From the Rabbitpatch Diary

In less than a fortnight, many things have happened.
  As soon as baby Banks came home from the hospital . . Ryan developed a temperature and a cough.  With an infant in the house, Ryan was quickly taken to the doctor.  As it turned out, he had RSV.  We have probably all had it at some point, for it is a common ailment       . . .but dangerous for infants.    Therefore Brant and Ryan have been living downstairs and Sydney and little Banks dwelling upstairs.  What a predicament-and right off the bat! Ryan could not understand that he saw the baby he had waited for at last and then the baby whisked away-and with his mama!  Thankfully, Brant and Sydney are as capable as can be and handled it like champions. They should  be able to have their own little family reunion this weekend.  . .and soon, those of us waiting in the wings, will have our turn to see our beloved baby-and our precious Ryan. 
An autumn wind blew  for a few days.  Every jewel the trees owned was cast on the earth beneath them.  What a colorful carpet was created in this little rabbitpatch!  The temperatures have remained warm, up until this very morning.  When I went out, before the crack of dawn, I was greeted with a coolness, that warranted a jacket.  I like all kinds of weather, (though the sultry days of mid summer are my least favorite) and so, I welcomed the crisp morning, with open arms.  It is almost Thanksgiving, after all! 
Memories are being made at the rosewood cottage.  Tres and Sarah have visited several times.  Mama comes and  we all enjoy a good meal.  Sister Delores and niece Dana have visited, too. The place feels more and more like “home”, on account of this.
Conversations around a table, are my kind of occasions. Such times lend my life a valuable substance and remembering  them later, is heartwarming.
What I remember about my childhood are those ordinary kinds of things-like conversations around a table.  I remember our way of life.   . .and it was a beautiful and uncomplicated way.  We went to see “Mama Hodges” on a weekday morning, we went to town to get groceries, and we went to church on Sundays- other than that we were at home.  There were few things to rush about.  If rain came and there were clothes on the line-or if the ponies got out . . then a commotion ensued.  Other than that, we were an orderly lot enjoying a peaceful life. 
Organized sports were created within the family.  Daddy made a top notch basketball goal and we all enjoyed that.   Cousins Chuck  and Chris would join us, as they lived just beyond the pasture-and many nights we played til it became too dark to see the ball. Sometimes Daddy hit flyballs in the evenings for us to catch. (I was awful at that)   We played badminton and volleyball- and cousins would gather for kickball, races, high jump, long jump and the pasture was full of ponies for rides back in the field, along the edge of the woods.  Likewise, tutoring and music-and “therapy” took place at home.   . .often in the garden-sometimes, while  hanging clothes. Mama was good at therapy.  
 If I could hand a “silver platter” to my grandchildren, it would be laden with such things.  The business of childhood is short but mighty powerful, after all. 
“The government changed the clocks again.”  I laugh every time I remember  saying this.  My grandmother Warren, in her later years could not understand why we had to change the clocks. She asked me a lot of questions about the why and what for of it.  She was convinced that the school, I still work at, was trying to get me to work more hours.  Finally after a long while, I whipped out-that “The government changed the clocks.”  She was satisfied at last. 
 Regular readers know, that I am not a fan of this practice.  I do not like “Daylight saving time” which has never made a bit of sense to me.  The sun sets and rises as it pleases so no one can claim any sort of say about that.  Man can not save up daylight. . .or create a minute more of it.   . . besides, I like for it to be dark when I have supper!  It is no wonder, that my dear grandmother was confused about it. 
Part II
The weekend is here now-and full of pleasant prospects.  Sister Delores and her family are coming on Sunday for an early Thanksgiving celebration.  We will gather at Mamas’.  I have been up for a while with “visions of pies and pumpkin bread dancing in my head” .  I am cooking what I can in the rosewood cottage kitchen and then heading to Mamas’ to spend the night.  Mama and I will finish up more details tomorrow morning.   Sister Connie may be able to come for the Sunday meal and Christian too, if he can get off work in time. 
On Monday, Mama and I head to Raleigh to meet baby Banks!  That is a “red letter day” for me!  I am so excited about seeing my dearest little boys.  I can’t wait to see Brant and Sydney either.  I just enjoy seeing how lovingly they raise their children-now at last together, since that awful episode with RSV!    
The eve of all this is a happy time for me. 
Yesterday, we had our first frost of the season.  This was a bit of a “late” frost, for this area. 
How beautiful the world was that morning, I noticed as I drove to work.  The first light of the day cast its’ shine and transformed even the dullest spots.  I smiled remembering that Daddy always woke us with the same  morning greeting on  frosty days . . . . “Jack Frost came last night!”  When we were quite young, he would tell us that Jack Frost had a bucket of ice and would paint the world, while we we slept.  We would spring out of our dreams, sure one morning that we would catch him in the act. I still like to imagine that and will abandon science altogether, . . in the event of frost.

A Child is Born

Autumn days are finally here . . on Bonnet Street. A fortnight ago, the brightest blue skies appeared.  Mist and fog veil the dawn and  there are branches of some trees donning scarlet and golden leaves.  Now the air is tinged with the scent, known only in October.  I love October!  Besides being especially lovely, it is the prelude to the holidays and cozy nights . . .with slow cooked meals. This particular, October we are awaiting the arrival of Brant and Sydneys’ second son . . .and Ryans’ little brother. It is a holy time, to me.
As I get older, I consider many things sacred .  Even planting twin cedars, gifted to me by my much loved Chris and Aino, was a time of reverence. To me, planting something, that sprung up in a woods, miles away, discovered and then gifted, is not short of wonderous.   . . .
  As I watch the yard becoming a garden, I am as grateful as can be.  Already, my steps have created footpaths, for a lack of rain,  deems it necessary to baptize my floral community, every other day.  I treasure natural occurrences . . . such as footpaths.  They tell your story, in a way. 
I notice things as I go along toting a shovel or those buckets of water,  That is how I realised that a scrubby bush, was actually a young crepe myrtle abiding by the fence.  Just recently, I found something else to love.
The fence between my house and my next door neighbors’ home, is covered with honeysuckle, confederate jasmine and ivy.  A slab of cement is along that path, at the end of the driveway-I suppose the remnants of a shed.  I turned that area into a potting and painting station.  My back was always to my neighbors’ home.  I let the clambering vines clamber with great  liberty, while my back was to them. When I am on a task, I am unaware of anything going on around me.  I have proven this time and time again.  Once my late husband walked in the kitchen.  I was playing my violin, while a pot was smoldering on the stove, filling the air with smoke!  So, it is no wonder, that I missed the tremendous oak growing in the middle of the neighbors yard.  It all started because  of a small, ivy covered tree stump and a lantern, that Mama had given me. 
The lantern was intended to be used outside of my back door, but the electrician deemed it worthless.  I thought . . .maybe not.  One day it came to me, that it might work on the little stump of a tree that had died young, many years ago.  It turned out, that the lantern was a good fit.  I was pushing the ivy back, when I saw the tree.  I was stunned at the beauty of it and remembered that Pop and Grandma had two of them, outside of their little farmhouse.  I do not know how long I stood there . . .but when my trance was broken I made haste to relocate my work station.  Now, I have a beautiful view of a patch of earth, with three old trees, for there were two more as well!  I felt I had “struck gold”, though gold paled in comparison.
Do you remember my “Quiet garden”  at the old farmhouse?  Well, I have found a spot to make a “Quiet Walk”  around the little rosewood cottage!   Granted, it will be a short walk, so I will have a bench, to contemplate or to dream . . .or to  pray or to rest upon. 
A lot of things can come to pass, when  you’re sitting   under an old tree.  Of course, right now, I  can only afford to practice such leisure arts, for brief moments, for  I am either painting or scrubbing or planting, and besides a job and housekeeping.  I am enjoying the work and the results have been quite pleasing . . .but I have not seen the grandchildren much and miss them terribly.  Hopefully, this weekend, that will change. 
Part II 
I declare that every morning there is more autumn colored leaves, than the day before!  There are apricot leaves and plum leaves and lemon yellow ones, too,  now.  Just a day or so ago, I started writing this post! 
Every morning, I wander around the yard, to start my day.  It is a dark and quiet time.  This morning,  before going out . . .Brant called.  He had another son!  His name is Kenon Banks, (Kin-an) named after Sydneys’ dear grandfather.  My heart was filled with gladness.  Mother and son were fine.  Brant and I were both crying with joy.  A picture proved what Brant said . .” He is beautiful. “
Afterwards, as I strolled, I took great note of the sky so I could tell Banks, about the stars, he was born beneath.  I noticed the air-cool and still, and the damp soil beneath me.  When I came in, I lit a candle and said a prayer of thanksgiving.  Now, in my spectrum of joyous events, nothing tops the birth of a grandchild.  After all, there is another somebody to love deeply, to hope for and to be loved by.  He will certainly bring gifts . . and I want to give him my own gifts. 
I was blessed with two wonderful grandmothers and decades later-one fifty years!) their love and influence, hasn’t dimmed.  Being a grandmother is truly, all it is cracked up to be. 
Part III 
 Though nothing compares to the birth of a grandson . . .still I   will mention that big progress has been made in my humble cottage.  At long last, a cabinet now abides where the washer and dryer used to.  It is a lovely piece and, made from old wood  that was rescued from ” the four corners of the earth”.   Tomorrow, the pantry door, which is a fancy old screen door,   salvaged from the barn at Farm Life, will be hung.  I am sure it will be the only screen door on the inside of a house in this small town, but being hopelessly sentimental . . . .I like it.  When the “dust settles”-and I mean that literally-I will  post pictures.