To Love the Winter, Too


There has been no need to build a fire as of lately, at the ” rabbit  patch”.  Instead,  the window, by the morning table, is raised.  Rain falls steadily  and sounds  like a lullaby, sung by nature.  There was still snow this morning.  It was lying in ditches and by the edge of the woods.  The rain washed it all away today and so the landscape became  the familiar  monochromatic shades of winter, again.

The “early service” was especially beautiful today.  When light came to herald a new day . . .well it made quite a spectacal  of itself. The sky was almost lavender and the sun cast rays the color of clementines.  . .   then, a mockingbird sang , some blackbirds cheered -and the day was born. 

 A southerly wind breathed the sweet country air in the old farmhouse through the still open window.  If I am afforded the conditions to put a window up, I will.  It may be a different story, when I one day, live in a cottage on  small town street, but as long as I dwell in the country, I will smell the pines in January, drifting through the old house, every chance I get-and I will be glad for it. . .and more importantly, content.

There are a few tasks at the rabbit patch I want to complete, but with it being a three day week end, there is no sense of rush, which delights me.  I am thinking to make tea cakes again, for practice-and because we all like them.  

My great grandmother, ” Mama Hodges”  was known for pound cakes and tea cakes.  Her kitchen always smelled of those concoctions, and  rightly so, as most often, there was a pound cake,on her refrigerator  ( called a Kelvinator, in those days).  She had a metal cake pan, out of a childs’ reach, for also in those days, a child would NEVER risk the aftermath of putting her shoes on anyones’ furniture-or a kitchen chair.  

“Mama Hodges” seemed old in my earliest memories of her.  She had been widowed as a young mother of four and wore black for over forty years, after “Papa” died, until her own death.  She usually wore a white apron, too.  Every week, on one morning, Mama and Grandmama, took my sister, Delores and I to visit “Mama Hodges”.  Delores and I were expected to sit quietly with the women-and we did.  It was always hot enough “to cure tobacco” in that living room.  The hours were as slow as the the elders prayers, on Sunday.  Ever so often, the women went to the kitchen and Mama Hodges would offer Delores and I, a piece of her pound cake. She would cut a slice and promptly banish us to the back porch, so as not to get crumbs on her floor.  What a happy turn of events that was for us.  It was like “having your cake, and eating it too”. 

  There was a “spinster” named “Miss Delphie that lived just down the road, and we often saw her., there at “Mama Hodges'”, house.  Miss Delphie was a small, quiet woman.  She crocheted little hats and blankets for new babies.  She could also gather flowers off of a ditch bank and make very impressive arrangements-fit for the Church,on Sunday.   The women talked in quiet voices  and had the most proper conversations.  The television was never on and as a child, I imagined all sorts of stories, while the ladies talked about crocheting.  When my great Aunt Agnes came over, things livened up.  Aunt Agnes wore dangling earrings  and perfume.  I was always so happy, if my cousin “Faith” was with her.   Things happened when Faith came.  Once, Faith talked back to Miss Delphie.  Miss Delphie got on Faith, about not being “lady like” about something-and Faith said ” well, when I grow up, at least I am going to have a husband!”  You could have heard a pin drop.  We were all shocked and I was sure Faith would be arrested!   I was quite relieved to see her in Sunday School, the following Sunday-alive and well and still apt to be sassy.   I  do not make a pound cake or tea cakes, that I do not remember those long and mostly uneventful, mornings at Mama Hodges, many years ago.

I had to close the window, by early afternoon.  Clouds covered the sky over the rabbit patch and the air had quite a chill.  It is hard to believe, but there is another chance of snow on Wednesday.  There has been no mention of sub freezing temperatures,  and in all probability, this will be just a “dusting” and harmless. 

Winter is not beloved to many.  Christmas lights do not twinkle as they did a short while ago.  The landscape lies barren in hues of brown and gray.  Light is scarce and often muted. Still, we ought not to lose heart . Winter does not make the many demands , like the warmer seasons do.  Gardeners can spend the winter dreaming, for they know that miracles  await, just beneath the soil.  Winter is a time to rest and  to consider . .  .to gather our wishes and to build fires.  Don’t forget to love the winter, too. 


19 thoughts on “To Love the Winter, Too

  1. Dear Ma’am,
    A thoughtful post, past memories- tea cakes and pound cakes.
    What is the difference between them, by the way ? I love both of them, and could never figure out the difference.
    Ms. Faith’s comment made me laugh- goes to show what women those days discussed and what their priorities were. ( probably no different from now).
    Did Ms. Faith get married, finally ?
    Though it was a wintry post, your post made me laugh.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. hello dear Susie! Tea cakes are cookies-and the taste is like a pound cake-or a shortbread. They are soft cookies and here, often eaten with tea. Faith did grow up and get married and is now expecting her second grandchild. Faith was one of my favorite cousins and always in to something! thank you so much. Hearing from you, always makes me happy! love Michele

      Liked by 1 person

      1. For us, tea cakes are cakes which are yellow in colour, no icing- nothing else.
        Tea cakes like cookies, which you describe, we would call Tea Rusks I suppose, they are very tasty and we enjoy them with a cup of tea.
        Thanks for sharing. Glad Faith is doing well – is she still sassy and feisty ?

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I enjoyed your account of visiting Mama Hodges. What wonderful memories you have! Your tribute to winter is beautiful. We had a little snow yesterday that disappeared in a few hours.


    1. why thank you Peter-what a nice thing to say. It always surprises me that things so mundane and routine, as a child, really made a big impact on who I am now-and hopefully growth of spirit. Poor winter is not well received often, and especially in the southern U.S.- Folks are complaining a lot recently. I just love all seasons. Thank you again, for the generosity with your kind words-I do not take them lightly, but adore them.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I once loved winter but the older I get the more I favor Spring and Autumn.(notice I left out the hot days of summer. lol) Maybe it I’m just tired of a cold old house but I love an old house so there is a conflict. Aren’t we people hard to please?
    Have you wondered why we always remember food? My grandmother always had oatmeal cookies with pecans in them. Can’t remember ever being there and not having these cookies.
    Snow possible on Tuesday…Come on Spring…we are waiting.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Well spring and Autumn are my favorites too. And I am trying to get rid of this old house-but drawn to old houses with all my heart. Maybe a smaller one would make a difference. I do not like cold in the house at all! Believe me, I have it. I do not know why we remember food-and smells too, but we all do. Snow on Tuesday!yes it hard to believe but I do not mind as long as we do not have the bitter cold as we did with the last one. Stay warm and thank you. love Michele

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Spring and Autumn are my favourite months. They bring me such joy, so much colour and temperatures which help me to enjoy everything which comes along.

    Summer is always too hot. The flowers are beautiful, naturally, and the summer heat is required for all the farmers and their produce – without the sun we’d be in a proper pickle with regard to our green grocery orders!

    Ahhh, but the winter…
    The winter is too cold. It can snow and leave the roads and the pavements dangerous. Walking can become problematic and driving can be an absolute nightmare!

    But there comes a moment in Autumn that I can actually feel the moment in which Winter is coming along. It’s a moment in time … when I can almost hear God calling to the flowers, shrubs, trees, produce, the earth …. and to the animals, telling them that they can have a few more minutes but then it was time to come home. Time to get snuggled in. Time to allow the earth to cover them in a blanket, or for animals to do what they’re supposed to do for the season known as winter. And I hear it. Or … at least I think I hear it. Maybe I just notice it.

    Maybe I notice how the earth puts the assorted plants and earth grown things to bed.

    What I don’t understand though Rabbit … is … that it’s still Winter here in the United Kingdom, and yet …. there is a daffodil blooming in my front garden. It grew and grew over Christmas, and a couple of days ago it burst into a great big smile.

    I’ve explained gently to it that it’s a little early, and that the Sun hasn’t yet warmed up enough to shine the heat upon it and make it feel the rays of wonderment that I know it would normally enjoy. I just hope that it understood and is willing to hang around a little, until the sun does come out with some beautiful sun rays, just for this happy little daffodil.

    LOVED your post Rabbit, and the memories contained therein. Of behaving as little ones when visiting. Of heat. Of cake. Of fabulous friends who gave us the giggles by being bravely outspoken in a way that we knew for sure that we would never be.

    Thank you for taking me on a journey with you. I loved wandering down the lanes of your memory, and seeing the pictures unfold as you talked me through where we were, and what was happening, and who the other people were. As the song says:

    Mem’ries light the corners of my mind
    Misty water-coloured mem’ries of the way we were.
    Scattered pictures of the smiles we left behind.
    Smiles we gave to one another for the way we were
    Can it be that it was all so simple then?
    Or has time rewritten every line?
    If we had the chance to do it all again, tell me, would we, …could we?

    A truly beautiful post. Thank you Rabbit. Love you big time. ~ Cobs. xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. oh dear friend-I was crying at the end of that song. It “was so simple then”. I go “kicking and screaming” when beautiful things are lost. I just had a beautiful and uncomplicated childhood and I remain grateful for that. Now I may write a poem about your “brave little daffodil” He came early for you-flowers love fairies! love your rabbit

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ohhh I never thought of that Rabbit …. the brave little daffodil came for the Fairies! Oh course. Makes sense now.
        See … I need a Rabbit in my life on a daily basis, to put these things in order for me!
        Love you muchly Rabbit. ~ Cobs. xxx

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’ve just been and visited… and now I’m crying.

        I’ll take a photograph of the daffodil and post it on my blog, and (if ok with you) I’ll link to your post so that everyone can come and read it.

        Bless you Rabbit. Bless you and your incredible talent for writing poetry. And thank you for being exactly who you are. Love you ~ Cobs. xxx

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Mama Hodges’ poundcake must be delicious. It’s such a fond memory of yours. I’m glad the long weekend is here so you don’t need to go out to the cold. Yes, when our neighbors’ Christmas lights turned off one house after another, our streets are dark and quiet again.


  6. I love reading your memories Michele! Your memories of your grandma made me think of my own. She always wore these flowery dresses and spoke with a Dutchy accent. We loved when she hauled out her old glass peanut butter jar. Inside she had the best treat…..rock candy. Basically rock candy looked like glass crystals but I am pretty sure it was pure sugar on a string. It was delicious. Thank you for bringing back good memories.


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