The Last Sunday in January


I woke up before light, this last Sunday in January.  The winter morning was cold and dark.  Cash and the cats were cuddled  on their blanket and did not stir when I cut the lamp on.  I finished a writing project while I had coffee.  It felt good to sit at the morning table without a schedule to hinder my thoughts.

 When light first came to the rabbit patch, I noticed a heavy frost covered the ground.  I put a pot of beans on, for Sunday Dinner and settled in to read a butterscotch pie recipe from The Farm Life Ruritannette Cookbook, one more time.  Miss Sylvia, who hosts the Old Christmas parties, gave  me the book, when I first moved here, a decade ago.  It is my favorite cookbook.   The recipes  hardly ever start off with a “box of instant” something- and whipped topping does not go in every dessert.  I like “old school” cooking”, besides, I had finished reading  Chasing Jubal, and felt certain it was a good day to make meringue.  

 By mid morning, the rabbit patch kitchen had a roast in the oven and a pie on the counter, with a crown of meringue, piled high.  Cash was awake and he makes sure the cats get up, when he does.  Cash is a self-appointed guardian of the cats.  He comes to their rescue, breaks up arguments and tattles if they get in to mischief.  The cats are always hungry and beg noisily for every meal.   If I doddle, Cash goes to the pantry door and barks til I go in to get their food.  The ruckus started this morning when I was making  the biscuits and staring out at the frost.

Kyle and Christian were home and so with mama and daddy, the kitchen table was full at twelve o’clock.  Of course, I used my fancy winter china with the redbirds and ribbons.  We did not get up after the pie was served, but lingered at the table.  Christian got his guitar and played some old Hank Williams songs softly, while daddy told us stories about his childhood.  As it turns out, he was a rascal.  

And so the last Sunday in January , at the rabbit patch,  passed in a beautiful fashion.  When the light fell low,  I thought of how my boys learned that even rascals  can grow up and become noble.  I thought about Christian playing Hank Williams, because he knew daddy liked it.  It was beautiful to me that mama cheered daddy on with stories she remembered, that had been told, of his childhood.  I felt like we had a gift bestowed upon us right there in the rabbit patch kitchen.  It did not take me long to realise  that of all the things, that could have happened on this day,  this was  surely, one of the best.