Violets and a Valley

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It is early morning now and pitch dark at the rabbitpatch.  I seldom let an opportunity to complain about  “changing the clocks” go by.  I always dread it and have never thought it made good sense.  I was in Elizabeth City this weekend, when the awful thing happened.  I was up quite early on Sunday morning , cooking beans for Miss Thelma and making several dishes to leave for Jenny and Tres too.  I made the mistake of relying on the clock on the stove, thinking  that like every other clock in the house, it had automatically “set itself”.  I was wrong.   Jenny came in and reset the stove, and so I knew then, that I didn’t have quite the head start on the day as I had imagined.  Then, on that beautiful clear morning – the power went out!  Of course, I had muffins in the oven.  I have no idea how long the power was out, but I guessed it to be around thirty minutes.  When the power came back, the stove flashed and had no more idea of the time, than I did. If it had all happened on Saturday, I wouldn’t have thought twice about it, but I leave on Sundays, and so there is some loose schedule to adhere to.

Will, Jenny, Tres and Sarah were going out for brunch, so I was determined to get all my cooking done, before they left, for I was watching the girls.  Lyla, at four is easy as pie, but Brynn is likely to do anything at any given moment and requires your full attention.  In the midst of all that, Miss Thelma called and needed a ride to Church.  I asked her when she needed to leave and she said”right now, but take your time.”  I would have laughed, but I was still in pajamas.  I stopped everything and  threw the first things on that I found.  I picked her up and she looked so beautiful, neat as a pin, in her fancy clothes.  I looked like a gardener, beside her.  I walked her in the Church as the congregation was singing, a holy song.  I did my best, not to make eye contact with anyone, for I realised that I had not even combed my hair!  

It was mid afternoon, before I knew the  correct time . The muffins turned out fine, though they did not brown. 

When the dust had settled, I took Lyla and Brynn outside for a walk.  Jenny has a double stroller for them and pushing it, is not for the faint of heart . . literally.  The “laughing river” rolled cheerfully along and was as blue as could be.  All sorts of birds were singing . . .and confederate violets were everywhere.  We stopped on the way back, for Lyla to gather a few.  Her little hands are always full of wilted flowers, when we arrive home.  

Not long, after we returned, Will, Jenny, Tres and Sarah returned, as well.  They all sat in the kitchen, while I attempted to make “caramel dumplings”.  It was a recipe, that Sarahs’ “North Dakota”  grandmother used to make for her and goodness, I was nervous . First it was something new for me, and it required a recipe-and  Sarah really loved her grandmothers’ dish.  I had already followed one recipe this day, when I made the muffins!  Some people love a recipe and will not cook without one-I on the other hand, do not even know where my  measuring spoons are.  You can believe that I used Jennys’  spoons and cups, crossed my fingers and hoped for the best, for I wanted it to be just like the dish that Sarah remembered.

I left shortly after they came out of the oven.  Sarah approved them and so I happily promised to make them again.

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The ride home went quickly and safely, thankfully.  I always feel melancholy on the way home, but at the same time I miss Christian and the boxer and the gray cat.  I miss the old oaks, for they are dependable friends and have been for more than a decade now.  I consoled myself, that next weekend, everyone is coming on Sunday, for Daddys’ eighty-fifth birthday party.

Last week, was not a good week for Daddy.   . . so it was not a good week for any of us, either.  Now, not  one of us will be completely spared of trials, but that is of little comfort, when you are in the midst of them.

We all travel a  “valley”  in some season and in our own fashion.  I walk quietly and prayerfully.  I do not utter a word for long stretches and just observe where I am.  It is a heart wrenching and sorrowful place, and oh, how I miss “yesterdays’ “, familiar, happy hilltops, but I am not alone in that valley, for the presence of God seems to hover all around me.  Without  “sight”, I am forced to walk by “faith”  . . . and  beyond my wildest imagination, I  finally realise  there is such liberation in that,. I do not need to see the answer, nor create an order for the jumbled up thoughts.  I just need to walk and I find out, that the valley is a “holy place” .

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It certainly seems like an early spring  has come to the rabbitpatch.  The snow is long gone, but the stalwart daffodils remain.  Tulip trees, with their fleeting beauty, are blooming and the bees have made their presence known.  The first of the wild violets  peek out shyly,  along the footpath to the garden.  Now and then, it rains, which is the way of spring. 

The calendar proclaims that spring is a few weeks away, but the earth says differently. Whatever, this time is called. . .  all kinds of violets are blooming . . . and the days are  so lovely.

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34 thoughts on “Violets and a Valley

  1. I do wish someone would make up their mind about the time changing. I get more confused in the fall but I guess it really doesn’t matter since I have been awake so very early for so long any way. I think it would be nice to sleep late on occasion but this seems to not be my pleasure.
    One chapture closed on the first of March. My Mother moved to Heaven and even thought she was 96 years old it was a total surprise.Only God knows the number on each of our heads and we just don’t have a clue what He is up to . I’ll eventually get around to posting on my blog about the events of late …maybe.

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    1. My dear Beverly-What an awful shock about your mom. You have had such sadness – this last year but you did what you could. You were a faithful daughter and can rest in the peace of knowing God. God is a mystery, and yet our closest friend. I never did get used to the time change and with schools closed, I am way off–Like you I get up early everyday. I love you friend and will be praying for you. May God keep you and your family safe and well. love Michele

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      1. Thank you dear friend. And don’t we both miss Cob during all this crazyness. I can’t help but wonder about her health etc. Please take car with all of your family …WASH your hands and hope your finger prints return after all of this is over. LOL Love you.

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      2. Dear Cobs . . .Something happened, but we do know her love for our Lord and I do take comfort in that. My hands are almost numb from all that washing. You take care too my precious and let us rejoice that we have our Father in such times. love Michele

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      3. It may sound uncareing but I am so glad my 96 year old mother isn’t having to deal with this aweful situation. She was a nervous reck the last few days anyway. We told her to turn of the TV. It may have been her body begining to close out but she was shaking like a leaf. I’m glad she is where she is but sorry she got ahead of the Rapture which she had always wanted to be a part of. Bless her heart.

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  2. First of all, happy birthday to your father! What a Sunday morning you had! Couldn’t help but smile when I read your description of yourself in contrast to Miss Thelma. Alas, I am not known for looking neat as a pin, either. I comb my hair once a day, whether it needs it or not. 😉 Too many other things to think about!

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  3. I know God is on the mountain tops, with us, but I am just as sure that He is in the valleys. We could not make it through difficult time if is was not true. Our faith will always keep us strong.

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  4. “We all travel a “valley” in some season and in our own fashion. I walk quietly and prayerfully. I do not utter a word for long stretches and just observe where I am. It is a heart wrenching and sorrowful place, and oh, how I miss “yesterdays’ “, familiar, happy hilltops, but I am not alone in that valley, for the presence of God seems to hover all around me. Without “sight”, I am forced to walk by “faith” . . . and beyond my wildest imagination, I finally realize there is such liberation in that,. I do not need to see the answer, nor create an order for the jumbled up thoughts. I just need to walk and I find out, that the valley is a “holy place” .”

    Thank you, dear friend, for this heartfelt composition, and for the tears of joy and solemnity it brought me. This is going on the wall beside the excerpt from “The Difference Of Winter”.
    My wish for all the world is that they could read this each day, and cleave to it.

    All my best,

    Scott

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  5. “We all travel a “valley” in some season and in our own fashion. I walk quietly and prayerfully. I do not utter a word for long stretches and just observe where I am. It is a heart wrenching and sorrowful place, and oh, how I miss “yesterdays’ “, familiar, happy hilltops, but I am not alone in that valley, for the presence of God seems to hover all around me. Without “sight”, I am forced to walk by “faith” . . . and beyond my wildest imagination, I finally realise there is such liberation in that,. I do not need to see the answer, nor create an order for the jumbled up thoughts. I just need to walk and I find out, that the valley is a “holy place” .” This right here, Michele. Just BEAUTIFUL.

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  6. I laughed at your description of driving Miss Thelma to church, but am so glad you did that! You are a blessing to so many people. And I’m so sorry about your dad. It’s so hard to watch a loved one suffer. I’m glad you have your faith to lean on, and your family and friends around for support. Praying for you, Michele!

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    1. I am not over the embarrassment of that time in Church- Especially since I was taught to wear our best in Church. I do have an army around me-and I am thankful, but it is Faith that makes it bearable. Thank you so much dear Ann! love Michele

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      1. The 15th!!! Oh, my. Do you still have your teaching g job? We have a big online staff meeting on Tuesday to see if teachers will be getting paid. No tuition = no payroll. Scary times for everyone. Stay well and enjoy the Rabbit Patch, Michele.

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