It was late in the evening when I drove up to the rabbit patch, yesterday. The sun looked like a tangerine as it sunk behind the trees, blackened by its’ light. Everyone showed up for my homecoming. Kyle and Christian helped unload the car while my boxer, Cash danced about playfully. Christopher Robin, my cat trotted up with a cheerful greeting and I felt sorry I had expected far less from him. Christopher Robin can be quite uppity, if I am gone too long to suit him. I had missed everybody and “made no bones about it”.
I found the rabbit patch tidy, mostly. There was some questionable dishes in the refrigerator to sort out and some laundry, but I wasn’t about to tackle one task this day. The grass needed mowing, but it had been two weeks, after all. A big branch from the pecan tree, fell shortly before my arrival , blocking the driveway. A sycamore tree followed suit and dropped another branch. Mind you these are not the size of branches that make delightful little garden fires. But, I was home, safe and sound . . and that was what mattered .
I only caught the “tail end” of the morning service, the next day. I am afraid I woke late, with a lot of thoughts, as well, which only hinder morning devotions. Thankfully, the mimosa is still blooming and the beautiful fragrance snuffed out a portion of my complicated notions. The song of the mockingbird didn’t hurt, either. The pines whispered tenderly and slowly but surely, a sense of peace did abide.
By nature, I am quite level headed. If there is a calamity, I usually have immediate clarity, though I may faint when it is all over. I do not tend to worry – now that I am older, as I did in my youth. . .but this is an odd season for me, for I am older. I am selling the rabbit patch. There is a sweet young buyer, who appreciates this beautiful country life and so I can rest assured the rabbit patch will be in good hands. I am not concerned about down sizing, but instead welcome the chance. . .and truthfully I need this change. I do not yet know where the next rabbit patch will be. The new school year lurks just around the corner and Jenny is having a baby in September. This is a lot of business.
Now any one of these things mentioned, demands some thought. I do not believe for one minute, that the path before me is not lovingly prepared, nor that I will walk it alone. This brings me great comfort, . . . but I am convinced, that like “Thomas” I too am blurting out, “Show me the scars!” At least that is how I have felt recently. I must sound quite trifling now. I keep reminding myself of that verse . . .”We walk by faith and not by sight.” But goodness, I am more curious than any cat ever dared to be. I must “practice what I preach” for I always say, things do not have to make sense. God does not work as humans, with paper and pencil, calculating the odds – and thankfully so. The “odds” change dramatically, when God is present.
As I have said before, I have never really planned anything, with much success. I have been horribly shocked with things I did not see coming and immeasurably blessed by beauty I could not have seen in my wildest dreams.
The truth is, I never intended on becoming a violin teacher. . .yet that is what fed my children. I bought a house, once, because I needed a car title notarized and happened to be in the right place at the right time. I never even meant to buy the rabbit patch, in the first place, but one door after another opened for me, without any effort on my part. Choosing “the road of least resistance” has never been my strong point. I thought about all of this in the shade of a sycamore tree, for a good while and then decided to go in and clean the stove. Things will work out as they ought to, I told myself.
The peaches are ripening at the rabbit patch. I have several things that I want to make – like tarts and cobblers. I have two varieties of peach trees. One is a white peach. The fruit never gets very large or soft, but they make the best cobblers. It takes at least a peck of them to make a cobbler. I have only seen the white peach trees on old homesteads, like the rabbit patch. The first homestead , I lived on had two of them and that is when I discovered a “white peach cobbler” was worth the time and trouble.
I did do a bit more cleaning out. I am really down to the “short rows” now. I used to hear this phrase a lot as a child. When you re working in a field, there are the long rows in the middle and short rows along the edges. When we were down to the “short rows” our spirits were lifted, at the prospect of finishing . Someone would always shout “we are down to the “short rows!” I love remembering how my people talked.
There are a few minor repairs left before the appraiser comes. Will, my “son in heart” is a banker and does not expect the process to go so quickly. Time will tell, as it always does.
I have a dear friend, that was in the midst of a crisis, a few years ago. She explained to me her quandary. It was an awful mess and something she had no control over. I asked her what she was going to do and she said, “I am going to make pickles.” I was shocked and she explained that since pickles take a few days to process, she would be quite busy. By then, she hoped “things would be better.” She had to make pickles on more than one occasion, but things did get better. We still laugh about her reasoning, but I declare, there is some wisdom in her method.
In light of this, I plan to busy myself with peaches -and then apples . . and Sunday Dinners. . . for I have never been able to make good pickles.