At last, a”hard frost” fell on the territory. It came late this year, as compared to most. Before, this diary, there have been many I have kept over the past thirty five years. For some reason, I always note the characteristics of each particular season. I am sure growing up on a farm and being a gardener, has kept me keenly aware of things like “the first hard frost”. I know that often, we have one by mid to late October. A hard frost means a lot to a country dweller, for it ends the mowing -and the growing. Greens are best after a frost, for it tenders them. You are not so likely, to step in a mound of fire ants, either. Now is the time to “take to the woods”, for ticks, mosquitoes, redbugs and poison vines do not hinder a stroll as they did before-even snakes are not the threat they once were.
I was in Elizabeth City, the night of the frost. It was a three day weekend, after all.
Will and Jenny, took full advantage and went out to eat, one night. Little Brynn is a happy, beautiful baby . . .and knows full well, who her parents are. No one else will do, unless of course, she gets stranded. Brynn fussed a little while, that night, but I remained steadfast and mustered my courage, til it paid off . Brynn was sleeping peacefully, when her beloved parents returned. Lyla and I always get along beautifully, but just in case, I made her favorite pumpkin bread, for a special”late night snack”.
Saturday faired off to a delightful day. I sat out on the deck, and listened to the voices of neighborhood children enjoying the day. I looked up once, to see two little girls strolling along, hand in hand. It was a beautiful sight. They were chatting away and were so merry. I remembered holding my sisters’ hands as we were growing up. Sometimes, it was for safety, if we were on a sidewalk or in the church parking lot, but often we did so just for the sake of holding hands as we went along. It was a habit then, as it is today amongst the youngest children, who are naturally loving . Somehow, seeing the little friends hand in hand sparked a hope in me, for though the time of innocence is more fleeting than ever, here was evidence, that all is not yet lost.
Lyla loves the kitchen. She has taken to watching cooking shows, as well. Her favorites are making decorated cupcakes. She will watch one episode after another and even asked me to get her a “piping bag”! One episode featured a mother and daughter making zucchini bites (which is a modern name for squash fritters). Jenny and I thought these would pair well with the tomato basil soup I was making for supper. Lyla was so excited when she saw me grating the squash, and wanted to try herself. I placed my hand on hers, and warned her often to slow down, but she cut herself anyway. It was an awful shock, and I know it hurt. She wailed a good while and finally cried herself to sleep. I should have known better . I should have firmly denied her this request. I chided myself while she slept sorrowfully. . .The next morning we made cinnamon rolls and thankfully, there were no regrets, this time.
Miss Claudia, Wills’ mom and my friend, came over for a late brunch and so we served the cinnamon buns, sausage, bacon, eggs and fried potatoes. When the kitchen was cleaned up, and the laundry put away, I was just about to sit down for leisure conversation, when Christian called. He was almost an hour away with a flat tire and no spare (he is my son and as bad as I am about such things). Well, I was already packed and immediately dashed out. It was just starting to rain.
I could not bear the thought of my son being beside a highway , in a pouring rain. . .alone. All sorts of thoughts rushed in my head, and being a mother, none were good. I did not have clear directions where he was and his cell had gone dead. Right when I was about to give up, I saw his truck. Relief washed over me as thoroughly as the rain washed over the landscape.
I will be the first to say that I have never done well under such circumstances. There are countless stories in our family about my outlandish behavior when I thought a child of mine was in danger. .and . . . they are all true. What little bit of good sense I do have, abandons me altogether, in such moments. It has not gotten any better, just because they all grew up, either.
Uneventful days seem to be a thing of the past, as of lately. My dad has had a fair share of battles, for the past month. Mama has too, for she faces the battles with him, shoulder to shoulder. No one goes in to a battle, in this family, alone.
My “Uncle Randy”, Daddys’ brother is doing poorly, too. I have always especially loved my uncle. Then there is Wills’ mom and my friend, Miss Claudia, who also is in the midst of a struggle. I do not go about my business, unscathed by my loved ones’ strife, for I am laden with concern in every step.
There is the on-going saga of selling the house, as well, which truly, I have had little time to dwell on.
At work, the “Holiday Concert” is just a few weeks away. Over three hundred children will perform. The children are so excited and that is a “saving grace” for me. The youngest violinists are working on “Jingle Bells with joyful anticipation of the concert. I have seen this, hundreds of times, but it is never “old hat” to me.
For the first time in many years, I wonder where the Christmas tree will go. Will it go in the old familiar place, or by a window in a small cottage? I do like to put the Christmas tree in front of a window, for it seems to say “Merry Christmas to all!” , I think.
At the end of the day, Daddy had received a good report from the doctor, the dog had been to the veterinarian and was sleeping soundly -and Christians’ truck was in the yard.
Many other things remain a mystery and I wish I could report that I was reacting like a “saint”, but alas, I stumble awkwardly along, in a daze at times. I do not feel abandoned nor not cared for, but sometimes I feel in the midst of a dense fog and how I yearn for a brightly lit path! Never-the less, there is evidence all around me that seems to cheer me on . . .for a sparrow perches in a golden oak . . . a scarlet vine becomes a garland for a lone pine . . . and the first silver star appears in the evening, like an old friend come to call, at just the right hour.