It was nice to have a few days off – and I made the most of it. I came to Elizabeth City and spent my time doing the things that I hold dearest, rocking Brynn, playing with Lyla and cooking.
The days were bright and the sun shone so cheerfully, that it turned the “laughing river” to a vibrant indigo . I had never seen it that color and took great joy in finding a new discovery of beauty. I showed Lyla and she agreed with me that the water was a shade of purple.
Jenny had a friend visiting for a few days. Julie, from Florida came to meet Brynn. Jenny and Julie have been friends since they were teens. To say that Julie is a free spirit, is an under statement. Julie has a track record, to confirm this. She took off out west, to Colorado, when she was quite young. She did not know a soul, nor have a job waiting. She attended a concert the first week she was there, and that is where she landed a job. She stayed there a few years, but at some point, decided to try New Zealand, for she had heard of its’ beauty. Off she went, alone, and lived there a year. At some point, Julie went to Finland and declares it was as lovely country as ever was. Now, she has traveled all over the planet, always alone, but has finally made her home in Florida, for Julie fell in love . . . She and a former schoolmate crossed paths again, a few years ago, and within several weeks, he and Julie were headed to Florida. That was a three years back, and it is good to write , that Julie is “happy as a lark” ever dared to be. I listened to her stories in great awe. I can not pretend that I was not shocked at her sense of adventure.
I made all sorts of southern foods while she was there. There were cheese biscuits, one day, while she talked about Colorado, hamburger in gravy, as I heard about Christmas in Finland – and pumpkin bread as she talked about the beautiful people in Estonia. Ever so often, I would say “your poor mother”, though all turned out well, for Julie everytime. If there was ever a quote that fitted Julie, it is ” She thought she could . . .so she did.”
I couldn’t help but think how opposite I am from the brave Julie. I like to have a plan and take years to make things “as sure as fire” possible, before I take the first step. Hence, I have always been slow to act on impulse. Now rest assured, I have had a fair share of shocking circumstances. Planning has never spared me of “rough patches” nor changes. The things I so thoughtfully prepared for did not always happen, and many things popped up and caught me completely off guard. I have lived at the “rabbitpatch” for more than a dozen years, and have worked at the same job for eighteen years. . . and of course, I have never been to Finland.
I have contemplated selling the house, for five years now! It took me two years to just decide I would. The last few years, I became serious, and have contemplated the details thoroughly. . . I have studied the housing market and been able to define my needs. I have weighed heavily, what is sensible and what is desirable . . . yet, somehow, sometimes, it still feels reckless! Getting older is a complex time. . .and most especially, when it happens to you.
Now it is Halloween, much to the delight of many children. In the country, little ghosts and goblins are scarce. When I first moved here, there were several young children in the neighborhood, that came and it delighted me. Now, they are all grown up, but I remember them each year. I still buy candy for my grown children. Lyla wants to be Dorothy, from “The Wizard of Oz”. She has talked about it for months.
I loved Halloween, as a child. Our church organist. “Miss Arahbelle” would have a table covered in a fancy table cloth set up in her dining room. She had all sorts of homemade treats and a big bowl of punch, that we drank, out of little glass cups. All of the neighbors made cookies or brownies, in those days. Some popped popcorn and some gave out apples. We only went to the homes of family members or long time neighbors, anyway.
One year,a new preacher did a whole sermon on Halloween and discouraged parents from participating -that put a damper on things. I was a young mother by then with three little ones. I am sorry to say that we skipped Halloween that year. I was sure that we would be put on the prayer list, had we observed the tradition or else our children would be doomed. Braver parents than I, took their little ones out anyway -and what a predicament arose, when they came to our house. It was like insult to injury, for my own little children. The next year they went, with my blessing. They made little thank you notes to hand out, as they went along and it was a lovely time. Being young, is a complex time , too.
Jenny has never allowed Lyla to have much candy. The first year that Lyla really went trick or treating, Lyla, dressed like a little fairy, would follow the children to the doors and simply say “thank you!” without taking any candy! It shocked the folks in the homes, but it tickled me. Of course, she is carrying a basket tonight, as Dorothy did, and I sure she will accept candy, now . . .which Jenny will ration out, like a miser.
The fields lay golden just now. The soy beans fields are a lovely russet color. The sun, when it is just at the horizon, seems to gild the fields til they glow fairly. Even the , cornfields, now spent, and often full of blackbirds are a pleasing sight. Slowly, but surely, the woodlands are changing too. Here and there are flashes of gold and ruby, like a tempting prelude of things to come. We have not yet had a hard frost, so frogs still sing in the evening, til very early morning. Under such circumstances, there is little need for heat nor air. I raise the windows in the old farm house at the rabbit patch and the sweet country air wafts in. Combines hum in the distant fields and the blackbirds chatter. Autumn is a lovely time.