Last night, it snowed at the rabbit patch. It was merely a dusting, but schools had a two hour delay on account of it. A cold wind blew producing cracking and rattling noises, making me curious . Peering out, did little good as it was pitch dark. Today, what blossoms are left on the peach and pear trees are dingy and the sycamores dropped a few more branches. Even so, the day faired off with bright sunshine, but the wind remained steady and gusted all day, as is proper March weather. The next two nights are expected to be below freezing, and so I will tend a small fire each night. Soon enough, the luxury of gazing at a cheerful fire and thinking of nothing in particular will not be afforded, for country dwellers.
Some day, the fierce wind will be tamed into a gentle breeze and we will all face the aftermath of winter. Small fires will be lit in barren gardens to burn the many gathered branches. . .and we will all pray that the mower starts back up. We will disturb young rabbits and find wild violets as we tidy up . . . and take notice where the songbirds are building their nests. Such things await . . .but today the wind blows wildly and without a bit of mercy. . .and so, to sit by a small fire is of great comfort.
This is also ideal circumstances to bake bread. Having a great, great grandfather named Henderson McDuffy O’Leary, and “St. Patricks’ Day but a few days away, I made Irish soda bread tonight. The bread paired well with the chili we had for supper, and it was good practice- as Jenny and I are to bake bread for the gathering on Saturday.
I started dabbling in genealogy, while my paternal grandmother was still alive. She was a tremendous help and filled in stories that official records could not. She remembered her grandfather as ” kind and jolly “. It must have run in the family for the same could have been said about her. Grandmama showed me where her grandfather was buried at a little church in the “Hollyneck” community just an hour from the rabbit patch. I still remember that day. There was an ancient oak tree that shaded his grave. Grandmama and I stood there a good while. Years later, I found Hendersons’ brothers’ grave in a family cemetery , at the edge of a field just a few miles away. I cried at the sight of it. I had looked for it for so long. Kyle and Christian were quite young and were tired of traipsing through the country that day. When we located Uncle Enochs’ grave, they ran to collect wild flowers from the ditch to place on it.
Though, both brothers had settled in the south, they fought with the Union in the civil war. Uncle Enoch was a captain, and his grave was marked with a Union stone, as proof. Both brothers survived the war, and lived many years afterwards.
Many of my ancestors were writers and musicians. No one ever earned a living by these things, but one did publish songs she had written. We embrace our Irish heritage on any given day. Just a “drop of Irish blood” and yet, we are especially apt to brag about it on the holiday. I do not know why we think we can lord the facts over anyone . . .for we all know that . . . “Everyone is Irish, on St. Patricks, Day!”