At the Rabbitpatch . . .and Beyond

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July arrived and with it came fireworks . . .and sultry days.  Right when I am sure, I can not bear the heat of a day, clouds come up and sprinkle a cool shower.  This convinces me to muster the grace, a southerner  needs in  months like July.   . .the  window fan, does too.  
I have been home a few days now.   . .long enough to know where the fawn lays.  Though, I  am liable to surprise him in the early morning-and again at noon, he does not scurry in haste.  I have not seen him sauntering around the yard, recently but it has been a pleasure to catch glimpses of him in the young woods.  
I am breaking all the rules instilled in me, as a child, when it comes to taking to the woods in July.  I spent a good deal of my youth rambling in woods . . .but not in the late spring or summers.  There were poisons of all sorts, and ticks, redbugs and snakes.  There were hornets and ground bees -and we children were all warned, sternly about such calamities.  It took a hard frost for the  woodland ban to be lifted.
I can not help but feel a bit guilty for not heeding my elders . . .even now, and find myself thinking of them all as I work. 
The path I am working on is  wide and grassy.  Sunlight falls lovingly, in bright patches along the way.  Birds are constantly tattling on my whereabouts,  as I  try to tame the wild vines.  I have seen several dens of small creatures as  I work, in the first light.  I know a good many of them are rabbits, and surely there is an opossom or two. A few years ago I saw a raccoon.    . .and the wild mulberry is everywhere.  How lovely it will be in September.
I always feel like I am in another world, when I am in a patch of woods. Things that matter so very much, outside of the woods, aren’t  even relevant  .   . .in the woods.  Trees do not gossip, nor hold grudges.  . .and they have always kept my secrets.  When I was young, it didn’t matter that I had freckles,  and it does not matter today, that my hair is silvering.   Trees are not “fair weather friends”.  

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Yesterday, I did not work.  I just did not want to be hot, tired and dirty by eight am, and  the rainy forecast gave me permission, to indulge .  I stayed busy, for I have been researching the genealogy of my very Irish family.  I have gone as far back as the first generation born in America.  What lovely names I am finding, such as “Elizabeth Snow, Aqua Belle  and Kissie- and then there is “Sarah Asabella Ann”!  The men have names like “Julian, Whit and Force”!  I just wished the names were spelled the same in official records  consistently -and that folks didn’t start using their middle names at random times.  It makes the task difficult, but I have fallen in love with these folks. They do not feel like strangers, though  I can not explain it.  I imagine Johnston and Kissie coming here, young and hopeful. They have a son, named Benjamin, who married Nancey C . . .my great x 3 grandparents.   Apparently, the Irish are as tribal as you have heard, for they all married Irish.  Only  three cousins died young, I suspect from illness, but it is early in the study of my dads’ ancestry, and who knows what awaits.  At least, for now, there is no record of anyone so much as stealing an egg!

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I have seen butterflies this week.  I have only seen but a few fluttering around  the phlox, but, I like to see such business.  I also had the first ripe peach of the season, one day.  Both peaches and apples are  a light yield  this year.  There isn’t a single pear, but one of the fig trees is laden.   . .as are the grapevines.   I am still faithfully practicing social distancing and  so I have time to notice such things.
With schools having closed in March, and that running in to the summer, well . . I had forgotten this kind of life.  The kind of life that allows sheets to line dry, and flower beds to be maintained and leisure suppers . . and a cooked breakfast.   . .and talking to Mama on a Tuesday morning. 
I have never understood the theory that there is “nothing to running a home” .  Many are under the impression that it is dull job and requires minimal ability.  I suspect, the folks saying such a thing, have never attempted it.  There is a lot to do and  truthfully, a lot less to it now,  for me, than when the children were little, but somehow, I  still manage to stay busy.  . .of course I do live in a very  old house . . .on an almost uncivilized rabbitpatch.
 There is an art to housekeeping, even now, when we have modern conveniences. and it is an especially noble work, for the whole family benefits from it.   I can not imagine the substance of   the folks, before us, like my “Grandma Kissie”.  I bet she would have been thrilled to have a can of peas!  -and carrots, that she did not dig!

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As I write in my beloved rabbitpatch diary, I realise that  an account of my own days, tells a story as true as it can be . . but beyond the rabbitpatch, lies another tale.
I used to say that “Farm Life” saw the world changing and just did not participate.  That impression has remained.  Neighbors here, still bring sweet corn and pies to one another.  If a tree goes down in your yard, it is tended to in a group effort.  Keys were left in cars, in case someone needed to use it.  It gives me great pleasure to write such things . . .and living on a rabbitpatch, nestled in this place, is  certainly a beautiful  and gratifying experience.  I want my heirs to know this and so I keep a record.  I have also, always hoped that this diary might inspire readers in some way.  I do not expect it to change the world, but maybe, it could change a moment, for someone.  
So, beyond the rabbitpatch, things are happening, that I can not fathom.   . .and opinions about it are a dime a dozen.  It is a sad state of affairs, no matter what .  No one can say anything “right” these days and judgement comes swiftly and harshly.  Fear and desperation are very conducive to poor behavior, in general. Even the best of us , will fall under these conditions.  To say that I am concerned, is a feeble statement for I am heartbroken, really.  I am stunned to find us in such a predicament, as well.  I am always the last to know anything, but I declare,it seems now, that the world is  rushing at an alarming pace to more chaos.  I so wish, we would slow down enough to collect our thoughts and seek reconciliation to all the various dividing  factors. 
One thing I am sure of is that pandemics and politics do not pair well. – And I also am sure, like Tennyson, that . . .”More things are wrought by prayer, than this world dreams of.”  

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37 thoughts on “At the Rabbitpatch . . .and Beyond

  1. Michele, I absolutely love this welcome word from you today. Your posts are like a breath of fresh air, the encouraging kind that touches our hearts with the beauty of simple pleasures that surround you @ the Rabbit Patch – and in your family and friends. I agree “pandemics & politics do not pare well.” But Tennyson is spot on – more is wrought through prayer than we may ever know. Blessings & big summer hugs! VA

    Liked by 3 people

    1. A terrible time. Perhaps I am being foolishly optimistic, but I am hoping some good will come out of this. Some countries have to learn the hard way, and it looks as though our country is one of them.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I know for me, that Covid 19 has taught me some things. What clarity in defining my values has come about. Observations are like sparks of truth. Sadly, not always a cheerful thing, but valuable information. You my friend, stay well , for you cheer us all and you have encouraged me to do better. love Michele

        Liked by 2 people

  2. I gain a sense of peace and tranquility when I read about your rabbit patch. You have a gift for soothing people with heaps of love. I’m glad your family will have your writings to hand down to future generations. They will need a record of peaceful living among supportive neighbors.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. Ah, the peaceful Rabbit Patch where you can shut out the world. I did not live in a place as a child that contains all the dangers of the woods here in Arkansas, but I know we don’t venture into the tick and snake woods in the summer time here in Arkansas. Always enjoy your posts. Although our minds are full of covid-19, when we escape into nature we feel safe and peaceful. Yes, more things are accomplished through prayer than this world is ever aware of. Take care my friend and always stay safe.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. It would be wonderful to have a neighbor liked you. We could stand 6 to 8 feet apart talking across the fence and enjoying our friendship and nature. Sounds wonderful Michele.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I have done some genealogy, too, and discovered that my paternal grandmother, who died when my father was a small child and whom no one really talked about, had immigrated to Canada from Belfast. Before that, I had no idea we had any Irish roots! Sadly, I also didn’t get to know my maternal grandmother, who died when I was 3. I will always feel a sense of loss, and I envy those who are lucky to have felt a grandmother’s love. But I’m very proud to be of English, Scottish and Irish stock!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. A beautiful and heartfelt post❤️ I’ve been studying my genealogy as well. I love all the old family names, mostly Scottish and English. I also agree with your assessment of current events. Politics and pandemics do not play well together. I pray that 2021 will be a year of vaccines, healing, and a calming of political discourse. Hugs to you, my friend😘

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Oh Rabbit…the prayers are never ending these days. Every where we turn there is urgent need. Why just this week-end we had to put my truck driving son in ‘lock-down’ for a few days. He got terribly sick late last week and my DnL was so afraid he had the virus. Mothers house is empty so that is where he is. I don’t think the flu was the problem but possibly food poison. Any way we are all being careful.
    Do be careful out on the territory. Our temps are 106 and warning about heat stroke.
    Me? I’m still painting away. Almost finished with the living room and then I plan to retire the paint brush for a while.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. What a scare with your son! I do hope he is better as I am so tardy, but you have been on my mind a lot as of lately-this ALWAYS indicate I should pray for the one brought to me. I do not like hot weather! I hope your painting turns out beautiful!! love Michele

      Liked by 1 person

  7. “Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley tells of a future Earth and human society. Most live in cities in an over-populated world of science-fiction automation, convenience and insensitivity. There is a small pocket in the world, left behind in the march to modernity, and it is considered a dangerous, dirty and uncivilized place. (One might imagine the way American pioneers saw the native peoples of this land.)
    In the course of the book, a character or two from the hustling, sterile, unfeeling modern world trek to this wilderness. At first, like explorers, they observe the filthy backward ways of the people who live in this wild place. In time, they begin to see things unfamiliar to them, but then they scrutinize these things, and wonder if they aren’t missing something. Things like people holding hands, passing babies to one another, a sense of community that is one for all and all for one.
    No more spoilers.
    Read the book.

    I’m with the ostrich, the only difference is that, instead of sand, I bury my head in the piney woods.

    All my best,
    Scott

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I will read the book and already relate with the dirty wild crowd! It seems society is trending in some odd ways and maybe the idea in the book, is not so far fetched, sadly. Let us take to the woods every chance we get! love Michele

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Dear Ma’am
    Thank you for your post which reminded me of am age gone by – I’m so glad you’re there and have seen both times – to document it for us or we’d have thought they were just fairytales.
    Life is chaotic – but the more chaos there is the more happy i am for surely the end days are close. I am not prepared but I’m ready.
    Thank you dear Ma’am again
    Susie

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Dear , precious Susieshy. . .We are none ever going to feel prepared for that day. His Grace will be sufficient for us. We must do our best and you have always shown such a pure spirit. do not fret, my friend. . . and I think I did grow up in a fairy tale. love Michele

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  9. A terrible time. Perhaps I am being foolishly optimistic, but I am hoping some good will come out of this. Some countries have to learn the hard way, and it looks as though our country is one of them.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I love that you are researching your Irish family! And I agree about the times we live in. So much judgement and hate, and so little attempt to fix things and move toward reconciliation. It is not good, and I do think that mixing the pandemic with politics is a particularly poisonous brew. All we can do is pray, and model the behavior we want to see.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Michele you have changed moments for me ever since I started following your blog. You bring appreciation and beauty to the world with your words and your sentiments.

    I understand your heartbreak. I feel it too. Sometimes it masks itself in angry words on Facebook, sometimes, like Friday nights when PBS Newshour honors some of the Covid victims who recently passed, it is hot tears and deep remorse and silence. Thank God for the daily reminders I get from my own rabbit patch of the beauty of the Earth and it’s creatures, without which, I would be most hopeless. XO

    Liked by 1 person

  12. You and I are both lucky to be somewhere quiet during this weird and frightening time. Line drying the washing and taking time to see the says:

    You and I are both lucky to be somewhere quiet during this weird and frightening time. Line drying the washing and taking time to see the butterflies is absolutely the best thing you can do! Stay safe

    Liked by 1 person

  13. The kind of life that allows sheets to line dry, and flower beds to be maintained and leisure suppers . . and a cooked breakfast. . .and talking to Mama on a Tuesday morning.

    In every part of the world that shut down, we had that too, and for too brief a time, I think. Not that the lockdown or sheltering should have gone on (that would have affected livelihoods even worse), but I say it wasn’t long enough for more of us to learn to love it and to bring it into the days that followed the return to working life. But as I can’t make people do what they won’t, I focus on myself. Every day when we return home late in the day, we go out into the garden and leave some bits of our hearts there. We cook and we listen as carefully as we can to other hearts, just the way we learned during those too-short blessed weeks.

    I guess I will never forget the year that was.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. then you friend, carried something beautiful with you, in the midst of a tragic time. I am still in shutdown as much as I can be. I just went in a store for the first time since March!! I was early to go and quick. Like you I am doing the best I can. Thank you so much-love a rabbit!

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