All day long, there has been sunshine on the rabbit patch. Sunshine that was bright enough to cast shadows. I have always loved the play of light and shade. You can best believe by now, that I know how light falls on this territory. The first year here, now more than a decade ago, I did not plant a thing, until I got familiar with the shade and the soil. It is safe to say, that I know where to look for wild violets.
Even though the day was bright, the air was cold enough to warrant a coat. I was too comfortable to take such measures. I spent the morning repairing a framed picture and turning an old piece of furniture into “an ironing station”. It is a heavy contraption and so when I decided to remove it from a bedroom, I stopped three times on the way to the backdoor. The laundry room was the last stop. That is when I got the idea to transform it from a book shelf that held a lamp, to a place to iron clothes. I decided it would be something to”play” with, on a day in winter with a cold wind blowing.
Since, I am on a quest to live with minimal possessions, I have come to a screeching halt on thrift stores purchases. It was great fun while it lasted, and in retirement , I hope to paint furniture again . . . maybe to sell at my lemonade stand, next to my “free library”. I did not do any elaborate painting this day. I may add roses or polka dots . I may add a rabbit. . . but today I just cleaned it up, as I might just keep it- and it is just s likely that I might not. Truthfully there is only a minimal amount of ironing needed at the rabbit patch, though I dearly love cotton, in summer.
I spent the best part of the afternoon daydreaming-and the other part, remembering. January is a good time to do such things. This day, I remembered my Sunday School teachers. They had names like, Miss Jo, Miss Catherine and Miss Tillie. . . my mamas’ best friend, Miss Linda. I loved them all and recalled more than a few fond memories. We listened to gently told stories and then colored a picture. We attended a small church, just a few miles from the house. We always rode to church with Pop and Grandmama. We always sat in the same pew. (There was no childrens’ church in those days). We sat behind Mr. Marvin S. and his wife, Miss Lillian. I thought Miss Lillian was especially sweet, but in months like January, she wore a mink collar, complete with the head of the mink. The cape was clutched at a fastening in his mouth. I was scared to death of that thing-and so on those Sundays, I did not dare squirm or cough. The church service took every bit as long as the visits to Mama Hodges house. I remember feeling bad when my mind took to wandering during lengthy prayer. There was one elder, in particular that prayed the longest prayers and try as I might, I could not stay focused on my salvation or the providence of God. It was no wonder to me that Grandmama started cooking a big Sunday dinner, and had to miss Church to do so. If someone got baptized, I was sure I would perish right there, in that pew. Some long hymn was chosen and we sang every verse -and prayed some more til the newly declared Christian and the preacher changed in to long white robes. To make matters worse,Sunday clothes were itchy and patent leathers were binding. This greatly restricted movement and it was almost sinful to scuff your patent leathers.
Still, these memories were of great comfort to me on this Sunday. The “memory verses” come to me even now, in times of need. The hymns like “Sweet Hour of Prayer” , “In the Garden” and my favorite “The Church in the Wild Wood” (which inspired my “early services”) hold a special place in my heart, even now, decades later.
The grand finale of my day was spent reading. I read “Stillmeadow Sampler” by Gladys Taber and then a cook book by Jane W. Hopping. Hopping was known as “The Pioneer Lady”-long before the “Pioneer Woman”, (who has a wonderful line of dishes). Miss Claudia gave me the cookbook, which is far more than recipes. There is poetry , songs and accounts of life as it was in 1930-1940 era.
Jenny sent me a picture of Lyla,clinging to a soft bunny, that she has become quite attached to since hearing “The Tale of Peter Rabbit”. If the rabbit is not in her arms, she hides him, just in case “Mr. McGregor” is lurking about.
When the world became dark and colder, I could not help but take store, of this Sunday in January. I had remembered Sundays past and hoped for Sundays, future. . .and I had saved a little cabinet. I had read wise words spoken a long while back and I searched for words not yet written . . and at last account . . Peter Rabbit was safe. What a delightful way to spend a Sunday.