Somehow, school started back with its’ routine – and somehow I did it all again. After a long break, I am always convinced that I will be late and then, stumble through the day in a haze. It never happens. Everything falls into place and I adapt quite naturally.
The winter days have been born in mist just heavy enough to warrant the wipers every few miles. The silvery shadows make the fields look like hallowed ground . . .which is fitting, to me. I have always thought of fields as holy. They feed us, and clothe us and time spent around a field, even in months like January, is likely to “cure whatever is ailing” you. Fields are like loving guardians for all of mankind and we do not need one field less, if you ask me.
I have talked to a field on more than one occasion. When I was battling something, a field gave me hope. If I was complaining, a field hushed me. Fields have heard prayers uttered in dark moments and words sung when joy could not be spoken . . . and not one field has ever betrayed any secret. When the day comes, that a sidewalk runs in front of my house, I suspect, I will on occasion, seek the solace of a field.
Now it has rained every day for a solid week, for the mist turns to drops regularly. It has not been much more than chilly enough for a light sweater. I have no idea what is going on in the rest of the world, as I have been avoiding the latest news broadcasts for a while, but I do know that here, it feels like April.
With the holidays, now behind us, life has thankfully, resumed to a much more manageable pace. Now there is time to write and to read, and being housebound so much, for tending to the housekeeping chores. It is the time to slow cook roasts and to make creamy chowders. Few things afford as much pleasure as the smell of the kitchen in winter. I have big plans tomorrow to make apple dumplings. I have never had them, let alone attempted to make them. The recipe calls for a homemade pastry, brown sugar and butter as well as apples. It sounds like a heavenly combination and I do hope not to scorch it with my impatience to try it.
Daddy has been “holding his own” these days. He has recovered from his surgery -and the hospital stay, as well. Daddys’ side of the family is known to be an independent lot-those that marry in to the family, call it being “hard headed”. We are, I suppose, that determined. This makes us accept challenges, do things our own way and we do not bow or give in one iota, about things that do not make sense. We make our own decisions, and are not easily swayed due to the need to be popular or even traditional. Of course, this trait can exhaust our loved ones, at times. We are likely to call one another hard headed too, if so inclined. Daddy is as hard headed as any of us. But, being “hard headed”, meant a poor, little country boy, rose up from the dirt like a “Phoenix.” Armed with determination, Daddy has excelled at most everything he has ever attempted. Now, especially, that strong “Warren” gene is coming in mighty handy, again.
Mama, is to be commended too, as she does whatever is necessary for his well being, whether it is assistance in a task, preparing foods he will eat or tending to his medicine. About every hour, she says “drink water”. . . and she has tolerated the “Warren” gene for more than sixty years.
On Saturday morning, the sun rose with a bit of fanfare. Golden light seemed to crack the sky open and then there was the sun, bright and the color of a tangerine, rising over the oldest barn. There was wind too and since the wind only rattled the old oaks and made the pines whisper, I welcomed it, for wind takes care of the standing water .
I read for a while, after the “early service”. I finally started a book, a friend recommended, Cathy, who writes like a poet, and tends a garden. It is “Elizabeth and Her German Garden”. In the beginning, Elizabeth describes her garden with great detail, not only the flowers but how she feels in her garden. She has modern ideas about the planting and a gardener, that she must convince, to plant as she directs. This morning, Elizabeth has finally left her garden, for something besides going to bed. It is the perfect book for January, I think.
Maybe one of the things that I love about winter, is that it affords me the chance to do some of the things I love. I love to write, naturally. I have journals – one for Lyla and one for Brynn. I have a personal journey for my “all grown up” children. A dear friend, Beverly, gave me the gumption to start a prayer journal, as well. Of course, there is my beloved Rabbitptch Diary, too.
I also love to read well written books, which largely means books written before now. There are exceptions to that, but rarely are modern novels appealing to me. I do love to research and will tackle all sorts of random subjects, hence I am still reading about “Secretariat” . I am just in awe of the synchronicity of the people that came together to raise this horse, and their circumstances. I have also read a bit about “Bruce Lee” and “Eleanor Roosevelt”, this week.
Then, there are recipes, which is how I was led to try the apple dumplings. There is also the medicinal properties of herbs, which I find a fascinating subject. Now turmeric and ginger and cinnamon are all a steady part of my cooking.
My friend Faye, will be glad to know that I am also on a band wagon about essential oils. I really always have been. When I adopted my Kyle, from Colombia, now almost thirty years ago, lavender and chamomile were used in his bath water. These days I am using them in home made household cleaning products. I have been making my own face cream, toothpaste and deodorant for months. . . and my medicine cabinet sure looks different than most – so I am never short on new things to learn. . .however months like June, do not afford me the luxury of such exploration that January does, for the grass and wild vines grow in June.
Of course in January, I become homesick, for my children. Now, we are scattered tending to things like making money. I have no clue what my sons are eating for supper but I think it is safe to say, it is not such things as, rutabagas. I miss their banter with one another and watching them with Lyla and Brynn. I miss seeing Jenny being a “second mother” to them. I hope they are all taking their elderberry and saying their prayers . . It feels sometimes like the calendar, acts like a great divide that runs between us and between now and the next holiday. Well, I just miss everybody. . . and most especially in January.