We are almost settled at the little house on Bonnet Street. Of course, now it is the holiday season, and even the most established routines are altered in the season. The only way a place starts to feel like home, is to live in it a while. It has to rain, and likewise, the sun has to shine til you know where light and shadow falls and the kitchen has to smell like supper cooking. Like every other genuine treasure in life, it takes time. One day you suddenly realise . . . you are home. The little house on the corner is starting to feel like home.
Mama and I went to see sister Connie the Saturday before Thanksgiving. She was cooking supper for about fifteen people and with ease, she moved from one pot to another without a trace of worry. Connie is a sensible person and her feathers are not easily ruffled. She is steadfast and we are all blessed to call her our own. It was a lovely time on that perfect late autumn day.
It was a very short work week, with the Thanksgiving holiday approaching. I spent Wednesday night at Mamas’ to prepare for the gathering on Thursday. We spent most of the day in kitchen. Mama cooked sweet potatoes and pies. I spent a good deal of time on collards. I made enough biscuits for the biscuit stuffing-and our supper. I also rummaged through boxes looking for table cloths. We were both tired that evening and I went to bed, determined to rise early to peel apples!
All of our efforts paid off, for when the kids arrived, we only had to cream the potatoes and make the gravy. It was a brisk and bright day and a lot of us ate outside. “Baby brother cousin”, Ryan and his “sister cousins” ran around the yard. (This is how they refer to one another) What a precious sight to behold-and especially while you are eating pie!
No one left empty handed that day. Instead we packaged pie, caramel apple dumplings, collards and sister Delores’ broccoli casserole, fresh eggs and bread from Connie . . until the kitchen looked like we had never been there!
The next day, I decorated for Christmas. I have always waited til December to do so, but I have not decorated for two years. Daddy was sick one year-then Julie died last year . . .and there was also all those covid restrictions. Several of my neighbors had decorated before Thanksgiving and that had stirred me to follow suit. I loved the cheerful lights and how happy they all were as they toiled. I laughed at the celebrations when an old strand of lights worked. Now this little rabbitpatch is adorned with twinkling lights and ribbons. I cut cedar from a tree in the yard and made several little arrangements. I like an almost wild and natural look. I will use apples and oranges in the house- and candles and soft carols to fill the air. The tree is not up, but I will work on that, shortly. First, I must make a trip to retrieve it.
One afternoon, Brant, Jenny and their families stopped by, for they had not seen the house, except for pictures. Tres and Sarah came too. They had helped me move and even they were surprised with the now, cozy little cottage . We listened to old Christmas songs-which are our favorite ones, ate cookies that Sydney made and watched the most darling little ones play. That was a happy time for me.
I have discovered more things about myself as of recently. I thought that I liked simplicity . . .but I embrace it now, more than ever. In fact, I am more determined than ever to live as simply as I can. From food to activities-from possessions to products . . .I am on a mission.
I like living in a smaller house. It suits me at this particular season of life. It makes sense financially, certainly, but there is a lot less housekeeping too. Also, a big house with vacant rooms feels different-lonelier and hollow, at times.
I do like old houses. I just can not convince myself, otherwise. Of course, new windows in an old house would be even better. . .and more electrical outlets. I am not swayed so easily by modern conveniences but, I like running water and heat . I also like to work . “Quick and easy” tastes just like it sounds. I derive a sort of satisfaction when I work at something-even if I make mistakes! Just yesterday, I worked on an arrangement of cedar for quite a while. I made a garland with a lantern in the middle of it. When I placed it on the table, I tried to like it . . and at first, I almost did. I left it to work on a wreath. When I came back, I couldn’t deny it. The thing had gone from “bad to worse”. I took it apart and what a mess that was. Still, I had enjoyed working on it. Work makes me think, whether or not, I am creating something of beauty or fixing something or cleaning. It all boils down to no one enjoys a fire more than the one who gathered the wood, I think.
I love hearing the church bells ring out the hour. I love bells and chimes . . not whistles -Sometimes though, I hear the train whistle late at night. That kind of whistle, I do like. I do not understand how that whistle can sound sorrowful and joyful, at the same time!
There is so much to love wherever you go . . but I must declare that I miss the countryside. I miss the big sky and the sweet air. There, in the country, are a million stars and the brightest moons for the heavens own every bit of sky. Silvery , misty fields in the evenings and mornings are golden when you can see the sun rising There are just so many shades of light. Maybe, I will always favor this landscape, but there truly is so much to love wherever you go. I would do well to dwell on this truth .
For now, I live on a quiet street in a friendly neighborhood and everything is just five minutes away. Old trees line the streets and the moon rises in a window in the sky just above this rabbitpatch. Traffic is very light and not constant . . .and when those church bells ring . . . .well, I just love everything about the little house on Bonnet Street!