Mornings in June, are especially lovely. The air is cool and thick with some of the years’ most beloved fragrances. The magnolia and cape jessamine-honeysuckle and mimosa persuade one to breathe deeply. If you are in the presence of even one of these, you are not likely to forget it, in your lifetime. Dappled shade and light playfully fall on the lawn while the sky changes from pewter to silver and at last to a gentle blue. Song birds sing as if their life depended on it . The whole affair of a morning in June really is especially lovely.
With the mower, out of commission and the barns clean, my dog, Cash and I sat outside long after the “early service”. After a week of awful heat, today has a cool breeze stirring through the territory- enough to make the pines whisper. I read for a little while, in the shade of an old tree and remembered doing the same thing as a child. In those days, children read the classics. Books were not based on cartoons or centered around toys. The rich vocabulary of “Louisa Mae Alcott” and “Beatrix Potter” sounded like music to me, as I read the words, now many years ago. I still remember reading “Anne of Green Gables” and wondering if I was “impertinent”. I became quite a snob about what books I deemed worthy, as a child-and remain so today. I was quite particular about the books my own children read. I am the same way about Lyla and will “turn my nose up” quickly at books meant to support television programs or that promote the purchase of “toys”.
Today, I was reading ” The Best of Still Meadow” by “Gladys Taber”. Cash laid beside me, in the overgrown grass. He perked up, when the rabbits came out to graze. A dog is good company. I love boxers, especially. They are loyal and protective and their face is almost human at times, with expression. Boxers want to please and so are very trainable. They are however, “eternal puppies” and require diligence on the part of the owner. It could be a nightmare, otherwise, as the breed is energetic and muscular.
I did need to go to the grocery today, for “the cupboards were bare” in the rabbit patch kitchen. Reluctantly, I closed my book and left the sweet country air to go inside and change in to “town clothes” .
Since, I am contemplating going to Elizabeth City, again, I bought plenty of groceries. I am always certain that my sons and animals will starve while I am meandering by the river, therefore, I take great precautions. When everything was put in place, I went out to pick up branches- the aftermath of a recent storm. The air had become humid. The coolness of the morning had vanished. The sky was thick with clouds. They were the color of a very pale blue pearl and muted the shine of the sun. Even the morning breeze had ceased so that the pines no longer whispered.
When the branches were gathered and tossed in the burn pile, I returned to the farmhouse. The fan whirled with the familiar hum I am so fond of. Not yet has the farmhouse been uncomfortable, though it came close at the last Sunday dinner. I always dread starting the air conditioner, for then the house is shut up like a dungeon. You can not smell the fresh cut grass of summer nor hear the rain showers. Last summer, I never did have to resort to such measures, but last summer was not as hot as the most of them. The year before was awful and I felt every bit as confined in July as I did in January. I was glad for air conditioning that year.
Sometime in the afternoon, as I was doing laundry . . .or reading by the fan, I decided I would go for a quick visit to Elizabeth City. After all, the next few days are forecasted to be cooler – and Lyla is growing up at an alarming rate of speed. I will not squander any possible moment with her. I’d as soon sit on our rock with her, than do most things. I found out recently, that the little bridge, by the rock is about 100 years old. I wonder whom, besides Lyla and I , has sat on that rock and watch the river tumble by, while thinking great thoughts. There is no telling how old the flat rock is, after all. Lyla always gets sleepy as we sit there and wants to curl up like a kitten and nap. I do too, but the thought of her toppling in the water, keeps me awake.
Mama and Daddy will be celebrating their sixtieth anniversary on Saturday, and so we plan to mark the occasion with a family gathering. I am reserving Friday for cooking and other lose ends. I cannot divulge any thing more at this time, as Mama reads the “rabbit patch diary” faithfully . . .and encourages friends and strangers alike, to do the same. She is as “steady as that rock”, in that way.
As it turns out, I will not need to mow this week as my neighbor Susan, showed up on her fancy mower, while I was cooking supper. She has a full time job and still mowed my yard. I was thrilled at the sight of her mowing so carefully around the herb garden. What relief I felt, as it is no small task to mow your neighbors yard when it is at least several acres. I am already plotting how to return the favor.
Dear rabbit patch diary, I am glad for good books and good neighbors. I am glad for cool mornings to sit with a loyal dog under an old tree. I am glad for rocks and rivers . . .and the lovely month of June.