There are no “coming and goings” at the rabbitpatch, not any “Sunday dinners” nor any visits with the grandchildren, to write about in the diary. We are all home, Kyle, Christian and I , working together, and carefully monitoring the pantry. I did go out once, to the empty school to get my plants. We stopped by my parents to give them a few supplies, but we stayed in the yard and blew kisses when we left.
Thankfully, the rural county where we live does not report many cases of the epidemic, sweeping the land, but we abide faithfully on the rabbitpatch, for really, the whole thing did start with just one case, after all.
The “news” at the rabbitpatch, is that the bluebells are blooming and the azaleas are planning to shortly. The last few days have been so windy, that just walking around the territory makes you feel battered. I do not know how the tender blossoms stay fastened . . but they do.
On this morning, the dawn was bright. The wind was light, gently stirring the young, jade leaves of the sycamores. Maybe, the boys will mend the picket fence today and I will resume spring cleaning. I did finish, the kitchen, but a toothache, rendered me quite unproductive yesterday. A toothache is an awful thing. I spent most of the day rinsing with salt water . . and sleeping. I did not lay a finger on the vacuum or any dust rags. Later, I decided it really could be a sinus infection. All I knew was that the side of my face was swollen and hurt everywhere . I prayed no one else, in the whole world, would get a toothache or a sinus infection, most especially now in the midst of the current situation.
One day, I made a “tandy cake”. I had not made one in several years. It is one of Kyles’ favorites, so he was glad that I sacrificed two sticks of butter and several eggs , on this behalf.
I have always been a thrifty person. I was taught in youth not to be wasteful and my elders proved this belief by their practices. It has stuck with me all of my life. Now, more than ever, I am glad this comes naturally, but never before, have I thought twice about making a cake. The fact that I did, speaks volumes.
I suppose we are all thinking twice, these days . . .about a lot of things. I wonder what things will linger. An event of this significance surely warrants great consideration. The experts do not predict this to be a quick race, after all.
When I was young, I remember, being taught “not to drink after anybody, unless they were family.” Of course, this included a gaggle of cousins. . .but apparently we did not have “germs”, in our family. In those days, anyway, if we were thirsty, we went to the water hose and passed it to one another. I shudder to think at how much dirt we ate. In the afternoon, there was always a “break” on the farm, observed by everyone. I shared my cookie with my dog, without a bit of hesitation. If I dropped the cookie, I brushed the ants off and finished eating it, quite merrily.
Now, I am wondering when we will ever be unsuspecting of anywhere public. . . or if we will ever touch a shopping cart, bare handed, comfortably. Will we truly come out of this unscathed? That seems unlikely. I thought about these things, while in the “Quiet Garden” as I was trying to save a climbing rose from a greedy, and uninvited privet bush.
I miss having geraniums to plant now . . .I miss the casual trips to the grocery . . but most of all, I miss visits with the grandchildren! Lyla has her “golden birthday” on Sunday. She will be five years old! Ryan has cut his first tooth-and Brynn has learned to say “ice cream”. I just miss everybody.
I am accustomed to solitude . . .and seek it daily. . .but I am so very glad to have Kyle and Christian here. Hardly even a car passes by the rabbitpatch, these days. The rambling old house, affords us plenty of space and there is no lack of things to do. Christian plays his guitar and piano, composes music, writes and paints. Kyle has been doing repairs and I am learning how to attend “zoom” meetings and give remote lessons, besides writing and reading . . .and traipsing the territory. One day, I saw a farmer in a distant field and realised I had not even seen a neighbor in any yard, in a long while. It was very comforting to see the farmer going about usual business and doing it in a familiar way.
The day of Lylas’ fifth birthday dawned fair. It reminded me of the Sunday she was born. That was the first time, that the youngest dogwood bloomed at the rabbitpatch. Lyla would not have a big party, this year. She did invite a doll, a stuffed kitten and a stuffed bunny. Jenny went all out on decorations and a fancy cake,as a consolation. As much as Lyla loves parties, Jenny said all went well, and that Lyla was content with her “golden birthday” celebration.
Just a few short weeks ago, I was there. We had big plans for a long weekend gathering, in April. I thought school would be closed a couple of weeks and thought how lovely it would be, to walk by that laughing river, as often as I pleased. I planned a trip to Wake Forest to have some time with Ryan.
Now, I knew, before this crisis, that “plans” are often futile. We simply can not plan, for what we do not see coming. I did not see this coming-not to this extent. Of all the things, I imagined the future could hold, a pandemic was not one of them. I do not care, how old we are, we “have not seen everything.”
At least for now, my family is well and adhering to the policies in place, with great fortitude. I have even learned how to order groceries on line and simply drive to the grocery and wait for someone to put them in the car -and just leave! You can order, all you want, but do not bank on getting all of your list. Still, what a wonderful service and much more safe than entering the store.
Daddy has not had many good days, these last few weeks. Mama and I talk off and on all day, but she has had a lot to shoulder. My own two week quarantine, ends officially tomorrow, and though I will continue to observe isolation, from people and public places, I do hope to visit my parents.
While I was away …all this happened!