It is early Saturday morning at the rabbit patch. Coffee is brewing and I have made a small fire in the little fireplace by the morning table. This is the first cold morning of the season. It takes a lot of gumption to be the first one up in a cold house, especially if the fire went out in the night-and I am convinced that the bed feels the best it ever will, at that particular time. Most people have central heat and have no idea of the plight, I mention. I promised myself again this morning, that one day I would too.
I remembered cold mornings many moons ago, when I was a child. There was no central heat in my grandparents house either. They used a “Warm Morning” space heater . I slept in the “little bedroom” just off the kitchen, Heavy quilts were piled without mercy, to ensure I wouldn’t “catch cold”. I always woke to the smell of coffee and bacon. . .and the rattling of the china dishes, with bright yellow roses, on them. Grandmama allowed me one cup of coffee, which was really milk with a tablespoon of sugar and a splash of coffee. I never fail to remember sitting at the yellow and chrome table, on cold mornings- and to this day, I think coffee tastes better served in a china teacup.
I knew right off this morning, that unless the weather changed drastically, I would not work outside today. The wind made me abandon my idea to burn the garden . I did hope that the wind blew some of the fallen leaves in desirable places, such as the garden or the patch of young woods, at the far corner of the territory. Sunlight falls now, where shade used to, but the battle with the leaves, is still far from over. . . .Just for today, the leaves win.
I decided to make gingerbread. I gathered the ingredients and hummed as I did so. The house would soon smell of that wonderful and familiar fragrance, -and then I would make coffee. Thankfully, before I mixed the concoction, I remembered the broken oven. I have been wanting gingerbread for a while. Then and there, I decided that as soon as I got the new stove, I would make gingerbread. I did make coffee, with a generous amount of cinnamon, at least.
By mid afternoon, I took a walk around the property. It was just the right kind of weather for a brisk walk. The wind was light and the sun was shining and bright enough to light the young dogwood up. The wild southern vines , that I fuss about, were golden and red. It looked like the woods were celebrating. Christopher Robin, loves to sneak up on me, but this day he could not, as the leaves crackled beneath us, with every step.
I came in and cooked a “stove top” supper, for Christian and I . Christopher Robin was naughty and did not come in with Cash and I and so when darkness fell and the cold “set in” I was worried. Cash, my boxer, never wants to disappoint me and would never do such a thing. Christopher Robin, however, does not succumb to pleading nor ranting. He finally came in much later on-and he was hungry.
The sky was blue right off, this morning-and streaked with clouds, in long neat rows. I have a small fire in the den which fascinates Christopher Robin. The fire is just big enough to take the chill out of the air . The sounds of a small fire are about as delightful as the cheerful flames -and are probably good for “whatever ails” you. It is hard to be anxious about things in the presence of a fire.
It seems the more I consider what I truly enjoy most in life, it is often the simple, primitive things that spring to mind. In some way, this makes me quite wealthy, as one does not need “a kings’ ransom” to watch the moon rise or stand beneath a sweet gum, adorned in the jewel hues of autumn. Such collections are reliable and do not break or get lost. They do not lose their value over time, and are apt to make the heart grateful. I have seen the time an old pine made a difference, for me.
I started another “stove top” supper and hoped as I peeled potatoes that the new stove would be here soon. I went out, as the soup simmered. The afternoon was fair and not nearly as cold as yesterday. I saw a bright red spot in one of the rose bushes, in the “Quiet Garden” on a rose bush. I went closer and thought to “rescue” the pretty rose from the approaching cold weather. . . .but suddenly it flew away! It was a cardinal, and as he was as red as any I had ever seen. What a sweet surprise it was. . .and it tickled me too.
The soup was ready, when dusk had set in. The rabbit patch was silent except for an occasional oak leaf falling. For three days, I have not left the property. I have not solved a mystery, but I have dreamed “like a big-shot ” by a friendly fire. I have listened to music, surely inspired by God and seen a ” a ruby rose ” take flight’ . . .in just three days.