A Bit of Business and a lot of Pleasure


The “early service” on Tuesday morning was a peaceful affair.  A very slight breeze brought the faint smells of summer, with it.  Someone had cut their grass and that scent mingled with the  mimosa blossoms, loaned a sweet, green fragrance to the air.  I heard the song of the tanagers, but they were well hidden, being so shy.  I startled a squirrel and he made a frantic dash to the young woods.  Country squirrels are not social like their city cousins.  Country squirrels stay in the woods.  The only way you know about them, is when you find half eaten apples or  pansys tossed array, missing their roots . . .or you get up mighty early.

It was a beautiful morning, but my stomach hurt, for today I had an “appointment”.  Today, I had to renew my  drivers license .  I should have done it in April – a year ago, when they expired.  I realized this sometime in June.  I kept putting it off, as is my nature.  It is an awful habit of mine.  I will plan a Sunday dinner, a week ahead of time and I have the “Christmas Closet”  bumping full of secrets.  We do not run out of things like butter, at the rabbit patch either.  It makes no sense to me why I wait months past the last minute to attend to business. . .so the peace of the morning escaped me, altogether.  

All morning, I moped about.  Jenny called but, had no sympathy and chided me, for my strange behavior about such a simple task.  She did not call to cheer me up, but instead to deliver grave warnings full of doom, should I back out.  

Not long after noon, I got ready.  I had not eaten a bite all day.  I took a book along, one of my favorites, for I would surely collapse in that official environment, where rules are posted on every inch of the walls.  I needed a distraction.  When I walked in, uniformed folks were everywhere.  Their friendly greetings did not fool me.  These people love regulations and legalities and were liable to pounce, at any given moment.  I took a seat and began reading. All of a sudden, a thought flashed in my head – What if the car wouldn’t start when it was all over?  Maybe I had locked the keys in the car ?  Oh, to be stranded there would just finish me.  I found my keys and quickly went back inside my book,(where there were meadows surrounded by laurel) determined not to panic .

When my number was called, I walked stoically to the examiner.  He was a young fellow and quite polite, but I was sure that would change in due time. He looked at my license and we talked about something (I can not remember what) as he typed away.  In several minutes – or a year – he asked me to sign my name, for my renewed license. I did so, in shock.  Then he asked me to date it.  I was so surprised at the ease of the process, that I had to ask the date . . now he looked shocked and said “July 3rd” in a matter of fact manner – at that moment I remembered our “small talk” was about the fourth of July.  I felt very unpatriotic. Still,I walked out with my license.  I wanted to run, in case I got called back.  But alas, I walked out  in freedom, and the car started up, as it always does.

I am quite sure, I suffer from some sort of condition.  I truly am not a nervous sort at all.  In complicated times, I am known to remain calm and level headed . . .but,  I will probably do the same thing again,  when the property taxes are due.


The fourth of July dawned clear and mild.  I had a banana cream cake in the oven, in the first hours, for a picnic at my sister, Connies’ house at the lake.  Connie has always had a large gathering on the fourth.  Lake Phelps is one of the most beautiful bodies of water I have ever seen.  The water is crystal clear revealing a clean sandy bottom.  It is a shallow lake and perfect for swimming and fishing. 

At the last minute, I decided to make a sauce for the hotdogs.  It is really a rue and does not take long. It is mustard based and folks  either love it or hate it.  I grabbed a mixture  of lemongrass  and eucalyptus oils, just in case of flying, biting pests, which can ruin a picnic.  I also grabbed a book, for I always take one with me.  By the time Mama and Daddy drove up, the basket was packed . . . but my hair was soaking wet and there was no time to dry it.


The lake is only about forty minutes from the rabbit patch.  There was sunshine and a steady breeze blowing.  We sat under Mike and Connies’ huge picnic shelter.  They had a very large fan blowing, which cooled and kept the insects at bay. I thought, how nice and practical, to have such a fan.  The children played in the lake.  Mike manned a large grill and Connie ran the kitchen.  Connie is used to cooking for large groups and wasn’t a bit bothered. The food was ready, right about the time it started to rain.  No one cared about the rain, for we were eating wonderful food and were “high and dry”.  

When everyone was full to the brim, the sun came out again.  Little boys splashed in puddles while the older children headed back to the lake.  I enjoyed visiting with Mikes’family, who I claim as my own, as well.  Who knew, years ago that Stephanie and I would become “fast friends” and  kindred to the core  – and that her son, Zane would have such a special place in my heart.  Then there is Mikes’ mom, Miss Louise who seems like a very dear aunt.  She cheers me on, and never fails to encourage me.  A picnic is seldom anything but pure fun and today was proof of that.

  Tonight, fireworks rang through the countryside, for several neighbors went to great lengths  and put on quite a show.  Cash, my boxer did not like it a bit.  He pricked his ears up and  trotted all over the house, unsure of what danger the racket indicated.  Christopher Robin, my cat,  sought cover and bid us all good luck, but  he make it very clear that”we were on our own”.

When the last of the fireworks were over and the familiar silence restored,  Cash settled in, having been totally exhausted, in his effort to guard the farmhouse, at any cost.  Later, Christopher Robin sauntered out and joined him.  

Now tomorrow, I will tend to cobwebs, for spiders are  relentless creatures .  . .and the yard needs  mowing.  There is always laundry.  There is always a floor to scrub . The picnic basket will be put away, for a short while  . . .for if all does well . .  . I will use that basket again, soon . .  .on the banks of the “laughing river”.  



26 thoughts on “A Bit of Business and a lot of Pleasure

  1. Ma’am,
    I love the ending of these beautiful tales, where you speak of putting away picnic baskets, the lawn still to mow, the laundry to wash, the floors to scrub and all mundane things as though with a sigh and a wish that the picnic and happy times had lasted longer and the home and hearth paled in comparison. I felt you said much through that last paragraph than the words you wrote.
    Happy belated 4th of July, ma’am.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Can you not reorder the driving thing on line. Maybe not since it was over due. I did this last time I need to and even though it looks different it works.
    All of those cleaning chores are here as well. Wonder when the mood will push me into action?It is just too hot to even think about some of them but I did the shopping this morning and low and behold…as I was leaving WM the whole clan of little P’s came marching in and daddy son# 3 intow. Made for a good ending. I had hoped he could enjoy the fireworks all across the South on his flight home but he said at 3400 ft. they were pretty small. LOL

    Liked by 1 person

  3. An other beautiful tale,because this is what your life in the rabbit patch sounds like,a tale.
    At 44 I still find fireworks a bit magical🤷🏻‍♀️
    I love the way you insert little figure in the posts now.
    Have a great day my dear friend❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m so glad you got your license renewed! And don’t feel bad, I tend to put off the things I don’t want to do as well. And like you, I’m someone who does tend to plan ahead…..as long as it isn’t something I dread doing!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh Michele!!! You are so right…this is just unreal how your holiday tradition mirrors mine. July 4th at a sister’s house at a lake…who knew??? And yes…rain this year to top off the sameness. Only difference you probably got to see all the fireworks and ours got rained out.
    What fun and memories for both our families.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Michele. This is my 2nd read of this, another dandy post. As usual, I get a chuckle both times, and I’ve got more time today to also respond. I feel that you do a whole lot and in good time & spirits when you enjoy what you are doing. These are your preferences, and so get your happy face [maybe also a little dance]. Correct me if I’m off on this next sentence, but I’m thinking that you simply don’t give a flippy-dippy about doing other things that don’t interest you in the least. These are the ‘got to’, not ‘want to’, kinda things that I’m happy to join you in not really preferring to give any time to.

    Thankfully, you have plenty of currency in your ‘blessings bank’, and found your trip to the license branch much more pleasant than you had imagined. Note: We often allow our imagination to go wildly negative sometimes. Now, you’re all done and dusted in that department, and will be so for years to come. Think of it this way, had you not gone and completed this task, you may have had to take a test, or even show an examiner how well you can parallel park. Ugh!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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