Dear Diary, I Remember Pop


It looks like somebody lives at the rabbit patch today.  Kyle and I worked yesterday, the better part of the day, restoring order to the territory.  The weather was mild and just did not give me any excuse, to put it off again.  Now, that I am older, the lot is bigger.  There are more sticks and branches, too.  Nevertheless,  the  yard is almost tidy and I lived to tell about it.

I worked in the “Quiet Garden” and that is where I saw the wild violets. Violets are so dainty and do not cause a bit of harm.  I have used them to decorate cakes and to toss in spring salads, but I love watching them grow too.  I find them growing in their usual places.   (There is a whole community of them, beneath the grape vine.) but they grow where they please and what a nice surprise to find them, where you didn’t expect.  I felt a surge of energy after seeing them beneath the roses-and as I carried dead branches and vines to the garden for burning, the garden did not seem as far away as it did  in the first hours.

The “Quiet Garden” is green.  The rose bushes have really grown and some will give shade this year.  No matter how tenderly, I care for them-no matter how sweetly, I speak to them-the rose bushes still “bite” me hatefully,  as I trim and clean around them.  Kyle was content to leave the rose garden to me.

The Japanese roses behind the barn are a mass of bright yellow.  I bet you could see them a county away. The “cape jasmine”  known also as gardenias, are awake-so are the foxgloves, and so are the weeds.  I managed to get two flowerbeds cleaned up.  

I also worked in the herb garden and was delighted to see young chives and all sorts of mints, were growing.  Everything is better with fresh herbs, I think.  By mid morning,  the clothes line at the rabbit patch was adorned with blankets of every sort, in good faith, that we can afford to pack at least pack some of them away, til October.

A lot was accomplished, in a day at the rabbit patch-and  so, maybe I can convince the neighbors and those driving by, that somebody does still live at the rabbit patch, after all.

Sunday Dinner

By eight, this morning, the kitchen smelled like Sunday.  Cabbage, chocked full of onions was simmering and eggs were boiling.  Kyle did not find those smells appropriate just after waking, and grumbled right off-but come noon, when the table is set,  he will not complain. Kyle and Christian are both here today, so with Mama and Daddy, the table will be full-and I won’t complain either.

About Thirty Years Ago

It was a typical March morning, almost cold, but bright.  Daffodils bloomed on time, that year.  I was a young mother of three children-the oldest one was four years old.  Of course, I was in the kitchen, when a cousin and neighbor came in with bad news.  My grandfather, Christopher S. Haddock, had been found in his yard, just outside his shop.  He had passed in the new spring grass, while his beloved “goldenrods” (forsythia, really) were in their glory.

I knew him as “Pop”.  Pop, was loud  and known to cuss, even around the children.  Brant, at four told me  on one occasion, that he was going to get the “damn newspaper” as that was what Pop called it every time.  I did not reprimand Brant, on account of that and thankfully he forgot it.  

Pop had a fondness for spirited horses and apparently mean cows, as he always had both.  Of course, he had a herd of ponies for the grandchildren and goats that could pull carts.  He had pigs too, that he said would kill you if you fell in their parlor, so we kids avoided those at all cost.  If you heard the tractor coming home at an odd time, it was best to “make yourself scarce” as something on it needed fixing and you could bet he was mad.  That is mostly why he cussed, I think.  Pop could get mad, but no other adult could -especially with the children.  Pop would not tolerate a child being scolded, unless he was the one doing it.  If you just stayed away from his tools, you were pretty safe, anyway.

Pop went to school til the sixth grade, yet he was known for his superior math skills.  A farmer has to do a lot of math and Pop was quick with numbers.  

I could write in this diary, all afternoon with stories about Pop-and probably would not give an adequate account of his life.  He was not perfect, but he loved me perfectly.  Today, that  still means every thing.  Here it is decades later, and I know his influence made a difference in my life.  It reminds me how important grandparents are.  Pop might have taught three generations to cuss,  but he also told stories and taught us to plant by the phases of the moon.  

Love is a mighty thing.  Memories can fade and details can dim, but the feeling of being loved is very powerful and it endures for at least thirty years, I can declare, today. . .because. . . I remember Pop.