A Sunday in January

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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.

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27 thoughts on “A Sunday in January

  1. What a delightful Sunday it truly must have been for you! Time for rest and meditation. I like the way you described the lengthy church service when you were a child. Sunday school for children was the answer to the boredom little children had to endure during adult services.

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    1. Gosh yes! and we were avid Church goers. Still, I am thankful for those days. This past Sunday was a nice day-I love peace and I have to keep that a priority. The more peaceful I get, the bolder the simple things become. thank you so much Peter.

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  2. I am so glad Peter is safe. The story must have had a real effect on little Miss Lyla.
    The ironing cabinet is a prize. You may need to hold on to it. I did notice it is painted white. lol and don’t you wish all children had fond memories of going to SS and church. What a much better world this would be.
    we are watching the weather again..Beautiful right now in the 50’s but a winter storm watch is posted for this evening. Watch …not warring, but that is usually when things turn south and do crazy things we aren’t expecting.Time will tell…it needs to be gone by Wed. evening so son #3 can get home.

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    1. Lyla loved that story! I wish you hear her retell it. I am glad you like the ironing cabinet. I really enjoy playing with old wood furniture. Yes to Sunday school-for children. such sweet memories. We are expecting more snow too-not with the bitter cold, thank Goodness! Hope we both are warm! thank you dear one-xoxoxox love always, Michele

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  3. Childhood Sundays! I haven’t thought of them in ages. In church I sat with Mamaw (mother’s mother) because Mother played the organ. Mr. and Mrs. Harlan sat behind us, and he always slipped my brother and me a peppermint each during the service. I’ll bet I would have remembered who sat in front of us if they had given us candy. The very rare times Mamaw missed church, I played on the floor beside the organ. It was at the front of the sanctuary, shielded from the sight of the congregation by the choir and choir railing. It was a cozy little nook for a girl who knew not to make a sound. I was probably singing in the choir by the time I was 12 or so. Thanks for prodding my memories.

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  4. Guess what I’m humming right now Michelle? Come Come Come to the church in the wildwood. I went to You Tube and listened to it sung by Dolly, Charlie, The Gathers and Co., Loretta, and The Carters. I don’t recall ever hearing it, but I’m sure to hum it a number of times this week. I would also like to share it with my “peeps” at memory care. I have a feeling they will enjoy it as much as I have this snowy day after Sunday in January. Lovely!

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  5. If I were to write here the feeling I experienced after reading your post, it would be: ahhhhhh – with a deep sigh – and an over-riding feeling of pure, simple, love.

    I love the ironing cabinet and looking at it I am reminded of the painted furniture I used to ‘create’ when we lived at our old cottage. It had more room than this cottage we now live in, so I could indulge myself. I would visit the local auction house and could pick up bits of furniture there for just a couple of pounds. By the time I’d finished with these wooden pieces, people would comment on them and think I’d bought something wildly expensive. Ohh that gave me so many giggles.

    I was tickled pink that Lyla knows of Peter Rabbit and Mr. McGregor, and the photograph sent me into a tizzy of love bubbles popping inside me – she looks so, so sweet. Bless her little heart.

    It seems almost impossible to me that Peter Rabbit will be 116 years old this year! Beatrix Potter first ‘gave’ us Peter in a book called The Tale of Peter Rabbit, in 1902. And yet … each time I read a Peter Rabbit to my Grandson, it feels like its been written in my lifetime. The stories of Peter seem ageless.
    (I have to say that I’m not really looking forward to the 3D film of Peter Rabbit which is due to be released in February this year. Can’t help feeling that Beatrix Potter herself would never have agreed to this film being made, for it changes the character of Peter Rabbit altogether,and somehow cheapens the original meaning and intent. But .. maybe that’s just me not moving with the times ).

    Loved this post Rabbit. It wandered beautifully, and took me on a stroll through the pastures of your heart. A more fabulous stroll I cannot imagine.
    Sending my love ~ Cobs. xxx

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  6. You brought back so many childhood memories of church with this post Michele! Sitting in our Sunday best, fluffy ruffled dresses with itchy tulle underskirts (for more fluff) shiny black shoes that we spent hours (or so it seemed) polishing on Saturday night and as we got older putting rollers in our hair and sleeping on them! We needed to look and act our best for Sunday. Sundays preparation does not seem quite so hectic anymore … maybe because people in our church now tend to wear jeans.

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    1. I know-I want people to go to Church-and I get it not about what you wear-but all that prep let s know WHERE we were going-kind of set a tone-Well, long as come together to pray, that is good enough. I can tell you, my hair is mighty staight now, even on Sundays! haha!

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  7. Aww. Keeping her bunny safe from Mr. MacGregor, what a sweetheart! I loved reading through this and sigh. I need to read some Gladys soon, I’ve been missing her. I’m really enjoying The Story of the Trapp Family Singers, it’s turning out to be lovely and humorous. The movie is lovely, but as always, strays quite far from the real story. I love shadows too, but now I’m going to pay even closer attention to them. I would totally fail any sort of ironing test. I rarely if ever iron, isn’t that horrible? Amy

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    1. I never hardly ironed when the children were young-I had better things and more important. Now, I rarely iron but sometimes to make something extra special. Lyla is too funny and takes things to heart=she has cried when curious George is in a mess! haha! thank you dear one!

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