First One Thing, Then Another


There is good news . . . Daddy came through his surgery beautifully.  The thirty minute prediction turned out to be over an hour underestimated, so we were all feeling anxious, for a while.  We did not say a word about it, but my sisters eyes met mine and we didn’t have to utter a sound.  We caught up on the lives of our children and traded recipes.  We talked about Christmas and Hayleys’ upcoming trip to Las Vegas.  We talked about Lyla and Brynn – and I told them about the magic solution to get chocolate out . . til finally it was over.  After we saw daddy, we were totally convinced all was well and began calling to let loved ones know, the good news.  On the way home I wondered what will I think about now?

For months, I have had a lot to think about.  None of these things were small either.  I remember, that when the summer was rolling peacefully along, I had a slight bit of intuition that things were about to change. . .and I was right.  Intuition is just never wrong.  My brother in law, Mike says his mother, knows everytime he has ever been injured before he tells her!  She even knows whether it is his ankle or hand!  My intuition pales in comparison to that-but still I knew things were getting ready to “break loose”.  Daddy was diagnosed with a serious muscular condition, I found a cottage, the sale of the rabbit patch was on and off til finally off altogether, there were several car issues  and the Holiday concert and on and on it went.  My simple diary became  accounts of complications. Thank Goodness, for things like quiet pastures and laughing rivers-for they made a difference.

None of us are so privileged  , as to escape calamity.  I kept putting things in perspective and sorting out priorities, to maintain some sense of balance til here I am today, with at least some things resolved.  When friends would ask “well, what are you going to do about this or that?”  I would often say, “I will think about that tomorrow.”  And I meant it, for each day held something that seemed to need immediate attention.  This is why I found such comfort in things like fields and woodlands – and quiet pastures, that remain steadfast and do not yield  to human circumstances .  


Rain fell all night and continues this morning.  Daddy had a good night, but is raising a fuss about getting out of that confining hospital.  Mama and Delores spent the night, so I supposed they feel the same way.  I am cooking a pot of soup and another pot, of chicken and pastry, to carry over, hopefully today, if Daddy does  “break out” -as he put it.


Some day I will need to wrap Christmas presents, but today I am catching up from being gone for several days.  I will not put  a tree up this year.  It is just not a priority, in light of the circumstances.  There is a wreath on the front door and the little surprise tree, from Mama and Delores.  Besides, I have  helped put up two trees already . . and I just lack the drive to find the boxes, anyway. My children and I are having a Christmas  gathering at Jennys’ and then we all gather again at Mama and Daddys’ on Christmas evening.  Jenny and I have high hopes for things like toffee and a big pot of hot chocolate-  french toast – and we haven’t even ask the boys yet.  They will ask for things like rutabagas-Will will want beef stew and Lyla will want more cookies.  Of course, we will play carols and Lyla will tell the Christmas story, so rest assured that I will have plenty of Christmas Cheer, with or without a tree.  Christmas is as much a “feeling” to me, as it is anything else. 

 I do not know when Jesus was born, and it may have been spring, as some experts think.  For me, it is of little consequence, for as I told Lyla, we are celebrating the birth of Jesus, who came to show us how to love -and how to help others. 


The soup was done, by the time the doctor came in with the news, that it was likely, Daddy would need to stay another night. He took it better than we expected.  Delores lives in Raleigh and wanted to attend my nieces’ recital, so I plan to spend tonight at “that confining place”, myself.  My youngest sister, Connie was spending most of the day there-in fact, she brought cheese biscuits for breakfast for everyone.  This has of lately become her habit, and none of us are sorry for it.

1a374c078b53f8cd5e8f3e1ef6c24040Things sure can take a turn.  It is Monday, and Daddy is still in the hospital.  In some way, we all are!  Mama has only left to shower and take care of necessities.  I have spent the last two nights and Connie joins us in the day.  A fever, confusion and breathing problems came all at once and spawned this change of plans, but alas, daddy seems on the mend -and almost “out of the woods”.  I am thankful, that things have come this far, but I will say, that a hospital is the last place to expect rest.  Protocols are my  least favorite topic, now and for goodness sake, do not go there alone.  It has been “first one thing, then another” as of lately. 

It is impossible to read much more than a paragraph of anything, at a time and by the time you get back to it, you will need to reread it again to have any recollection.  Writing is next to impossible for, interruptions are so common, I have come to expect them.  I can not believe this environment is conducive  to  healing, at all and in fact I think I am likely to come down with some sort of  mental ailment, myself, for I  am most suited for a  quiet and peaceable life”, it seems. 

 Daddy sleeps in spurts and at any given moment, allowed. He wants to go home, and talks about it often.  He misses his dog “Casper” especially.


We were expecting to go home on Tuesday morning  and we were all looking forward to it.   . . then everything changed . . .again.   Another concern arose in the middle of Monday night and cancelled the prospects of a morning release.  All hope is not yet lost for today, but it will  certainly not be in the morning.

I have been taking a lot of walks as often as I can.  I have grown quite familiar with all of the little nooks and crannies of the facility.  I also know that not one window has a decent view of anything remotely natural.  . .unless you crane your face upwards, which always helps, anyway.   I suspect that a small garden view would do wonders for patients . . and a peaceful hour.

There are a lot of friendly people roaming the hallways.  Many are volunteers and I think how nice it is to see this.  I wonder if I might do something like that one day.   . .along with my “little library” and a happy lemonade stand.   Dreaming doesn’t cause a bit of harm.


Daddy came home on Tuesday evening.  He was as “happy as a lark” . . well, we all were -especially Casper.  The countryside was still and quiet and I knew, this was good medicine for Daddy. We carried all of the parcels in and made a heaping pile in a corner, and vowed to tidy up in the very near future, but for now, we all sat quietly and let the peace of “home” wash over us.


On Wednesday, we woke, and had breakfast.  We had rested well  -and it was a good thing, as the day slipped by in a lively manner.  Good friends showed up early and brought old fashioned fudge and home made peanut brittle.  Before they had left and driven a mile, a physical therapist came by to perform an evaluation.  My Aunt Christine, Uncle Gene and cousin Gena came just after the therapist left.  While they were visiting,  Daddys’ brother called to say he was just a few minutes away.  This happened all day and we ended up with fruit, bread, chocolate, a pecan pie, pimento cheese and chicken salad!  We shared everything with everybody and so it was like an endless buffet, of sorts.  Neighbors, Jeff and Karen were the grand finale of the day and what a finale!  Jeff told us his own version of his hospital stay.  His room was next to the helicopter landing pad!  We laughed at his description of that noise and decided we had  the lesser of the evils, after all.  Karen, gave us a concoction of nuts and all sorts of things like cereal and pretzels, seasoned her own unique way.  It is the best, I have ever had.  People call this snack, “Christmas trash”, which I do not like especially when words like “medley ” sound so much more fitting. . .and are available. At the end of the day, We had all gotten a full dose of medicine in the form of generosity, laughter and love-and we were better for it.


I woke early on Thursday.  I have missed seeing the sunrise.  My routine has been most eratic and a far cry from normal.  I found out yesterday, that today is Thursday.  I am supposed to go to Jennys’ today. Jenny had a fancy party to go to in Virginia, but even that has changed.  Jenny has a sinus infection and so now I will go to take care of her. . . and the babies.  My sisters are working on some arrangement between them, for Mama and Daddy.

My own children are supposed to join me in a day or so, for a Christmas gathering.  I did the bulk of my shopping throughout the year, but not a one is yet wrapped.  I have several, not yet bought, but Christmas will come, anyway, so it seems I am now in a rush.  Under normal circumstances, this would rattle me, but in light of this last week, I will not complain.

I have said it before, but it bears repeating, “plans”  have never done me much good.  It seems my lot, is “to walk by faith, and not by sight”.   One way or another, I am going to understand this lesson.  The last six months are proof of that.   We read that verse, and may claim it, yet to truly live it, seems unnatural to humans.   It is not  an effort for the faint of heart.  I think it takes the “wisdom of Solomon” to find that fine line of doing what we can and ought to, and then accepting what transpires.

In some ways, this is a very liberating concept.  Not an ounce of worry, has ever made a difference in any outcome.   . .and besides that, I do not have an imagination wild enough to dream up the prosperity I have known nor such a beautiful substance as has made up my life. 




32 thoughts on “First One Thing, Then Another

  1. Oh, Michele! Wow. I loved these lines, “Thank Goodness, for things like quiet pastures and laughing rivers-for they made a difference.” and this, especially blessed me, “Not an ounce of worry, has ever made a difference in any outcome. . .and besides that, I do not have an imagination wild enough to dream up the prosperity I have known nor such a beautiful substance as has made up my life.” I love the sharing, the cheer, and the neighborliness I see through your writing, in your family, friends, and neighbors. I love the love language shown through good food. I also understand and felt a kindred spirit rise up in me when you talked about reading and writing in tough circumstances or environments. Yes. I’m so glad your father is at home, surrounded by his loved ones and I pray that you will have a little sense of God’s peace, even in the midst of so many storms.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Its been a while since I’ve visited The Rabbit Patch. My loss!! I love your writings..they’re so visual and inviting. Its like reading something by Earl Hammer Jr who wrote about The Waltons, only in a much more recent time.
    So glad to hear your dad is doing so well and is home. Even though it can be taxing scheduling stays at the hospital, we really wouldn’t be anywhere else. Plus, it gave you more to write about!
    It appears, through your writings, it was meant for you to remain at The Rabbit Patch, for now anyway. You have invested much of yourself there to make it such a special place, that perhaps your dream is for someone to come in who will appreciate the homeplace as much as you have. That person will show up. For now, enjoy this beautiful Christmas season with all that it brings, remembering the real reason this season brings so much love.
    Merry Christmas dear friend and Happy New Year to all!! Thank you for your commitment to writing. Your words are soothing, bring a smile to the faces who read them, and a joy within. God bless

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am so glad you and your family are finished with the hospital and can now relax in your own homes and that your dad is doing well! We had a similar situation with my dad last year….5 days it dragged on and it can certainly take a toll so I understood your feelings well. I love the last two lines of your post, which sum up your ever-grateful attitude and the reason I love reading your post so much! God bless you and yours and a very beautiful Christmas to you all! 🙂

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  4. If only many others could have your outlook on life in general but especially the rolls and tumbles we all seem to face at times. A lot of things we just can’t control so why try…it only puts us in a bad mood which doesn’t solve anything.
    A visit to a hospital isn’t ever going to be comforting ,for the patient or the caregivers .There is absolutly no rest for the weary. My advice is to stay clear unless there is no other option. Fresh air, nature and family, well not all families but you get the idea. I am so glad all of you are back on home base.
    Let’s all expect a peace to cover us as we finish out this year.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It is such a joy to read your stories. I too try very hard to live in the moment and not to go off worrying about what cannot be changed. Sometimes it is difficult to quiet the mind but that is my daily mantra and I try my best. I seek peace each day and sometimes I even find it. I know you treasure the moments with your family and long may that continue.

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  6. Father’s homecoming is indeed a fine Christmas Story.
    Hope and strength and love came home to you, in a way, paralleling the arrival of the Savior.
    Afterwards, many “wise” visitors brought gifts, to honor the “king” of your family.

    Peace reigns in gentle hearts.

    Merry Christmas, Rabbit.


    Liked by 1 person

  7. You’re so right Michele… our journey of living (or trying) by faith and not by sight, is not for the faint of heart. My conversations with God from time to time are my admission to Him that I know I falter…. I trust but then I find myself taking my concerns back yet again.

    If you didn’t have your faith then the past few months for you would have ‘wiped you out’. I know you have had more challenges than you needed… and yet you go on day by day doing what you must.

    Your family is so very close.. that I know that’s part of what helps you. I’m so glad your father is doing okay… Christmas for me has always been such a special time. This year because of circumstances it’s not quite as bright for me… and yet I hold on the true meaning and will remember the gift that was given that day.. to all! Merry Christmas to you and your wonderful family…. Diane xxxx

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  8. Michele, I am so glad to hear your Dad got out of that confining place! I know exactly what he means by that. It sounds like your year has kind of gone like our year. So many odd things from one month to the next. I told my husband I did not think I would write a Christmas letter this year for two reason….first I am not sure my brain could complete the task LOL. (My sentences still seem to get garbled)….second….Our year was not so uplifting other than the wedding which was really a wonderful thing.
    My sister told me that 2019 should definitely be an improvement….and I am going to believe her!

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  9. Michelle I am so glad your daddy is on the mend. I know how hard it is to see your daddy in a hospital bed and how hard it is to to find strength for him when your heart is breaking . It is true we have to walk by faith . I know for sure though ,God sees your beautiful heart . He knows you crane your neck upward and is aware of your every thought wether verbalized or not. My scripture Isaiah 41:10 says for us not to be afraid because he holds our right hand. He uses that right hand to lift us up when this world beats us down . We are never alone, the one who created the quiet pastures and laughing rivers ..made them for our joy…your joy… and he loves you dearly . I love you my cousin are in my heart &prayers 💜💜💜💜💜

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Cousin Alice-thank you for such a beautiful comment-it lifted me and gave me peace. How dear you are to me. I remain so glad to know you and I so hope to see you soon! Blessings to you and your own family! love Michele


  10. And thank goodness nature provides us with the steady, the beauty, and the peace. You are blessed to see these wonders. They soothe the soul and keep us on course. Merry Christmas to you, Michele. 🎄

    Liked by 1 person

  11. You have so much on your plate right now that I’m sure it feels overwhelming sometimes. I think not putting up a tree is a wise idea…just do what feels right and you have time to do. I’m so sorry your dad had the setbacks, but glad he is now safely home. I’ll pray for his continued recovery. Merry Christmas, Michele!

    Liked by 2 people

  12. My goodness, Michele, your life sounds so much like mine. I too walk by faith every day as I repeatedly tell Hubby when he wants to make plans … Let’s see what tomorrow brings and go from there. I also have had a very challenging (read that difficult) past more then enough months probably since this past Spring if not earlier. I also like you take ONE thing at a time so as not to overwhelm myself. When I am running around desperately doing my healing rounds with my cats when they are ill, that is the ONLY thing I can focus on at the Moment. That is just for instance. I will keep you in my Heart and in my prayers, dear friend.

    Merry Christmas to you and yours, dear Michele. BIG (((HUGS)))!! 💝💝💝

    Liked by 2 people

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