When the Wild Becomes Tender

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“Everything is coming up roses’ at the rabbitpatch!  The rose bushes are full of blossoms and it makes a stroll through  the territory a grand event . Miss Sylvias’ irises are blooming too.  They are so named, in her memory.  Their watery blue color is striking and so cheerful, at the entrance of the drive way.  Now all of the grass is green and the lilies are up and full of promises.  New leaves adorn the old trees and quiver tenderly in the constant breeze.

The morning dawned silvery.  Not long after a light shower fell.  Tres had spent the night here, but he had stayed up pretty late with , Kyle and Christian, for someone who was smoking pork at six am.  Christian, was up first and he made extra coffee, as Tres loves coffee as much as I do. 

I decided, to take it easy today and just do what was required for housekeeping.  Maybe I would cut the wild vines as they grow with great vigor.  It would at least keep them at bay, for a bit.   I have often wished vegetables grew with the same vitality as those hateful vines.  I had laundry washing, by the time Tres and Kyle were up.  We had a light breakfast and then Tres went out to inspect the car and the mower.  That is my Tres.  He reminds me so much of my daddy, who always walked in my house and found repairs needed somewhere.   Once, when Jenny was little, she piped up and said “Granddaddy, you just want something to be broke!” She was maybe four, but had learned the circumstances, – and ( had not learned to use the word, Broken, instead.)  I still chuckle, remembering.  

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Tres left around mid afternoon and so the holiday was officially over.  I did collect some branches,  that were strewn again, all over the place – and I did cut some vines.  I packed another box and that was about it.  I also spent some time in front of a window fan, which I declare is as pleasant, as can be.  It is a worthwhile practice and I look forward to using fans each year.

This time of year, at school we are preparing for the folk dance program.  The dances come from all over the world. This means that I am outside all day watching the children perform and dancing with them often.  On the day of the program, the children will don clothing that reflects the country they have been studying.  They will also prepare foods and display art from places like Colombia, South Africa and the Dominican Republic.  These days, I sleep especially well, but few things are as lovely, as children dancing in the sunshine , in spring.  

296d763d1a403a128db5896eedaad54bThe fireflies are back!   With such good weather, I am back in the habit of going out each night to bid the world good night – and so I have seen them twinkling, this past week.  The first one of the season, flew very close to my face, and I was sure a star was falling on me!  It was startling – but I laughed a good bit later, about it.  A night or two later, another thing happened . . .  I keep the windows up, this time of year, and I heard rustling sound just outside the window, by my beloved morning table.  I ignored it, but it kept getting closer and closer.  The boxer didn’t seem concerned, but I was.  Surely the sounds were footsteps and  were approaching the back door.  It was just after twilight, and I couldn’t see a thing, so at last, I mustered the courage to go see.  I stepped cautiously out, and “screamed like a banshee” for a young rabbit hopped onto the door step with me !

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 Now, the sweetest month, May has arrived, like a well loved friend, that was sorely missed.  It is no wonder to me that the birthstone for May is the emerald.  . .for in May, the fields and woodlands are all shades of green and even the most hesitant flora, will  bloom in May.  This is the month for picnics, if there ever was one, for pesky creatures, like mosquitoes are scarce for now- and so are  the dreaded flies of summer.  Once, I brought a baby home in May and how delighted I was to sit on a front porch swing with Tres when he was but days old.  Maybe it is for that reason, that I am very partial  to May.

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Every May, I remember, that  children were allowed to go barefoot, on May 1st, when I was growing up.  But  in those days,  of long ago, things were different.  I was richly blessed with a lot of loving adults, who indulged us with rich memories.  We were children, but highly involved in the day to day tasks, meals and all aspects of life on that little farm.  Looking back, I do not know how the grown folks did it all.  I learned nursery rhymes, songs and Bible verses in the old barn, and in the garden and in the kitchen.  There was also the faithful clothes line and the back porch, where beans were snapped or shelled.  Stories were told and songs were sung. We wrote our abcs’ in the dirt, for the first available adult to check. . .and the World Book Encyclopedias, was a required reading.

Sometimes, however, a task just did not require the assistance of a child and so we were sent to play untethered . . mostly.  To keep us safe, all sorts of notions were put in our heads.  If we played in the ditch (by the road) we would surely get the “ditch itch” – and  that is the way,  we were kept out of the road.   No one ever talked to me about the possibilities of snakes or black widows, being under the house . . for the devil himself, lived there!  I can say truthfully, not one of us met our demise under any house.  The well would swallow a child whole, so none of us drowned either.  If you stayed out after dark, you were not only late for supper, but there was the chance, that a bat would make a nest in your hair-hence no one was late for supper.  We kept our shoes on too, . . .to avoid the “Hong Kong” flu, which would kill you, . . .  before the first of May.

In this way, we all managed to live to grow up.  . .and tell about it. 

Dear Diary, I love the gentle, fair time of May, when the wild becomes tender and “flowers appear on the earth.” 

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23 thoughts on “When the Wild Becomes Tender

  1. You are so far ahead of us. Because I stay close to home, I have not seen a single flower in bloom, although there might be crocuses in other people’s yards. Where you live, Spring is in full swing. Here, she is only beginning to show her pretty face. You are exactly right about emeralds being perfect for May. Have you ever read the Miss Read books? Your dancing children reminded me of them.

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  2. Learning to stay out of trouble because of the’ ditch itch’ and the devil under the house is probably a good idea. I can remember crawling under a garage ( it was on tall blocks) and coming face to face with a black runner snake. He left pretty quick and so did we.
    My #2 son called this morning laughing about one of his customers . Must be a smart guy because he is always talking Sigmas this and sigmas that but can’t do math without his math app. And still got it wrong to the tune of -$100,000. What do they teach now days?My #2 ,who is self taught after home schooling, was was just amazed.
    We are in the middle of ball season. GT is in baseball and the girls in softball. That means a little travel at least twice a week . I’ll miss one game tonight because I’ll leave before dark. This grandma doesn’t like to drive alone at night .

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    1. oh goodness! I homeschooled my children back in the day before it became so many did-folks thought I was crazy! Thank God-He made me know that path-today, sadly, kids use electronics for everything! I doubt they know how to use an encyclopedia or a library and I will tell you that is showing up too. Best wishes with the ball games! love Michele

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  3. We, too, had to wait until May 1st to go without shoes! It didn’t matter how many warm days we had in April or if it was raining on the first day of May, I went outside barefooted!! Wonderful memories! Thank you!

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  4. I always sit back and relax as your posts come into view. I have never once been disappointed!

    The first rose of the season bloomed today, enough that we could see it from the back porch as we ate. Our iris plants are outdoing themselves after my sister-in-law and grandson Nathaniel helped me dig them up and replant them two years ago.

    I don’t remember our parents warning us of dire things outside to keep us safe. I suspect they didn’t know the most dangerous thing we did — swinging on grape vines over a deep ravine.

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  5. I throughly enjoyed reading this story just as much as all your other ones. We are so blessed to have you tell us about the world through your dear sweet thoughts and eyes. You are as I always say a very very gifted writer. Thank you for sharing a small Devine part of your world that is the RabbitPatch. May the Good Lord continue to bless you with such great talent so that we may enjoy the thoughts and memories you share with us. Thank you My friend for sharing your heart, soul and love with all of us. Love you and your family even that dear dad of yours. Please tell him I said hi and miss him!

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  6. I so love your writing too, and your comments about May and the magic of childhood were just the best. It so reminded me of my own childhood, for we lived on a lot of fairy tales that kept us growing up in the best of times. We played outside on summer nights until way late, and we never had to worry about any of the things we have to worry about today for the little ones or even the bigger children. It was a better life in so many ways. We were happy with the simplest of things, and lives were lived surrounded by good neighborhoods and community. Cardboard boxes became race cars, spaceships, forts, boats, and all sorts of wonderful things. If we had bicycles, that was enough for us to race down hills to see who could get to the bottom first. And yes, we skinned our knees, broke our arms, and got into all sorts of predicaments, but as childhood left us forever, the memories of those times could always take us back once again.

    I too worked with children – always those with special needs, and always as a substitute paraeducator and later teacher (uncertified), and I will never forget the joy of that time of life and the wonderful time before.

    Childhood in those days and teaching and working with children later was nothing as it is now. I wish I could give every child the beautiful and magical memories we are lucky to have. Thank you again, and I agree, you are a wonderful writer. Please keep up the good writing. If I am not responding to posts a lot right now, I am having to be a pretty full-time caregiver for my significant other, Richard, as he tries to recover from a major surgery. But I do try when I am able to read what I can. I am pretty far behind, but when I need a spiritual boost, I know where to look.

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    1. Well this made my day! Thank you for your kind words and encouragement. Oh it seems we have so much in common! I wish we could have the same childhood we had for future generations. Something beautiful has been lost again. Best wishes for your loved one in his recovery. love Michele

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