Diary of a Holiday


Saturday Morning

I smelled rain, when I went out this morning.  Showers came about an hour later and didn’t surprise me.  The house was as silent as an empty church.  What a contrast to the night before, I thought.

 After coffee, I started peeling potatoes for hashbrowns.  While I  was peeling potatoes, I thought about the day before, when we were all  together in the kitchen, each with our own tasks.  I loved those moments.  Conversation was constant as we all worked dicing and mixing.  Sydney  told us about her much adored grandmother-and her  blackberry wine cake.  It is Sydneys’ favorite  so when Sydney grew up and moved away, visits back home meant the cake would be served,  and an extra one was made for her to carry back,  when she left.  Sydney has her grandmothers’ recipes and so I asked for that recipe.  The cake is wonderful, according to Sydney, but I would make it anyway,  just  to remember that afternoon in the kitchen.

 How many things there are to think of when peeling potatoes!  I have thought great thoughts, come up with solutions and made decisions, while peeling potatoes, over the years.  I have peeled a lot of potatoes.

Silver drops fell steady  when I was dicing the potatoes.  The dogwood just outside the kitchen window is full of blossoms just waiting for a warm day full of sunshine, to convince them to open.  A robin perched a while on the closest branch and peered at me curiously through the glass.  Both of us, I thought are on a mission for our breakfast-” we have that in common”,  I told him.

I liked this curious little bird-I like robins in general.  They wear such pleasant expressions.  A robin always looks cheerful.  The lovely cardinal is stoic and seems serious.  Cardinals are handsome birds and maybe they are aware of that.  I have seen a cardinal in a pine waiting expectantly, I think, for an artist to show up to paint his portrait.  Blackbirds and sparrows were flying around the yard, but only the robin said “good morning”.

By the time Lyla woke everyone in the house up, the kitchen smelled like coffee and biscuits rising. 

The Rainy Afternoon

With yesterday being so busy, today seemed especially carefree.  I had started a pot of soup as soon as the breakfast dishes were cleared.  While it cooked, all things  “St. Patrick”   were taken down and stored for next year.  Will and Brant watched ball games and the girls watched “The Secret Garden” in the nursery.   Rain fell all afternoon and  seemed to magnify the peace in the atmosphere of the house.

Sunday-The conclusion of the holiday

It was snowing, when I left Elizabeth City, early Sunday morning.  This was the day we were celebrating my daddys’ eighty second birthday- and Christians’ twenty fourth.  The snow became a cold rain just south of Elizabeth City.  The wind howled, but thankfully, I had a safe trip. We had a wonderful Sunday dinner, with all of daddys’ favorites, which happen to be Christians’ too.  Both love barbecue best of all.  Chris and Ana brought an ample supply of that and so I had fixed brunswick  stew and slaw as they are the natural companions of barbecue.  Mama had cornbread .  Delores had fried chicken and potato salad.  There were several more sides and three cakes.  It was a wonderful affair, altogether.  We took pictures, as always of daddy and Christian  preparing to blow out their birthday candles.  Christian, now a young man that can grow a beard in a week, sat beside my dad, but I remembered  when he sat on his grandaddys’ knee-and I thought again the sly way in which time passes.  

The light from this day is now fading and tomorrow, all goes back as it was before.  I have been on “holiday” since Wednesday night and I am so reluctant for it to end. .but, what a beautiful collection of moments transpired -and  were gathered, just as easily as  if they had been  the first wild violets of spring.