on the beach.
    P.s
    I like miss Claudia and even more her fig preserve,one of my favourite!
    My mom makes it and every summer I bring few jars with me back home.

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  5. Sounds like you had such a lovely weekend!! I laughed when you wrote how Miss Claudia is a great travelling companion…and went on to list all the goodies she bought. You’re right she is a great travelling companion. Little Lyla is a cutie pie too. We’re getting that rain tonight and tomorrow. Enjoy the full moon tomorrow (Wednesday), talk about silver moon shine, it was so bright last night. I hope the clouds clear out tomorrow night so I can bask in it!! Wishing you a wonderful week Michele. Love, Deb xo

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      1. Lol…at first I thought you meant the alcohol moonshine!! hehe That would be like a tonic.
        I agree with you…the moon was full on Wednesday and its been so bright all week and I’ve been basking in it brightness!! Oh it howling at it too for fun. 😉 love, Deb

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  6. Magic visits hearts when grandchildren accompany grandparents to the beach. Something happens. Not sure if it’s the ocean; the sand; the air; or natures magic, but it’s something which lives on in our hearts forever more.

    Incredible photo of little Lyla. She’s a bundle of magic in herself. Bless her.
    Thank you for taking me with you on your trip(s) Rabbit. I so enjoy accompanying you, for you carry your own magic with you, which enables me to visualise everything you write about.
    God bless you, my fabulous friend. Thank you for being uniquely ‘you’. ~ Cobs. x

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  7. Such marvelous powers of description you have, my friend. I felt like I experienced everything you wrote about along with you. What a marvelous part of the world you live in where you can enjoy an ocean, a rabbit patch, a laughing river. You are blessed as your writing blesses us.

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