Before I knew it, the work week had passed til now it is Saturday, It has been a week of chill, light rain and wind. The winds of March are always noteworthy here. Sometimes, you can not even bear to walk outside because of it. It is not the kind of wind for kites, for the the gusts will nearly sweep you away! When I went to bed last night, I could here the wind howling like a distant train whistle. Yet, when the sun rose this morning, the old barn was still standing and somehow the spirea hadn’t lost a single blossom!
We have had a sad event in our small community, this week. A neighbor and friend passed quietly, night before last. Miss Susie was a vibrant, youthful lady. I will not go on about her, because she never liked too much attention. I will say, that Miss Susie was the one who gave me flowers to plant at the old farmhouse, and I mentioned that from time to time. She gave me the hard to find “tansy, that smells like honey” and the “autumn joy” that is now green with new life.
The rabbitpatch has had a lot of sorrow and trial this year. It has been an unusual year in that respect. Now, there is no comparison, to the tragedies that continue to unfold in this world. . .and I am well aware that things can always be worse . We all have our burdens as that is part of this life. I do not know how, any of us can have the fortitude needed, without a faith. It must be an awful predicament.
Tomorrow, the family gathers to celebrate Daddys’ and Christians’ birthdays. For this reason, I have a large pot of chicken already boiling for brunswick stew. My sister, Delores is bringing barbecue, my cousin Chris, is making ribs, Chuck is bringing chicken and Mama is making a cake. There are also , all sorts of sides, as well, so we are all in the kitchen today.
Jenny has a “bug” of some sort and Lyla is showing signs of coming down with it, so it is likely, they will not attend. My sister Connie is on some island in the Caribbean, celebrating her twenty fifth anniversary, so it may not quite be a full house, but it will be close.
Somehow, the old farmhouse has remained tidy from last weekends’ gallant effort-but I may tackle another room, since the wind is still blowing and it is a cold wind, too. The sky is a clear, bright blue and reminds me of October. But for the wind, it would be a lovely day to hang sheets on the line. Instead , I decided to wash my spring dresses, which had been packed up. This is the first time I have unpacked anything since that fateful day in December, when the sell of the rabbitpatch, fell through. Not even the Christmas China, was unpacked, this year. I do not have much choice in this particular matter, as spring days are bound to come at some point. I put them on hangers and hung them wherever I could secure them. They hung from hooks intended for plants, the awning outside of the sunroom and even the welcome lantern. All were adorned with floral prints fluttering in the wild wind. While i did not trust mere clothes pins, it seemed wrong not to take advantage of the fierce gale as it swept through the territory.
The stew was done not long after noon. I cleaned the kitchen and then collected the dresses. They were all dry and smelled like the rose soap, I had used and fresh air. I got a small room clean, so that only leaves three more. I sat down to take a break, The boxer joined me – and that is the last thing I remember . . .for I fell fast asleep . . .so did the boxer.
I woke up hungry and totally confused about the time . The sun was shining, so surely I was late for work. Had I missed the birthday party? When I finally got my bearings straight, I made us all a cheeseburger and took the clothes out of the dryer. I was up til midnight, which is always the case, when I nap.
The moon rose over the field, and I was in awe, for it was tinged with a slightly greenish light – and it was huge. There it was shining on everyone with no regards to things like age or status. Things wild and things tame, we all shared , the glory of the moon, in March.
Somehow, I still got up early on Sunday morning. The day was as bright as the day before, and the sky was just as blue. The wind had ceased and birds were singing. I was chopping cabbage by eight-and had put in the last load of laundry. Mama loves my slaw, and it does pair well with barbecue. I always make enough to leave her some for the week. Other than my chopping cabbage, the house was quiet. The washing machine hummed softly and the mockingbird sang boldly. These are some of the things, I love about mornings.
I do not enjoy chopping cabbage. It makes your hands tired and it takes a good while, to get it fine enough to eat. I do not like the way kitchen machines chop it, for the cabbage is often rendered mushy and this does affect the flavor. If someone walks in the kitchen, while I am chopping, whether they live here or not, I hand them the bowl and invite them to take a turn. Still, I do think a lot, as I am chopping, as is typical when I have such a task. I have solved many a problem, while peeling potatoes or canning tomatoes. . . and dreamed like a “big shot”.
As it turns out, I am leaving for Elizabeth City, after the birthday party. Jenny is still sick and Will goes back to work tomorrow. She did see a doctor this morning, and so got some medicine-though I plan to fix her a pot of chicken soup-which is good for everything.
Thankfully, I had cooked a lot of pancakes this morning. Kyle is home again and so he and Christian will have pancakes, besides some party leftovers. I do not care how old the children get, I cook for them when I can. Tres and Brant, each has a pint of stew to carry with them – and Mama and Daddy are cooking their favorite beans, so they will have those, as well. Whenever, I see my grown sons, I always say “Please come back home, so I can cook for you and wash your clothes.” My friends cringe, when I tell them, but I mean it with all of my heart. Of all the things I have accomplished – or ever will, being their mother matters most to me.
The party was wonderful. It was so nice outside, that we were able to gather on the porch and recall our childhood escapades. How we all lived to grow up, is beyond me, for we were wildlings and quite curious children. We played awful tricks on one another and did all sorts of dangerous things.
The food was all good and there was plenty to send off, with most everyone. I was relieved that Kyle and Christian would not starve in my absence. I made a big plate for Will, as Jenny has not been in the kitchen for days.
I drove to Elizabeth City right afterwards under fair skies. On the way, I thought of all the good things, the day had brought. I smiled remembering the thoughtfulness that had gone in to today. I was glad that Daddy had enjoyed himself. Tres had been able to come home, which is always a special occasion, for me. Brant and Sydney came . . .oh, Dear Diary, This was one beautiful Sunday!