Against All Odds


Sometimes one day turns into another, in an ordinary fashion.  I strive to have as many of those as I can.  I take great pains to live a mostly leisure life, where things like supper , are the occasion of the day.  I love a “quiet and peaceable” life.   . . None of that happened this week.

First of all, it was the week of the “Holiday Concert” at school.  This is a busy and exciting week, for all of us.  The classes learned winter songs from ten different countries.  Then, there were the violinists, at least one hundred of them, played carols.  The older students, also decorated the campus with lights and served hot chocolate, cotton candy and cookies.  It was all lovely and everything turned out beautifully, but it was an incredibly busy week.


For eighteen years, my mom, sisters and I have gathered the first week of December for a shopping trip.  We have been joined by my nieces, Hayley and Dana, since they grew up, too.  This year, we changed things up.  We did not want daddy alone, for that long of a day and Mama who takes great pride in her decorations, had not even really started, save the mantel.  This year, we all met early, at their house for breakfast and plans to decorate.  Dana and I decorated the tree.  Connie and Hayley, worked on the porch and Delores created Christmas scenes throughout the house.  By noon, I was frying the cornbread, that Delores loves.  A large pot of brunswick stew was simmering and everyone took a turn, chopping the slaw, for that will wear you out.  Connie brought her home made barbecue, for the main dish.  Since Delores and Hayley had December birthdays, Mama made a chocolate cake from scratch for Delores and a lemon meringue pie, for Hayley.  It was quite a feast.  Brant came for the meal, which thrilled me.  He carried stew and some of the left over sweet potato pancakes, from breakfast, with him when he left. 

Dana sketched, and was good company as I cleaned the kitchen.  Dana had cleaned up after breakfast and  since she is quite an artist, and always has a sketch pad, I asked her to draw a rabbit.  It was adorable and I remain impressed with her ability.    What sweet memories she and I made this day, decorating the tree together, and spending time together, in a kitchen.

Connie, being known as a hard worker, rallied us to tackle the yard, next.  Hayley, like me does not like to rake leaves, but agreed, it was better, in good company.  When we left, the whole place was orderly and little lights twinkled.  Ribbons and garland , and wreaths proclaimed Christmas in the clean yard, too.


On Wednesday, I received a message that the sale of the rabbit patch, was not going through.  Even, as I write this, now days later,  I am still shocked. The message was short and final, and I felt a great many emotions, all at once.  I still do not know what happened – or why.  Instead of concentrating on the missing information, I decided to to think about what is next and trusted  that “next” would surely be better.  Still, I had the dreaded task, of telling my children.  I knew Brant and Tres would be terribly aggravated and that Jenny and Christian would be hurt.  Kyle would take it best, but he would be disappointed for me.  . . and truly, all of us would be terribly disappointed.  I worried for the people, I was buying the cottage from, and what this would mean for them.  But, I had to prepare myself quickly, for Christian was home, when I drove in the yard, that day . . . and somehow, there was a small Christmas tree shining through a window.


Mama and Delores, were quite concerned that I would not be decorating for the holidays, and like little Christmas fairies, had slipped in the farmhouse and placed a table top tree in the den.  Christian was happy for me, as they all know that I love Christmas, especially.  (My decorations are all packed up, as I was expecting to move during Christmas break.)  I decided to delay my news, as I could not spoil the goodness of the moment.  

That night, I thought a lot of things, in the light of the little tree.   I remembered the details of this six month ordeal.  I knew the blunders now, of my lack of “business” sense and declared not to repeat those same mistakes.  I was annoyed that it had taken six months and then fell apart in a day. I felt a sense of loss and yet not hopelessness, as so often accompanies an unrealised dream. I was not sorry, that I had dreamed.  I did not feel defeated, though I did feel weary. I simply could not feel angry, for I had prayed fervently, for the right thing to happen. I am not yet at liberty, to tell the whole story, but rest assured a lot of wonderful plans were dashed. So many thoughts were jumbling around, yet I managed to maintain a peace, though at times, it was shaky.  “Things work out for a reason” and “The best is yet to come”  and “God works in mysterious ways”  -all crossed my mind, in intervals, through the chaos of my thoughts.  Finally, I cried, not because, I did not believe any of that, but because, I was saddened.  I realised too, I was “sick and tired” of the harrowing last six months.  I was ready to put that behind me, after all.  Sometimes, “No” is the answer, to  a prayer.  

The task at hand, was to show my children what to do with disappointment, for I can not spare them of that.  Really, when I thought about it, I was disappointed because I had concocted a goal for myself, that apparently was not in my best interest, at this particular time.  Other than, my lack of business, I had exercised grace and fortitude .  Now, I had to show them recovery, which in this life should be a highly desired skill, for we all need that at times. I had to take that “blessed high road” again.  

When at last, I did bear the news, things turned out as I expected.  Jenny was sad and Christian was too.  The boys were highly disturbed and Mama cried. It was awful and in some way, I felt  guilty of creating this calamity. 

I have no clue, how I will afford to make repairs to this old house nor how I will maintain the land and barns.  These are very real concerns for me nearing the age of sixty.  “Starting over”  on your own, lacks the luster, it has in youth.   Just finding a job, at this age is a predicament, in itself.  Against the odds,  I still believe that it will work out.   I have not unpacked a single thing. Against all odds, I still entertain lofty notions though,  I am waiting, again, this time for clarity, about how to proceed. 

I have a beautiful life, right now today.  First and foremost, a little King was born and became my own, and I declare now, that “He does work in mysterious ways!”  I have the dearest family, a heart could ever hope for.    I have loving and loyal friends –  and on and on I could go  . .  and so, it is hard to be downcast, for long. Instead, I await for something more, than I could have hoped for and until then, I will live my beautiful life, and make repairs as I can. 

I will love the winter twilight and the stark beauty of bare trees,  I will watch the moon rise over the old barn and the sun set over a resting field, turning it a coppery , gold in the process.  In the mornings, frost will shine silver and sparkle in the first light.  I will bide my time, listening to the pines whisper and the blackbirds chatter -and watch for that silver lining, in good faith.







41 thoughts on “Against All Odds

  1. Well rats! I just wrote some comment that disappeared just like a flash. I am on this dreaded cell phone which doesn’t like me. I will send a note,in the mail because my pc is down. Some days we should just stay in bed. Until then you know how terribly sorry I am and I love you dearly for taking life’s disappointments so “like a big girl”. Love you

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Family Love! That is what we do! I’m sorry for the disappointment of the Buyer and such. You put it all into lovely words and actions as always! Continued thoughts prayers! XX

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi my precious cousin,
      I love your heart and that you trust in God even in the hardest of times. You are so right- Sometimes he answers out prayers with a “No,” because He knows things we don’t know. I am trusting Him with you for His very best, and for his timing whatever and whenever that is. For now, it looks like you will stay close to your childhood home and parents and will need to travel a little to see your grandbabies is Elizabeth City. I know he will provide for you and strengthen you (as He always has) as you continue your beautiful practice of being present with all of your family as much as you can. Sleep well my sister-in-law, I love you dearly and as I said, am trusting that you. You expressed your thoughts and heart beautifully as usual. ❤️ Love you so much,

      Liked by 1 person

      1. dear cousin-People like you show me how to walk this journey. Thank you for your love, and encouragement. The very hardest part of this thing is not holding it against the buyer! Gosh, to not feel a bit of anger, but I know she is part of God and that made it possible. and- I had been praying, so I knew this was Gods’ plan. Pray for daddy having minor surgery on Friday-I love you!!!


  3. The finality of some events always can be shocking. The last time I had such a shock, it occurred to me that the comparison with hitting a thumb with a hammer really is true: first we go numb, and then there’s pain, and then the healing begins. You have such wonderful family and friends around you to aid the healing process; it still will be a blessed Christmas, and then it will be time to begin again, in a new year.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Ma’am
    It is a disappointment. I broke my heart in June 2018 but I am alive still. My broken heart has healed a bit and a new plan is up and running. Keep wishing for what you want and the whole universe will work to make it happen – is what Paulo Coelho said( I read this somewhere). Do you have an email I can write to ?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. you are one of the people I thought about when all of this happened- for I remembered you too had a set back. It gave me strength to know you had handled it well. I love Paul Coehlo- My email rabbitpatch05@gmail and I would love to hear from you. thank you-love Michele


  5. What kind hearted family doing all that decorating, a lovely thing to do. I’m so sorry the sale isn’t going through, and hope you get the guidance you are hoping for. Life has a funny way of dealing with things for us sometimes!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Although I am sorry to hear of the derailment of beautiful plans, I look expectantly to see the good that God will bring out of this and pray peace and rest and comfort for you as you “forge ahead with joy”.
    The Lord will continue to provide as He always has and won’t fail you. I read this beautiful quote this morning:
    “Who would ever know the greater graces of comfort and perseverance, mercy and forgiveness, patience and courage, if no shadows fell over a life?” (Ann Voskamp)
    It’s a comfort to me, and I know you are familiar with this truth.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I am so sorry Michele and echo everyone else’s sentiments. I hope that things will look quite differently in six months time. Meantime you are indeed blessed to have a loving family and friends. Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I was so sorry to hear that the sale fell through with finality. How I admire you for helping decorate your parents’ home and rallying to accept what had happened and continue with your grateful life! You are a wonderful blessing to so many of us.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Dear Michele, I am so sorry to hear this, and truly sympathize with how you must be feeling. You have the biggest heart I know, and your nature is always giving love all around. Just know that infinite blessings are coming back to you, and you will get your beautiful cottage! There must be a reason why things didn’t work out right now, maybe in retrospect we will find out one day and maybe not, but trust that all is coming in Divine timing. So you get to have one more Christmas with your loving family at the Rabbit patch and I hope it’s an unforgettably beautiful one!!! A big hug, Amira ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Dear Michele, how sorry I am that you have gone through such a long and protracted time of stress! I was hoping all along that your plans would bear the fruit you wished for. I also know that you are a dear soul and that it was hard for you to feel like you had created any kind of stress and disappointment for others. You remind me of my wonderful mother. She was the same way. I know that you will all get through it and that God will provide for you, as you are his trusting child, but it’s only natural to have a little breakdown now and then when things go awry. In the meantime, I wish you a Christmas that is as lovely as the words you put forth for your faithful readers. Blessings! xox

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You have touched me in a beautiful way with this comment. I feel your compassion and it soothes me. I know God has this which is sometimes even harder as I can’t even talk back! hahah! I am just kidding. All is well and I am expecting something wonderful to happen. I just love you! love Michele

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Oh, dear Michele. I’m thinking of you right now. I’m praying that you will blessed with a special sense of beauty and God’s love for you today, even in the midst of disappointment. How wonderful that you all pitched in to help your parents decorate and you came home to a little Christmas surprise tree. ❤ Lots of love and a hot cup of coffee from me to you.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. It was the spring of 1984. With four kids, the youngest at three, we searched for a real home to move out of our 1972 Blue Moon mobile home. (Yes, 6 of us in a 12 x 70 box!)
    We found a lovely little house on Stony Creek Road, in the Adirondack Mountains.
    Just big enough, and in a few years we might add some space as the boys grow.
    An offer, accepted. A deposit, a down payment. A purchase contract to buy the house from the family of old Doctor McCann.
    And then the news. We were to be blessed again. Daughter Kerry would be born that October.
    We could barely fit in McCann’s as it was. Part wishful thinking and part dreaming youngster and partly the fact that there were not a lot of houses in our budget to fit a family of six. Now to be seven.
    We had to cancel the contract. The McCann family was gracious enough (or saw our plight) and refunded all of our deposit.
    Cut to the chase: it would be another year before we finally found our home. The Ark I know and love to this day. We moved in with baby Kerry, and room enough for everyone.
    I can’t guess what paths we may have taken had we settled in the Town of Day, “The Hadley House”.
    They may very well have been wondrous.
    I can tell you that the Ark of Engleville has carried us through more than I can relate here.
    It is a beautiful place that has become a part of me.
    I can’t (and need not) imagine living and raising my children and grandchildren elsewhere.

    Just a little story, to remind you of the joy that awaits you, at “Plan B”.

    Merry Christmas, dear friend.



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