The early service on Sunday, was lovely. A light fog hung over the territory, like a fine linen. There was a hush and a stillness, making the countryside seem holier than usual. The only sound was an occasional leaf floating to the good earth of the rabbit patch. The pine tree was as black as midnight, til at long last, the sun broke gently through the mist, casting golden ribbons of light, upon it. To think, I almost missed it . . .
I did not sleep well, the night before. All of my life, up until the last two years, I have slept the whole night through and could have slept anywhere, under any conditions – and said the same thing. At first, a sleepless night was seldom. Then the episodes became more and more frequent. I read this malady is often due to aging. Well, it probably is.
Usually, I read. The house is silent and I make great progress. It would be a wonderful time to write, except my brain strongly prefers the morning time, for that. With the days so miserably hot, I decided to take a walk around the rabbit patch, last night. The night air was cool. The moon was nowhere in sight and the stars were scant. If I did not know the territory like the back of my hand, it would have been a fine opportunity to trip over a root or fall headlong into a sprawling bush – but the rabbit patch and I are old, familiar friends. I did not think great thoughts as I walked along. I did not question anything. I simply wandered for a while and took note of the rabbit patch . . at the midnight hour . . in the last days of summer. I would not have found such tranquility, had I walked at midday, for I would have noticed grass in the flower beds and untidy nooks, that need tending. . . so the darkness proved quite useful, after all.
Sunday dinner is cooking. Suppers have been quite simple this week, with me back at work and packing. The kitchen finally smells like home today. I hope Mama will bring me all of the details about the hurricane, as our cable is out again. So far, the only thing that I can count on, is that bread, milk and batteries will be scarce this week. I have never understood, why milk is in such high demand during storms, for if we lose power, it will only be good for making biscuits, when it is all over. Of course, my main concern, is that Jenny is expecting the baby any day now.
Sunday dinner was a happy affair. Mama brought dessert and Daddy was having a good day. Somehow a window fan kept the kitchen cool. As we sat around the table passing the barbecued chicken, Mama mentioned that she had sent my doctor a “thank you” note for seeing me through my recent bout of sickness. Aren’t mamas so dear? It touched me deeply, for I felt so loved. She knew no more about the hurricane, than I did, but the storm and all the details that come with it, were “second fiddle” to thanking the good doctor, that cared for her child.
I had several “business” calls to make afterwards. Such things tax me heavily, but all turned out well. I tell myself, there is less to do than there was. I am going through boxes like water. I am so grateful, that I did the major decluttering a year ago, now. I can not imagine increasing the existing task, one iota. Thankfully, the things that render me sentimental, are neatly stored in boxes labeled “IMPORTANT, FRAGILE AND DEAR”. Other boxes say simply, “tablecloths” or “blankets” -many are marked “books”.
Of course, I have not even tackled the grounds yet. I must take a rose, that has traveled with me from several homes. It was a mothers’ day gift many moons ago. I must take some of my grandmothers’ tiger lilies, and the other grandmothers’ running periwinkle. There are the floss flowers and at least one of the ginger lilies, should come along, as they are not so easy to find. I will leave the magic lily, so the new owner will have a surprise in July, when the pale pink flowers spring up over night, without fore warning.
Kyle and I started the planning for the hurricane, in the early evening. We checked flashlights and lamp oil. We planned menus that could be accomplished on the grill. We will store water and hope for the best. I will say extra prayers for the old warriors of the rabbit patch, the oaks, sycamores and pines.
We are not strangers to the “dire straits” of a hurricane. Once we went without power for two weeks. At such times, the Farm Life community unites. The fire dept. checks on every household early in the game. The farmers are out with tractors and chainsaws, clearing downed trees. You needn’t summon your neighbor for help, for they are already there. This is always the case. I remember working in the yard, during the last storm. It was so hot and without power, a cool drink had been impossible for days. My dear neighbor Susan (who also mows the grass) had managed to get ice, She surprised me with a cold coke and oh, the difference it made in my day.
Clothes were put in soak in the morning, washed and rinsed and wrung out by hand. It took them all day to dry. A water hose sprawled across the yard and hung in a secluded corner in the Quiet Garden. This is where we bathed.
Christian and I played music with guitar and violin in the evenings on the porch and the neighbors listened. It was an awful time in some ways, but still we found the “silver linings” behind the clouds. With all that being said, I so hope that hurricane has a change of heart, and stays out to sea. . . and I especially hope Jenny does not have the baby in the midst of the storm.