The Best Advice I know of


It rained last night.  Evening showers came and “settled the dust”, revived the countryside and cooled the air.  What a relief it was, when at long last the distant thunder, did more than just tease.  The ginger lilies took heart, and so did I.

 The long awaited rain, was like a grand finale to yesterday.  Sunday would be the conclusion of our holiday gatherings.  Tres had left on Saturday, but Brant and Sydney were still here.  When I remembered that I had bought a large package of pork chops -which is Brants’ favorite – Mama and I planned a Sunday dinner.  I am glad we did, for it was a sweet time. . .and there is no such thing as too many Sunday dinners.

When Brant and Sydney left, and the kitchen was cleaned . . .that is when the rain  fell. . .


 and I remembered my grandmama saying  “I love you, like rain.”

On Monday, I had “business” to tend to, which I always dread.  I do my best to avoid any “official” thing, as if it were a plague, but sometimes there is just no getting around it.  I was in a courthouse before nine am.  My stomach lurched the minute I walked in. A large group of people stood out side the court room, awaiting their fate.  I was heartsick, for all of them. 

I was there to convince a DA to drop my citation for  expired registration on the car, which was pointed out at a routine traffic stop.  I declare the place smelled of brief cases, clocks and threatening forms. The lack of natural light only added to the gloom of the atmosphere.  As it turns out, the “system” was down, so I had to return after lunch.

 I came home and called the bank.  . . another dreaded task.  There was “no getting around that” either.  The repairs that I have whined about for a year or so, are still needed and apparently, whining does not work.  The gentleman, I spoke with was kind , but I could not make “heads nor tails” of some things he said.  He used terms I was unfamiliar with.  He said he could explain every detail and the conference would take about forty five minutes.  I told him that sounded horrible.  For once in my life, I had a pair of aces . . .Will and Tres.  The two of them are a brilliant pair and Will is a commercial banker.  I trust them with all my heart. The gentleman agreed to send me the information, which I will hand off immediately. . .and gratefully . . to my dear sons.   . .one by birth and one by grace.

I made it back to the courthouse and without much ado, had the citation dismissed, since I had tended to it promptly.  I was out of the “gooseberry net”!


I rode back to Elizabeth City, with Jenny, on Tuesday.  Jenny had developed a rash, thought to be poison ivy, . . . but  it turned out to be shingles. 

A few weeks ago, Jenny lost her beloved dog of fourteen years.  It was heartbreaking, certainly and this event,  may have been the cause of the condition. known now as shingles, which can be caused by stress.   We all mourned but I suppose for Jenny, it was a  hurt, felt most deeply.   After all, she had “Jada” before she was married and before she became a mother. 

We are all dog lovers, in our family, and losing Jada, was not taken lightly, by any one of us.  


I can scarce believe we are nearing midsummer.  Of course, the heat is convincing. . . .and so are the mosquitoes.  The days are humid now, mornings are often muggy and at night a haze sets in, but Lyla managed to see her first shooting star, two nights ago. 

With all there is to do, I am ashamed to admit, that I have not read a single book, thus far.  You would think, having the summer off, I would have read several by now, but alas, there is always some chore to do.  Some task presents itself, regularly.  I am reading articles and I am reading the Sermon on the Mount daily.  It is the best advice I know of.  Times have changed . . .they always will continue to do so.  It is one of the few things, you can count on, but ironically, the plight of man has  remained the same .  . . and so do the solutions.


Yesterday, Lyla and I pulled the spent canes from the lilies, that grow down the lane.  Thankfully, the lane is shady. She has helped me do this every year, since she could walk.  Now, she sprints away with the bundles, like a young rabbit.

A fair amount of time has been spent in the kitchen.   . and hence, the grocery store.  Lyla was thrilled to get her own miniature grocery cart, this week.  The store only has two, and so the odds have always been against it.  The first time, she almost cried, she was so happy.  The list was short, so everything went in to her cart.  She took the job very seriously and all went well.  The next time, we went, Lyla could hardly believe a little cart was again, there for the taking.  We found out early on, that the cart was the kind with wheels that stuck.  It caused the thing to stop abruptly and “buck”.  Lyla had shoes on that wanted to slip and slide, on the slick floor.  She took a fall twice – and once the cart almost toppled over!  I laughed til I shed tears.  Somehow, we made it out, though I forgot the ginger ale.

On Saturday, we went to the farmers’ market.  It was awfully hot.  Jenny bought a cucumber for Miss Thelma and I bought a dish detergent bar.  I have been using shampoo bars for a while, in my personal quest against plastic.  I loved the idea of eliminating more plastic, by using the detergent bar, but had my doubts it would work.    I decided the chance was worth it.  I barely had time to buy squash, as Jenny can not take this heat, with the shingles.  

The laughing river, that ran by the market square, was like a sheet of glass, for there wasn’t a bit of wind, to stir it.  The old trees that lined the streets were as still as statues.  Gardeners were not in  plain sight, for they are “early birds” in July.  July is always extremely harsh -just plain merciless, when it comes to heat.  It is hard to believe, that I grew up without air conditioning, at least the first ten years. Nobody else did either.  Not even cars were air conditioned!   We were all outside mostly during the day.   I don’t think it was as hot then, but I was young, then after all. I still remember the cool shade of the old oaks.  It was enough.  I do not remember ever sleeping hot, for a window fan blew the cool night air in and with it  the scent of the night. and the song of the whippoorwill .  Those days may have happened long ago, but the memories linger, so sweetly.



35 thoughts on “The Best Advice I know of

      1. I had repeated bouts of shingles when I got older (I am 77 now) and I think I have had two shingles vaccines (you cannot get them when you have an outbreak) and it has finally calmed down. Not only stress, but if you get wet and cold, or you get overtired, other things that put a form of stress on your body, you can get another bout of it. So as it is with many things, I think it is good to try to get adequate rest and fresh air and good but not overdone exercise, eat right (fruits, vegetables, and other good things), and to try to go to bed basically at the same time every night. If you have emotional issues that tend to pop up, it is good to get medical/psychological help for that, because it WILL bring on the shingles for sure. I suffered PTSD at 74 from being assaulted and bullied by a huge group of people where I used to live (lawbreakers big time – drugs and other things), and I can honestly say that every time I would get an attack of PTSD, I would generally get the shingles too. So I have had to take a very mild medication, probably one of the least harmful – citalopram, at 20 mg once a day. I am getting to where I have longer and longer periods when I don’t need it to get by. If you get shingles and you are around anyone who has never had the chickenpox, you may give them a case of chickenpox, but only if there is direct contact with them. The lysine sounds good and if it is natural, I would give that a chance first too. Wishing wellness and good health for you.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. You have been most gracious letting us spend some time with your happy and celebrating family.
    I felt as if I were there, eating the lovely food prepared and listening to all the fun conversation.
    Shame Jenny had to get shingles – a painful and itchy condition -.
    It most often is indeed brought on by stress although the base of it is the same virus as chickenpox.

    You continue enjoying your family and beautiful place.


    Liked by 2 people

  2. You weave stories of trials and joys in your life and the flow of your words seem to make everything alright. You have a lovely way of expressing yourself through your writing. May the coming days make your life more peaceful and less stressful. So sorry Jenny has shingles – they are no fun what-so-ever. God bless you and your precious family.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Thank you for such a beautiful accounting of Rain. “I love you, like rain.”
    I also remember those summers without air conditioning and wonder how we managed through it. It seems right and good now, so we have “our story” like the ones our parents passed down… walking X number of miles to go to school. What we have to survive, we are inspired to create something better. Much gratitude for all the Love that is created at the Rabbit Patch. in lak’ech, Debra

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Don’t we all? I wanted to paint a picture of that once… kicking and screaming all the way to the Light. Maybe I’ll still get a clear vision of it on canvas one day. 🙂 much love, in lak’ech, Debra

        Liked by 1 person

    1. One thing that is not much mentioned but is a huge polluter is clothing that ends up in the trash. Most people don’t realize how many chemicals used to treat the fabric are in it, and years ago, they used to use formaldehyde in processing the fabric.

      I read an article in National Geographic online the other day about how a golf course I believe in California shows that the ground in the ocean is littered with solid golf balls, and how that affects the ecology. I guess there are so many things we would never think that can affect our environment in so many ways. The golf balls don’t disintegrate, but by covering the ocean floor, they prevent creatures who find their sustenance on the ocean floor from continuing to be healthy.

      I have been very happy to learn that youngsters – I think teenagers, found a way to recycle the oil that is used at places like McDonalds to cook fries, etc. into useable fuel for something. In my old age, I am forgetting part of the story, but I love that young people are becoming aware of these issues. They are the future for sure.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you Anne – Yes, clothes! It is such a waste of resources from beginning to end. Thanks so much for sharing. I know what you’re talking about on the recycled fry oil, but I can’t remember what they use it for either. LOL Best, Debra

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m glad that your official business was taken care of, with the citation dropped and your sons handling the bank stuff. And I’m so sorry about Jenny’s dog…they aren’t human, but they are family and when they die, they leave a huge hole in our hearts.
    Finally, I also have such good memories of falling asleep on a summer night with the fans going and the sounds of the crickets, etc. Sweet memories indeed!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. You have a lot going on Michele! I am so sorry Jenny has shingles. My dad had them a few years back and he cringes yet, when he thinks of it.
    I love the line you have a son by birth and another by grace. I have 3 daughters by grace and I am blessed.
    You had me grinning about the cart saga. I could just picture those slippery shoes and a stuck cart. I am glad little Lyla is okay.
    I totally understand not having air conditioning. We did not get AC till about 14 years ago. With the hot muggy weather we are having lately I am grateful indeed for AC. I do think not having AC made better neighbors. We would all sit outside on chairs or blankets and visit as the evening cooled off. Thank you for bringing back those good memories!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Oh no. So sorry about your daughter’s shingles and the passing of her beloved dog. 😦 We have intense humidity here too at times, 85 degrees yesterday with almost full humidity I think. I’m sure your humidity is much thicker, though. However, it was a slow start to the warm weather. It was pleasant well into June this year and that has made it hard of the farmer’s crops. 😦 Too much rain and too cold of a spring. I love hearing all that you are doing with Lyla and this was another lovely slice of your life shared with us.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I commiserate with Jenny. Shingles can be awful. I particularly enjoyed your description of Lyla with the little shopping cart.

    I was a teenager before we had one air conditioner in my parents’ bedroom. The rest of the house was almost unbearable after it was installed. Another soon followed for the kitchen, and my mother’s life was much more comfortable.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Michelle, I so love short stories, and I know whenever I hop over to your rabbit patch, I’m going read at least one, if I have time, several. Thanks so much for always making them so interesting. Nary a time reading has my curiosity waned as to what might be happening next at or around the rabbit patch.

    Family is so important. I really appreciate you growing my love for my own, as I learn more about the tenderness you show yours. Glad you’ve got all kinds of go-getters in your family too, especially when you need a bit of support. You in-turn seem to give that support right back. I suspect your dandy meals are delicious rewards.

    Little Miss Lyla couldn’t sound sweeter. I’ll bet she’s a joy to have around both rain and come shine. As always thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Your writing has a sort of comfort in it that I just love; it reminds me of when the old home magazines were 5 cents and we slept with the windows open at night and sat on the porch to stave off the heat. We did not even have seat belts then in our cars, and my grandma and I used to go downtown on Saturdays with the money I made from babysitting and cleaning even at 10 years young. We had such a great time and would have lunch and come back on the bus too. This was before malls and we did not even have credit cards. Everything was cash or lay-away, which was the best!!! Oh how much I miss those days with my grandma. Our family would go for a drive on Sunday afternoon and often we would have dinner out and for a price that even a non-commissioned officer could afford. We kids played out in the streets safely, running and hiding in the dark until we were captured by the other side. We never had to worry about bad people or bad things for the most part. Teachers could still punish the children who were doing something in class that was not allowed. And our school lunches were just delicious and wholesome – real hot meals on regular plates. I truly miss those times; it has been hard to adjust to the things we face today compared with then. I appreciate your good writing even if I don’t always have enough time to read every post and those too of the people who respond. What a great bunch!


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