Before Such Things Happened

Lo and behold!  I am writing this entry from the little rabbitpatch on Bonnet Street! Maybe next time, I will even have a picture of my small town dwelling, to prove it.  The internet was connected yesterday and it even rained this morning -my favorite kind of morning to write.  What used to be so familiar, now seems like a rare and precious gem, to me.  We also now have natural gas -which means that we have heat and can cook on a stove.   During the time, I waited for such things, a lot happened.  First, the rental house got put in order.  I met several neighbors, all delightful people.  One neighbor, in particular resulted in a “reunion”! 
 Miss Linda was friendly and helpful as soon as she saw me working feverishly to bring beauty and honor to the long neglected property.  We chatted a little briefly most days.  One day, we took the time to have a real conversation.  I asked her where she was from and as her story unfolded, certain names and circumstances lept out at me til at last, I blurted out “What is your last name?”  When she told me, tears sprang to my eyes and again I shouted out, “Do you know who I am!?”   As it turns out, we were neighbors, decades ago, when my children were little!  I used to weave baskets for a shop she had and she was the one that gave my Jenny, the doll that Jenny always loved best, the  endearing, “Lady Jane”- (which was a black rabbit in a calico dress).  We both laughed and cried all at once.  Thirty years had passed, but on that day, it seemed like it was only a short, while ago that we were friends and also neighbors. 
Miss Linda has a food station in her yard, for anyone that needs to use it.  Of course, I am glad for that and eager to help out.  I have already heard of two cases that are just heartbreaking.  Neither person had created the circumstances they are now in.  Many folks dismiss the homeless believing always, that the poor are responsible for their destiny.  I have heard all of the arguments that some folks prefer to live roaming about, or that they are dishonest  and  simply take advantage of tender hearted fools.  Let me be very clear . . .I don’t care why or how someone ended up needing food.  I do not care if someone lies about their needs.  That is not my business.  My business is my response.   I have never been a good judge and have been as wrong as can be, often, besides.  Therefore, the little food station keeps me humble and what joy it is to see, a small child grab something and run excitedly to show an elderly driver, what they found.  If just one person,  out of a hundred is helped . . to me that is enough.
I read a lot during “the time before such things”  .  I fell in to a routine of my job, then household tasks and supper and finally reading til my bedtime. Reading from a screen just does not have the same effect as reading from a book, for me.  I was careful to select titles that were well written, with language chosen carefully-and artfully. I realised early on just how much interruptions of concentration have become so very normal and certainly had impacted my own ability to just think long and hard about something.  Reading at night was like a long and tranquil meditation.  Oh, I must be kind to myself and continue this practice! 
 In some way, I had another reunion with an old friend. 
In the early mornings, I spend time on the porch -and again in the twilight time.  In town, folks walk their dogs-something never seen in the rural community, that I came from. The boxer watches with me.  He knows how to walk on a leash, for we trained him when he was young to do so, just in case.  He does not pull or snatch a bit and sits automatically, if we stop walking.  It is obvious, that I take pride in that loyal dog.  Folks being pulled and twisted by their dog , often admire his stellar manners . . they should meet the cat. 
At least “Christopher Robin”  is still accounted for and even joins me on the porch, but he has been naughty, since the move to town and one day I threw an outright fit with him.  The noble boxer, can barely handle a stern look, but the cat couldn’t care less about a scolding or my grim expressions, and is liable to ask for cream in the midst  of our argument!   It is a wonder to me, that we all adore him and are always there to serve him. 
 I went to Raleigh over the weekend.  Ryan and I took a walk on a golden day under an azure sky. The trees were at the peak of their glory, and how lovely it was, to see. There was enough wind to rattle the trees and loosen their colorful leaves.  We watched the dancing leaves.  Ryan said “They can fly!” Cirrus clouds dotted the  top of our world, that day.  That is when  Ryan said “the clouds are broken!”  He remains a mild natured child and so bright, too.  He is a very small little cherub and easy to dote on.
Now, on the home front, the old farmhouse has a steady flow of prospective buyers.  I do not worry myself about it, as I did.  There have been too many things to worry about the past two years and frankly, worry is tiresome and does not bear fruit, that I want to eat.  For all I know, I might be moving back in months . . .or maybe not.  Somehow, some way, I have become use to this state of quandary.  I do not have a magic wand or a “kings’ ransom” or a crystal ball, therefore it may seem that I am “empty handed” . . . but I know different.  I feel different about life in general and it is  because of the past two years. . .Dare I say I have  a new sense of   “peace”?  And,  isn’t that the last thing you would expect? 
Me too

When the Creek Rises . . Part III

There is a lot more to moving, than packing and unpacking more boxes, than “the law should allow”.  There is the physical cleaning and scrubbing and then finding places for necessities and beloved items. . .like a purse that belonged your grandmother and books  . . . and a small vase your nephew made for you decades ago.  There is that sort of work . . and then there is the business. 
We are still waiting on internet service, which disturbs local places that need to send an email confirming every other thing.  Thankfully, my friendly landlord left the lights on but I have yet to order the natural gas, for heating and cooking.  We have been using a crock pot and an electric skillet, thus far.  We needed a sofa.  The previous ones were in awful shape, and when one lost a leg, that was my breaking point.  So I ordered a sofa.  It sounds so simple.  What happened was I ended up with the wrong sofa! 
What an expensive mistake-and so untimely.  The company was anxious to make amends, but what a tricky situation -if there is no email to receive mailing labels.  I found a neighbor that took the emails for me and even attached the labels , for of course, I wasn’t home. I had left for a weekend with Brant, Ryan and Sydney.  I had not seen Ryan since his birthday party in September, when all seemed right in my world.  The cursed sofa delayed my trip and so I arrived on Saturday. 
On Sunday, I woke to a full blown case of poison oak.  Sydney and Brant had creams, but by Monday, my face and neck had swollen and I was feeling sick.  I went back to bed but Sydney made me an appointment at the local urgent care.  She was determined and so I went.  Miraculously, my blood pressure was perfect, but it was a bad case of poison oak and so I was prescribed oral medication and all sorts of ointments.  The doctor asked how and when I encountered the hateful vine.  I told her that I had worked in an uncivilized hedge row on Wednesday-but I had also climbed a tree that week.  I was rescuing that old tree , but  I assured the doctor, that I was concluding that mission. 
By the next morning, I was feeling better. I called Christian to find out the sofa was still on the porch . . .
In the midst of all this moving, The gray cat, Christopher Robin, decided to tale a holiday.  He slipped out of the door one evening and disappeared!  That was an awful time.  We looked for that cat every day.  He had only been at the little house a few days and I doubted he knew the way home. I met several neighbors  while out looking and discovered the house I live in, is called the “Plum House”.  I suppose the family that built the place may have been the Plum family . .or was the name given because of the unusual color?  Either is likely.  Eventually, Christopher Robin came back.  He ate three bowls of food and went to sleep! 
Now, none of these events -the sofa, moving to a small town, the missing cat and a bad case of poison oak are fatal, but I declare, it has been a hectic time.  I also  had to get another computer, because no one could fix the old one.  For now, I can only write where there is internet service, hence these posts are scribed from Brant and Sydneys’ home-before Ryan awakes. 
“When the creek rises”, we must seek higher ground and that is what I have done. 
I watched the moon shine on the quiet streets and felt greatly relieved that at least, the moon was steadfast. The air finally changed and at long last, a few of the leaves started to fade into hues of red and yellow.  Autumns’ late arrival sparked a familiar joy.    My world has  been full of change, but dependably, the love of my family has remained.    There is a small stand of whispering pines that lull away the cares of the day, with just a slight breeze, stirring. Mornings are full of the singing of all sorts of birds.  They are nearly as shy as country birds and so I suspect, I will hang a few bird feeders. . . .and the cat came home.   
“Higher ground” is really a holy place and full of sacred opportunities. I am  not denying that it does not come with some kind of toll, for we must journey uphill, after all just to get there and I confess, that I fell down more than once . . . but the rising creek  seemed smaller and smaller, when I was able to stand. 
Now, I do not know when, I will be able to write again.  Maybe it really will be on November eleventh, as I have been told.   . .but until further notice, know you have all been missed . . and I send best wishes for beautiful days to  all.               

When the Creek Rises-Part II

“The creek had risen” and my ears were ringing, as I read the email, saying the closing, that was to happen in a mere three days was off.  I had worked for several weeks on the little cottage situated on a corner lot, where “the sidewalk ends”.  That very day, I had proudly announced to Kyle and his friend, Bo, that I had put the last of the essentials in place.  Now, I can “ice the cake”, I said happily.  With my friend and landlord, very sick, I had spent some money and labored like there was no tomorrow, besides.  The thought of losing the ONLY rental that I could barely afford AND  take my pets . . the thought of moving everything back . . .was daunting.  I called Jenny and she read the contract.  This really is not allowed to happen, legally she announced.  Tres was devastated and had his ire up, as well. 
I was just stunned.  The next morning, I called the realtor and with no answer, I called the realty team.  Later, we learned that the realtor was quite ill, but the company made sure that I retained the rental and joined forces to sell the house .  This was of great relief to me and satisfied my family.  Two days later, I slept in the cozy little rabbitpatch cottage on Bonnet Street”.  
I knew full well how  the daylight fell on the place, but I had never been there past the twilight time, so I sat on the front porch and watched this new world. I saw   when the sky blackened.  I saw a few stars shining, unhindered by the streetlights.  The neighborhood was very quiet and the folks start turning the houselights off just after dark, I noticed.  It has been unseasonably warm and I felt so disoriented with all the changes, anyway, that I could have sworn it was an evening in June, instead of late October. 
I stayed out for a long while, pondering the events as of lately.  I did feel relieved that the realty company were so supportive , but I still wished that things hadn’t become so complicated for so many folks.  I was sad for the ones that were sick and for  their families.  I was sorry for the wild scrambling the realtors were in the midst of.  I certainly pondered the unfamiliarity of everything for me. 
Was this little rabbitpatch  a very temporary dwelling or could I expect to see spring arrive there?  Truthfully, we never know the future for sure, but must so many things change so suddenly?  My job had changed, my income reduced and now living in a small town, in the absence of field and wood.  So many ways for thoughts to ramble!  It didn’t help a bit that we are without internet-and me locked out of my diary, anyway. 
The house was as silent as could be, which really made the night seem more somber.  I did have a place to rest, after supper . . and loved ones to bless.  These things consoled me and I chided myself for making such a big production over a few twist and turns.  I knew that God did not see these past six months as chaos, but instead, as  an orderly plan.  I reminded myself, that true reliance on God, is not born from a sense of human power, but from recognizing our lack of power in many circumstances.  I should be observing what transpires and gleaning from the experiences, what can serve me.   . . .when   “the creek does rise”. 
I went in and read til I fell asleep.