A cold rain has been falling for days. One night, there was a slight chance of snow and you know I had my heart set on it-but nary a flake fell at the rabbitpatch. We did get our first heavy frost -and oh, how lovely that was! The fields where corn had tasseled out, just a few short months ago, were now transformed into fields of diamonds. The first light fell in long slanted hues of peach and apricot, making quite a spectacle of the frost . The pine trees were silver and even the ditch banks were glossed with luster, this day.
I decided then and there, that a late autumn frost, is a beautiful sight to behold.
For the first time, in a long spell, I am at the rabbitpatch, for the weekend. Will and Jenny were attending an out of town wedding and besides the old farm house, looked like nobody loved it. There was no lack of options, on what needed to be done. Still, I moved , about as fast as “molasses in January”. Outside the wind howled and at times sounded mournful. Rain came in before noon. That was only thing that caused me to hurry all day, for the line was full of slightly damp clothes.
Brant called. He entered Ryan in a cute baby contest on a whim . . .just for fun. (And because he is sure that Ryan really is the cutest baby in the world.) Of course, it was for fun . . . until we found out that Ryan is in second place – and there is a cash prize. Now, we have all taken to campaigning for Ryan! We are a ridiculous lot.
While, I cleaned and scrubbed, the boxer and Christopher Robin napped. The wind never stopped blowing and the clouds were so thick, that I had a lamp burning, all day.
I rose early on Sunday. I watched the darkness fade away. The sky was the color of pewter and the wind was still blowing. As much as I love rain, I hoped today that I could line dry some blankets. Today, I would tackle the kitchen and the laundry room – and remove the sweet light florals from my closet and replace them with heavier clothes, fit for late autumn. This means unpacking boxes . . .again. I did have a “false start” with the selling the rabbitpatch last year.. . right about this time.
Oh what a dark time it was for me. . . and right at Christmas! I didn’t even get the chance to “carry on” about it . . with the holidays, after all. Half of the place was packed up and I all but had the key to a dear, little cottage. When the same thing happened again in June, some of the sting was lost, because “practice does make perfect”, it seemed. Now, looking back, the whole thing is amusing. . . .mostly. I will put the place on the market and I will hope for the best. . .sometime.
Last year was not the brightest year anyway . . at least for our family. But the sun shone fair on us some of the time. . . for though there was loss, a baby was born . . and though there was grief . . .we all renewed our strength for one another. There was some disappointment . . .but hope remained, untarnished. None of us bore any burden alone. . .nor the joys. ..and that makes the difference. So, I will not grumble as I unpack clothes that will keep me warm, for it would just be sinful, to do so.
I trotted down the garden path, it seemed every hour on Sunday, to that clothes line. There was plenty of wind, but the clouds dimmed the sun. Once, I missed the dryer. . . but I glanced at the great trees, and that spurred me on to love the planet, as best I can. Besides, I have seen a significant decrease in the electricity bill.
The hours passed too quickly, til Sunday became Monday. The thick clouds remained and so daybreak came without a bit of fanfare. On the way to work, I was pleasantly surprised that the relentless wind had not robbed us of the beauty of this autumn, for the woodlands were a mass of all shades of gold and crimson. There I was in my warm clothes, driving by quiet pastures and fields at rest, and autumn in its’ glory . . . .and it moved me deeply.
There are certain moments in every day that I love. Morning time is one of them. There is also the time when I return to the rabbitpatch, after work. The boxer makes quite a production of my arrival and Christopher Robin, my silvery gray cat purrs gently. – and for some reason, I feel like I have left the world outside the drive way, for my own world, on the rabbitpatch. Then, there is the time after supper. When the house was full, and every bed occupied, it was an especially favorite time. All were gathered, safe and sound. We had reunited around the table and somehow, this time seemed to renew “the ties that bind”. Now, the old house has several empty beds and vacant chairs around the table, but the time after supper is still a favorite time of day, for me. The contents of a day vary greatly, but the morning comes faithfully.
On Wednesday morning, there was sunshine! What a welcome sight, to see the sun rise over the oldest barn. I had missed the way patches of sunlight fall on the territory, lighting up the fresh fallen leaves. The oak leaves are the color of honey and the sycamores shed a mahogany leaf. The lowly sweet gum, not beloved by many, bears all the colors of autumn-even a plum color. Under these circumstances, I will not hold a thing against the sweet gum . . .in late autumn.
Forgive me, but I can not help myself . . .This is where you vote for Ryan –
On Friday, just after school, my friend Sara and I headed north to see our grandchildren. Sara and I have been friends about twenty years – and as it turns out, our grandchildren are but a few miles apart. Little Ryan lives in Wake Forest and Saras’ grandchildren live in a community, just a few minutes away.
Sara knows the route well, for she has been driving it for over five years. Regular readers know, that I am quite a slow learner when it comes to driving anywhere unfamiliar. Besides that, I am just not cut out, to drive bumper to bumper at seventy miles per hour. I have lived in the country for most of life and for a while in a small town. Neither prepared me for the commotion of an interstate in a city, where everyone seems under the assumption, that they have at least nine lives.
One day, in a friendly conversation, Sara mentioned a bakery, she frequents when she visits her daughter. When I was in Wake Forest with Will and Jenny, and Tres, we drove right by a bakery with the name, Sara had called. It was right around the corner from Brant and Sydneys’ and I decided it had to be a fluke, but as it turns out it was the bakery, that Sara had mentioned. . .Hence, we planned a visit. I was thrilled, for Sara agreed to drive, in a heart beat.
The hours flew by. We always share recipes, and talk about our children. Sara is building a tiny house in the mountains and we talked about the Charlotte Mason method of education . . and books. It was a lovely drive and we made good time. It is wonderful to have friends.
If you think, I brag about my grandchildren, you will know for sure now, that yes I do! Ryan is simply beautiful. He is a cheerful baby, too. He is two months old now, and coos like a little dove. He smiles and will laugh out loud, on occasion. I fell in love with him, all over again and could not stop gushing over his beautiful skin and perfect little mouth. I found myself staring at him and not a single thought would pop in my head, in those moments. I prayed over him and proclaimed my love for him over and over. I sang “Roses are red, my love. Violets are blue-Angels in Heaven, know I love you.”
Then there was Sydney and Brant . . .they are surely the icing on the cake. Sydney is just so sensible, it astounds me! She is a young first time mother, yet she is confident and so very loving. I have yet to see her show any signs of frustration. If Ryan frets, she knows why. She fairly glows with contentment. Brant is hopelessly in love with his little son. I have never seen him happier – and that means everything to me. He changes diapers, gives baths and picks out Ryans’ little clothes with great thought. Brant told me, that all the time he is working, he is thinking about coming home to Sydney and Ryan.
We cooked a lot for a “Sunday dinner” at Sydneys’ grandparents. They live in a beautiful area of Chapel Hill. There are small rolling hills and pastures and woodlands behind them – and a stream. Brant and I rambled through the land, as we used to in his childhood. The weather was perfect and I declare the place was holy.
The dinner was nice. Sydneys’ parents stopped in, on their way back from a trip to the mountains and so did Seth, Sydneys’ younger and very well mannered brother. I felt right at home with all of them, as if we had known each other, always. Again, the gratitude just welled up inside of me like a fountain, thinking of all the love that Ryan was born into.
We drove back under a full moon, the color of butter. Sydney is used to the traffic and did not flinch as folks were weaving in and out of lanes- “The country comes to town” I thought. Brant and Ryan slept and I looked for every “lucky star” I could find.
Monday morning dawned cold and bright. Everyone had to work, except for Sydney and I. We drank coffee and ate left over cheese biscuits. I spent some time with Ryan and secretly vowed not to cry when I left. The holidays are just around the corner after all, and we have some wonderful gatherings planned.
Sara came just after noon. We were both full of stories of the holiday . . .and we told them all. We also stopped at the little bakery.
We drove back and admired the bright leaves that made the countryside all the merrier. Sara loved having company and I was glad to ride . . . so of course . . we will do this again.
The drive to Elizabeth City, last Friday. was just beautiful, for now the woodlands are tinged with shades of gold and crimson. ..and the sprawling fields are warm shades of russet and ginger. This is only the prelude of the splendor to come, but what a welcome sight to see the countryside proclaiming the season. The three rivers were filled with “still water” this day and looked as if they were gilded in silver. Along the banks were floating, colorful patches of scarlet and orange.
Autumn is here at last, and there is so much I look forward to . There is the first frost -and a cheerful fire – and soft blankets and books scattered throughout the farmhouse . . .well, autumn is a beloved time at the rabbitpatch.
It had been but two weeks, since I had seen my little grand daughters, but it seemed like a fortnight. Lyla came bounding out the back door squealing in delight with her little arms extended. Brynn was squealing and laughing, in Jennys’ arms. It is always a merry time, when I arrive.
Within a few short hours, Lyla was tucked in “our nest” listening to stories about “the winter woods” and the doll community, with the talking kitten, that live just on the edge of them.
Saturday, was a busy day. Jenny had a brunch to attend, so Will and I took the girls to a their pediatric appointment. Afterwards, we took a walk to the park. On the way back, Lyla picked some floss flowers growing on a vacant lot, for her momma. Lyla has a very thoughtful heart, for she always thinks of others. She even had taken the doctor a piece of chocolate!
Jenny came home to a quiet house, for Brynn was napping and Lyla and I went to visit Miss Thelma, the ninety five year old neighbor.
It started raining early on Sunday. Outside it felt like early September. Lyla and I made “honey cakes” for breakfast”. Afterwards, we went to the grocery. I wanted to leave my loved ones tokens of my love. Often this shows up in food. Lyla decided to draw. By early evening, I had made a large pot of chicken and broccoli soup, pimento cheese and a concoction of apples and raisins, like my Aunt Agnes used to make. Lyla had a stack of delightful pictures and had signed her name and age on each one. At long last, the food was packaged and the crayons were put away. We took Miss Thelma her share of our efforts, stocked the refrigerator and there was some to be delivered to “Aunt J”, on my way home.
The sky was all sorts of colors.. At times, it was apricot, then it was lavender and finally a lovely rose seemed to bloom, in the heavens. The low lying mist looked like pink whispers hovering over the fields.
The rabbitpatch is dusted with sycamore leaves. I enjoy the coppery carpet, for about a week. . . .then the leaves of the great sycamores become a nuisance, for they are large and curl up, shortly after their fall. The next thing you know, you are wondering where the steps are and wading through leaves to get to the car. The territory will be in this state from now to Thanksgiving, for we are not in short supply of old trees . . . and thankfully so.
I love old trees -so much, that they are one of the first things I consider, while looking for the next rabbitpatch. Before I ever step foot in the door, I have surveyed the yard, noting what grows there and also making sure the boxer would be happy. The cat, “Christopher Robin” just wants a sunny windowsill.
The work week was a short one as Friday was a teacher work day. With Halloween being on Thursday, I took Friday off and headed back to Elizabeth City, after school on Thursday. Lyla was the cutest little witch . . .a good one she assured me and Brynn was what most babies are . . . a pumpkin! The night was warm and a constant wind blew, making it hard for Lyla to keep her hat on! We walked the little village til darkness had settled in and was as familiar as an old friend. I did not wear proper shoes and so when I got home, I knew I would sleep well this night.
Brant and Sydney sent pictures of little Ryan and what an adorable baby! I do not feel the least bit ashamed to say so, for everyone needs someone to cheer them on and love them whole heartedly , too . . .and to let them know that they are highly valued. We ought to point out everything right about our grandchildren, and in their worst moments, let them know that we believe they will do better next time.
Friday morning was close to cold! I was quite shocked when I stepped out of the back door. The sky was bright and the wind had not stopped blowing since the night before, but this wind had a chill to it. I must admit, I love this kind of weather.
I do not mind the shorter days and I do not mind the colder nights. Of course, I love every season and declare each one my favorite, upon its’ arrival. In that way, I am fickle, but each season has such wonderful virtues . . . for when it snows, the whole territory seems white washed in a magical shine, then comes April and “flowers come to earth” again and then in June the wild honeysuckle blooms. . .but just now when the landscape is fairly aglow with color and the gold and ruby leaves raining down , well, I fall hopelessly in love . . . again. It seems to me each season is the best.
I do not know how Sunday arrived so quickly – most especially with that “extra hour”. A lot of nice things happened, during my visit – ordinary things -things that are routine now. Lyla and I made “honey cakes”, we practiced violin and told stories. We also got in several visits with Miss Thelma. Jenny and I cleaned the nursery and ended up with two bags of toys to donate. I rocked Brynn to sleep, as I did on a regular basis in the summer. There was a lot of cooking . Halloween got put away and Lyla worked on her art. Plans were made for Thanksgiving and Christmas secrets were discussed. Little Brynn loves me now more than ever and just like that . . .it was Sunday.
When, I was approaching the rabbitpatch, I saw the lights shining through the windows and that cheered me. Christian, the boxer and the cat gathered around the car. Christian helped carry every thing in. The boxer pranced around joyfully and “Christopher Robin” purred sweetly. It is always the same, but it never fails to warm my heart.
A lot happened on Saturday at the rabbitpatch. First of all, there was not a single branch left on the territory, by the time the sun set. Even the little pasture, is better off than it was. Oh how good it felt, to see some order restored. While I was cleaning the yard, something was cooking at every hour. By the end of the day, Mama, Daddy and Kyle, would have supper every night of the week.
Mama tends to Daddys’ every need, ignoring her own. At least, she will not have to worry about supper and Kyle . . . well, he is working long hours and not about to have a slow cooked anything for his supper. It doesn’t hurt one bit, that he is always so very grateful, either. When Christian came in, he had several choices for supper and clean sheets on his bed.
In light of all that, I did not disturb a single cobweb on Saturday.
Mama told me on Saturday night, that the remnants of a storm from Florida, would arrive early Sunday morning. She was right, for it was raining before five am. It turns out, that it was a good thing that I hung laundry and did the yard work on Saturday. The rain and light wind made it the perfect morning to sleep, but I sprang out of bed like I was in my youth! This time, I would listen to every verse of the “Water Music” and watch the darkness give way to a silvery morning. . .and take my own sweet time, about it. At daybreak, I looked out the window, by my “morning table”. There were a few fallen branches hither and yonder. I had to laugh.
I made coffee and had a large slice of homemade bread smothered in butter, and listened to the rain. It was a time of serenity, for me.
As much as I write about the value of work . . .well the same can be said about rest too. There is more information available, now than ever before, to mankind. The news is full of heartbreak and discord. There is always some sort of fear, too. Most everyday, a new one . There are dire predictions, which give us something more to worry about. Under such circumstances, we must make a gallant effort to defend ourselves from the bombardment of “doom and gloom”. We must take rest. We must find solace.
For me, this means focusing on what does not change . . .what does not threaten. It is for this reason I am apt to linger under stars. it is next to impossible, for a star to provoke fear, after all. . .and since old trees do not quarrel, they make for good company. More than ever, we ought to all ramble on occasion, whether it is by a “laughing river” or an old field, or down a sidewalk . . . without any specific purpose. It never ceases to amaze me, that happening upon a patch of wild violets, can work such wonders, for the spirit. The world is bigger now than it ever was and solitude is more valuable now, than ever.
I have had such habits since I was just a child. They probably were fostered by not having something or someone to entertain me, every waking moment.. In those days, I was liable to climb a tree and sit for a while or sit on the pasture gate. I walked through the fields, while Mama cooked supper . I did not count my steps nor worry about my heart rate . . or wear headphones. There were no cell phones to stare at, either. . . so I did not miss the songs of the woodland birds nor the “golden apples of the sun”. I had no idea that such a practice would become a part of me. Nowadays, I need this “balancing act” as much as I still need supper, on any given day.
An old bridge, on the way to work is being replaced. It is my route to work. Reports say it will be spring, before the road is opened. There is a delightful, winding country road that loops around the area of construction. It adds a couple of extra miles to the commute, but the scenery is charming. I left a few minutes early today to compensate., for the beautiful, extra miles.
It wasn’t but just a few minutes later, that I was waiting to turn on the familiar road that led to the school. All of sudden, I heard the dreaded sound of screeching tires and then the deafening sound and jolt of impact. I was stunned. The shock of it all rendered me in a state and it took a few minutes before, I regained enough sense to move the car off the road. Authorities showed up and the process started. The young driver, at fault was scared and shaken. Her car was in shambles. She apologized and was so sorry. I reminded her that we were both spared and how grateful I was for that. I cried with her, for her youth convinced her that this was an insurmountable problem.
I had not even looked at the back of my car. I drive an older model, Toyota. Tres had given me the car a few years back.
Several of her family members came and I was glad for her, but suddenly, I wished that somebody was there that loved me . . .and instantly, I heard my name being called. A former neighbor had seen me and stopped to help me however she could. I had watched Sarah grow up and her parents, had practically carried me through the death of my husband. Someone that loved me did show up.
I finally mustered the courage to look at the car and I had to stare to comprehend what i saw . . .not a scratch hardly! I could drive away, after all. Even the patrolman was speechless.
Of course, once the word was out in my clan, I was given a stern talking to from my children, for not being checked out at the hospital and Tres wants the car checked out by an expert, just in case there is some hidden damage. . .and I know it is sound advice. There may very well be some crack in something important, looming in my future.
There is another twist to the story. For several weeks, and mostly when I was driving, I kept hearing the sound of an impact. It happened at least a half dozen times. At some point, it spooked me, but I never said a word. Even so, I was caught “off guard”, when it really occurred, though very oddly, I knew I had been prepared and so I did not panic.
Things like this have happened before, to me and to Christian, too. I suspect it happens to a lot of people. Now, scientific minds that thrive on proof, may dismiss such things. I hardly claim to be “holy”, but I do declare this. . . God does work in mysterious ways. I do not need to understand everything nor have some sensible explanation . . . and very rarely, do I have a clue as to what is happening next . . . . but I know Who does – and that is enough.
A light rain was falling on Wednesday, in the hours before light. It did not come as a surprise, for I had heard the forecast. More than a few leaves will find their destiny, today. The rain seemed to sing a lullaby and it was so very enticing. Rain has been scarce at the rabbitpatch for a long while. I have declared my affection for rain, countless times and so it took sheer willpower to go about the usual business.
I believe, it all comes from growing up when I did – and where I did. Things were much slower then. Work was harder with no end in sight, for the adults. Children worked too, but our chores were reasonable, looking back – and besides we didn’t know any other way. And even with chores, we had more time to play, than most children do now.
Rainy days meant everybody was close to the house. It meant the kitchen stove was at full tilt and we were most likely to have a cake, after supper. We cut paper dolls and my sister and I played dress up, with old pocketbooks and dresses, grandma kept in a chest . . and looked at the World Book Encyclopedias. . .unhindered by any schedule. Those were merry days. . .and I remain glad for them.
Of course, it goes without saying, that I spent the first few days of the week, mourning the departure of my children and grandchildren. There is just no remedy for that, but staying busy, doesn’t hurt. After work, each day, I would clear one or two piles of branches, from the territory. I am almost finished with the yard, but the little pasture, has not been touched. Before the grandchildren, I would not have been able to think of anything else, except the pasture being littered with branches. Now I wonder, why such things ever mattered so much. . .or even at all. Besides, I suspect the branches will wait, til the spirit moves me . . .as everything else does. Not once, has dust scattered in my absence.
The rain fell gently all day on Wednesday. In the evening, the wind blew. The October wind was brisk and there was a chill in it. I had to put the windows down in the farmhouse and don my favorite winter robe. The moon rose brightly shining and it seemed a shame not to admire it, so I went out. Leaves were flying in the wind, now and then crossing the glowing moon. There I stood, in the silver moonshine with that wild wind blowing and the dry leaves swirling . . .for a long while. October is a lovely time.
Thursday dawned bright and with enough snap, to warrant a good sweater. How lovely the drive to work is! The sun is just rising over the woodland and sets the fields aflame til a common field of soybeans looks like a golden sea and the ordinary swamp flowers are not so ordinary, in those first hours of light. The woods are just a faded, watery shade of green, in the days before their glory and the wisps of mists, that hang over them, makes them look even more hallowed. The whole affair, of an October morning is like a silent hymn. . .sung tenderly and felt deeply.
Jenny and I talked in the evening, as we usually do. I was torn between spending the weekend in Elizabeth City or staying at home to tend to the sprawling house and territory at the rabbitpatch. Every weekend for a month has held some sort of delightful obligation. . .and the next few weekends, do too, so reluctantly, I decided it best to stay home. I plan to cook and clean . . and maybe clear a bit of the pasture.
I am looking forward to it, though what a shame to spend any minute away from the grandchildren, who are determined to grow up before my very eyes! . . and I agree with Lyla, under such circumstances, “a week is a long time.”
Friends of the rabbitpatch, know the joy that I derive from work. I find it “therapeutic”, to use a current term. Physical work is also one of the best ways I know of, to find solutions to complicated matters and if need be, to heal. Now, I am thankful for a job- (and my banker, son- in – heart, Will declares, that I must always have one). It is a beautiful thing, to have a paying job, that allows for fulfillment. . .but it is not the jobs that are meant to pay the electricity bill , and keep tires on the car, that I am writing about. It is work that is directly related to home and hearth-and whatever patch of earth you live on. Rarely are any of the task glamorous, nor scarce. . .but there is a reward, none the less . . .even if you are the only one that knows about it.
My last entry was about the beauty of “ordinary” – simplistic greatness, to me. This time, the weekend holds some fanfare-at least for me. All of the children are coming home! We are gathering at the home of my parents and so Ryan will meet his great grandparents, at long last. I could hardly sleep last night, in light of the occasion.
I came in the back door, of the old farmhouse, on Friday with a spring in my step, though I was lugging groceries. We are gathering on Saturday, this time, for a mid day meal. This meant, I best get started cooking on Friday night. Within minutes, I had the biggest pot I own, on the stove, filled to the brim with chicken, celery stalks and all sorts of seasonings. Tomorrow, I would make the dumplings. Another pot was full of string beans. I would fry the cornbread at Mama and Daddys’ for cornbread has a short span, to sit and still be good. For dessert, I was making strawberry brownies, for though, it may seem out of season, this family loves anything with strawberries. Delores is making apple pie cookies, so very fitting for early autumn.
I will tell you, that I nearly danced, in the kitchen, while the pots simmered.
Mornings are so cool now, that I drug out my winter robe, on Saturday . . .and I put the fan away. I have not been able to use it, for most of the week. It seems, that summer is at long last, over. Now, even the trees declare it. The sycamores are starting to drop their huge leaves. Sycamore leaves go from green to brown, without a bit of fanfare. The dogwoods are starting to turn their familiar crimson-just barely, but enough that their bright red berries are seen easily. The grass has slowed down, thankfully, too.
The sun was shining as brightly, as it has ever dared to do, on Saturday. This only increased my good spirits.
Just before noon, Kyle and I were pulling in the driveway at Mama and Daddys’. Of course, Christian had to work, which put a damper on things. The car was loaded down with steaming pots and a large pan of the strawberry brownies. I was frying cornbread within minutes.
One by one, all arrived. We made quite a ceremony of Mama and Daddy, meeting little Ryan. It was a tender moment. . .and the beauty of it, was not lost for any of us.
A noisy, happy meal followed that hallowed moment. Delores, especially loves babies, and she opted to hold Ryan, She did so til there was not a dumpling left in the pot! Being the cook, I was horror stricken, but Delores ate cornbread with the broth and did not complain.
We talked about the Christmas gathering til I have no clue what was really decided upon. We drew names for gifts-that I am sure of. Lyla played with her uncles and her cousin Dana read to her. Brynn, being shy, stuck close to her Mama, but she did venture outside, with her uncle Tres. We looked at old photographs and it was decided that the “Warren bloodline” was showing up in the grandchildren.
When the kitchen was clean, and everyone had packed up . . and little Brynn was laying her head on her daddys’ shoulder, the party concluded. Oh, how dreadful, to watch them all leave. Some things never change.
Suddenly it is October! I know because the mailbox was stacked full of bills. The leaves weren’t saying so, nor the climate, for it is still hot at the rabbitpatch! The reliable window fans make all the difference. The night air is a welcome relief from the heat of the afternoon.
For most of my adult life, October was the month, the first fire of the season was made. Unless, things take a drastic turn, that is as highly unlikely, this year as it was last year. We are still battling mosquitoes, at the moment. A cooler weekend is in the forecast, at least. If it holds true, I hope to take a walk by my old friend, “the Laughing River”, for tomorrow, I leave for Elizabeth City, where my very darling granddaughters abide.
Friday has a different feel to it during the school year . It is a light hearted feeling. This is not so in months like July. The liberty of summer does not distinguish a Friday, from the other week days. The hours passed and before I knew it, I was on that familiar stretch of highway, driving past massive fields of cotton . “Snow has blossomed, I thought, for that is what a cotton field looks like this time of year. Then there were the fields of hay. Some fields were picked and hay bales lined the road for miles. October is a golden time in the country. The absence of rain and the abundance of sunshine, are favorable conditions for farmers, now.
I crossed the three rivers and how lovely to see the bright blue water shining and fairly sparkling . The whole world seemed happy in those moments.
Lyla bounded out the back door, calling out “Honeybee!!” when I drove up, and little Brynn smiled and clapped her hands.
I had barely brought my bags in, when it was time to go again. The “artwalk” a monthly event in Elizabeth City was that night. It is one of the things I like about the town. Artists are encouraged to thrive. Whether you are a painter or a potter, a cake decorator , arrange flowers, or a musician, you are honored, in the small town. One shop gave out pumpkins to be decorated and the Flour Girls bakery gave out cupcakes, for children to decorate. Lyla was as “happy as a lark” with such activities and was especially pleased with her pumpkin.
Saturday was cooler, as was predicted. It was so pleasant to feel an autumn breeze, at long last. I have lived my entire life in the south, and just when I think I will surely perish, an autumn breeze blows and my good nature is restored.
Lyla and I sat outside. I told stories about our imaginary community. There are a lot of dolls in the community with names like “Marigold, Gypsy and Helen”. They are bakers and librarians and the Nutcracker keeps the peace, when there are squabbles. A rabbit named Cookie, just went to court, for trespassing and a baby named “Snapdragon” was just born to a friendly witch named Clara. Lyla helps solve problems and gives advice to the Nutcracker, on how to keep peace in the land. A lot can happen in those afternoons when we are telling a story. It is the easiest way I know of to teach compassion, forgiveness and disappointment, for things are not always “fair” in story land, either. . .though all in all, it is a happy place.
Brynn and I spent time on the porch. I would name the things we saw, til I could say words like trees, water and pumpkins, and she would point to the subjects. Brynn loves the porch. . .the swing , especially. When she is “out of sorts” that swing acts like a tonic, on her.
Now science has proven the benefits of swinging-but I knew, already for I have sought the comfort of an old swing on many occasions, myself. Brynn knows too. It seems there is always some study going on -and it will make you shudder to think of the money spent -only to conclude a lot of things, which our elders knew by instinct. . .or by observation.
Lyla was drawing pictures, before breakfast on Sunday morning. Her Aunt Sydney is a bonafide artist and had given Lyla a very nice collection of pencils, markers and crayons, on our visit to meet baby Ryan. Lyla, has made good use of them, ever since. I wondered if Lyla, was like me, waking up full of notions to create, in the first hours of day. ( I love to write in the mornings.)
She drew pictures of us at night, and in all the seasons. I treasure her art, for to me, these are her journals. She is drawing her memories and things hoped for, after all. Lyla takes her drawing seriously , just as her uncle Christian always has.
Will and Jenny decorated the house for autumn and how lovely it looked. Lyla was thrilled as she loves to decorate as much as Miss Claudia ever did. We had an early supper on Sunday and I left with barely enough time to make it home before dark.
I left under a sky the color of apricots. The glow of the light turned everything a warm shade of tawny gold . The water and cotton fields, all seemed to be celebrating early autumn in the twilight hour. I felt content to have had such a weekend. It may sound a bit too ordinary, for many. But, to me it was grand. I cherish stories told under the stars and songs sung in a porch swing. There is an undeniable magic present under such circumstances. It is not idle time, to hold the beloved children, nor to imagine, with them, but instead a deep understanding of one another unfolds- and if there is anything left to wish for . . . .then I don’t know about it.