Paper Hearts and Old Lace


After a lovely weekend in Elizabeth City, some sort of plague has  set in, disturbing the peace of the rabbitpatch.  Christian was sick, then Tres and now I have it.  It is an awful thing with fever, cough and fatigue.  You are hot and then cold, and the stomach keeps you guessing on your fate.  It could not have come along at a worst time, for Brant and Sydney are coming this weekend , for Mamas’ birthday party.  If I miss the chance to see little Ryan . . .well that is adding “insult to injury”.

I have made chicken soup, stocked up on elderberry and vitamin C, made batches of pineapple juice with cinnamon, drank gallons of water and slept like a house cat.  . . all to no avail, for I am still sick.  Jenny has been dropping off all sorts of things for Tres.  She leaves them on his porch.  I want to call him, but Jenny says he is grouchy. . . .so is Christian.


i stayed home from work today, in light of the circumstances.  The morning was as fair as an Easter Sunday, so I put the windows up.  Fresh air can’t hurt.  February is full of flowers this year.  Daffodils, hyacinths, quince spirea and at last some of the peach trees, too.  It seems to be the same everywhere, from what I hear.  A year without a winter sounds haunting to me. Now the Farmers’Almanac,  did predict a mild winter . . it also predicts a storm next weekend, so time will tell.


Valentines’ Day dawned without a bit of fanfare.  The sky was a silvery blue and the air was still.  I do hope I can at least make cookies today.  I am better than I was yesterday .  I thought of  Lyla, who has been very excited about the holiday and has been working on her cards this week. Lyla loves holidays.  She reminds me of her grandmother, Claudia, in that way.  

I told Jenny, that I still remember making Valentines at school.   It was second grade and I was in Mrs. Cottie Woolards’ class.  Mrs. Woolard was a stern, sensible woman.  She was in her last years of teaching, when I had her.  She had white wavy hair, which she wore up and she dressed very professional.  She had seen everything twice and was not  ever fooled.  She was very clear on her expectations, and if we acted poorly, Mrs. Woolard, did not hesitate to correct us.  She did not sugar coat anything but somehow we all left second grade with our self esteem in tact.  I used to get called out for “day dreaming”- apparently it was a sin.  Honestly, I was guilty, every time.  I looked out the window and imagined what was going on at the farm.  I was very homesick, at school.   In the afternoon, Mrs. Woolard read chapter books aloud, which I loved.  . .after Modern Math, which I deplored.  . .but on Valentines’ Day,  we were given construction paper, scissors , crayons, old lace and glue -and what a big time it was.  The next day, we passed them out.  The boys nearly threw their cards at you, for they just wanted this part to be over.  I came home from school to  Mamas’ heart shaped cake.

The simplest things can become memories, that last a lifetime.


When my own children were little, I made great effort to give them many cultural experiences.  We took them to violin classes taught by master teachers.  We attended concerts, too.  These all costs a significant amount of money and were hard on our shoestring budget. We went camping a lot.  We went to waterfalls-just like my friend “Anne  of “Merling Muse” writes about – and apple orchards.  Once,I asked Jenny what she remembers from our excursions, and she said “I think I remember a pony.”  

They do remember the countless hours, we took to the woods-and picnics, thankfully.  . .and flying kites and playing by our pond, that they named “Florida”.


The hours of the morning wafted by without warning.  There were no sun rays to gauge the passage of time.  It would be a good day to read and to bake cookies . .  .and to daydream, of that same old farm . . . and  of  paper hearts and old lace .





13 thoughts on “Paper Hearts and Old Lace

  1. Happy Valentines Day my dear Rabbit. Some of my efforts worked …some didn’t but the day is passing pretty fast so it really doesn’t matter. Our rivers are still over run and more rain in the next week…this has been a record breaker and I do have prayers for those misplaced.
    Please feel better soon and the same for your sons. Spring is coming …again . It was here last week and now gone .Some things we just can’t control and just have to roll with the tide. I’m thankful I live on a hill.


  2. Awww! Thank you for mentioning me in the same breath as waterfalls. I’m glad you and the children sought out streams like we do.

    I’m sorry you are under the weather. Your malady sounds draggy-dreadful. Some of these things last much longer than they should. Still, you made cookies! I’m impressed. We went to the Biltmore estate yesterday, taking most of the day. I threw Brownies in the oven as soon as we got home, and they were just coming out of the oven when a group of men came for a road association meeting. They ate a fair number, but there were plenty left for us for Valentine’s Day. Brownies and heart-shaped pasta were our celebration foods of the day. I hope you feel better quickly.



    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hope you all get well so life can resume and become enjoyable. Old memories always make me smile – thanks for sharing some of your memories. You weave the best stories into your blog posts.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh, hope you are feeling better soon so that you can see that darling baby Ryan! You know, we really are kindred spirits. We, too, have always lived on shoestring budget, which sometimes was very short indeed. But like you, we always gave the children as many cultural experiences as we could afford. And we read, read, read to them, even when they could read themselves. A cherished part of our evening ritual.

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  5. I’m so sorry you’re sick, Michele! Sometimes viruses just have to run their course, although I think the remedies you are trying to make the symptoms easier to bear. I hope you are well in time to see the baby, and that no one else in your family gets sick.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I loved, loved this post! Your childhood memories of making valentines, day dreaming, and a teacher who read aloud to you filled me up. Thank you for that, Michele!


  7. Awww. You gave me so many ideas for my own children. ❤ My husband is better at outings…but I do try to do little traditions. Thank you for this beautiful example of what being a mother and grandmother can really mean.

    Liked by 1 person

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