There is a rabbit family that lives in the “Quiet Garden”. This morning three of the bunnies attended the “early service”. They were quite serious about their breakfast, when light was faint. As soon as the first rays of morning streaked the territory, however, the bunnies began to play. This disturbed a robin, who was still in his plight for breakfast. The robin scolded the young rabbits and flapped his wings in a threatening manner, which made them dash in all directions. It was the first “early service” I had attended at the rabbit patch, in almost a week and I wondered if some sort of feud had developed in my absence-or if the robin was just grouchy.
Brant and I got back around noon yesterday, from Elizabeth City. It had been a wonderful and very productive week. We managed to have a lot of fun, as well. I think, we all were sorry to see it end. So many projects had been completed. There were special meals. We watched a thunderstorm, one evening and ate ice cream at odd hours. Lyla said “I am glad we are all together.” I agreed whole heartedly, for there was some sort of beautiful and familiar feeling that was present, while we were all together.
On the way home, Brant noticed from some sticker, I never knew about, that I was long over due for an oil change and was adamant it should be done within the hour or else the car would likely fail me- and at any given moment. Out of fear, I relented and had it done before I got back to the rabbit patch. I am awful at such things and usually need conversations embellished with stern warnings to do any business of that sort.
The rabbit patch seemed more sprawling than ever, after being in the village by the laughing river, for a while. Of course the grass needed mowing, but otherwise, it was mostly tidy. My boxer, “Cash” ran several laps in unbridled joy at my return. My cat, “Christopher Robin” sauntered by, seeming only slightly interested in my return – but I heard him purring.
I had high hopes of mowing today after the early service. Within the first fifteen, minutes, the newly replaced bolt, that holds the deck up, broke. Not to be out done, I found some wire and rigged it successfully. It would not start back, so I played with the connections to the battery. The heat was about unbearable, but I was determined and eventually got it started. In the next fifteen minutes I hit a root, and bent the deck in so the blades could not turn. I tinkered with the thing, for most of the afternoon-and to no avail. I didn’t care one iota when it started raining. I was hot, filthy and had to battle “yellow flies” while lying in the dirt. I had not made a bit of progress. I was discouraged and cranky. In such circumstances, I call Mama and complain to my hearts’ content. Then, I collect myself and start putting things in perspective. So while it rained, I began to think of all the wonderful gifts in my life-my loved ones especially, and suddenly it seemed foolish to get so worked up over a lawn mower. I had laughed at the robin this morning for acting like he would surely starve just because the bunnies were kicking up a fuss . . .and now, I had followed suit and acted like I would surely perish, all because of a lawn mower.
The rain fell steadily and the sound of it had the same affect as listening to poetry. It did cool things off, thankfully, too. I am not fond of the souths’ hot, humid weather. . .nor the biting insects. But, summer does offer me sweet liberty and magnolia trees with their fragrant blooms. . .and there are nights with a million twinkling stars. There is the wild honeysuckle and Miss Claudias’ beloved peaches. . . . Summer, like every season, comes bearing gifts.
It rained all day long at the rabbit patch yesterday. The rain fell gently and steadily, like a long, sweet song. It has been a long time, since such a day has passed. There wasn’t a bit of harm in the soft, gray clouds. They were friendly and generous. A light, cooling breeze blew all day and didn’t even disturb the loose tin on the old barn.
I was busy all day, in spite of the rain. I painted four flowerpots and filled them with herbs. This seemed to quiet the complaining thyme. Next, I painted flowers on two buckets. If a bucket can be considered “cute”, mine is. I repaired the old drawer, and frankly surprised myself with that feat. I am awful with tools. of any sort. Of course, there was a supper to cook, as well. I decided to have an especially nice meal,as a rainy day, does afford the luxury of “light duty chores”.
How nice, that several of my favorite old movies were on, yesterday. I started with “Gaslight’, after that, “The Man Who Came to Dinner” and the grand finale, was “Arsenic and Old Lace”. I drifted in and out of the den, while they played. This bothered, me little, as I have seen them all a dozen times. I did some of the painting, in the den. What a wonderful morning, I thought.
Today, is the “official first day of summer” here. That rings true for me, as we had fresh squash, tomatoes and cucumber salad, for supper last night. Thankfully, Mama shared what she had, with us. Kyle was especially glad, it had rained, as he knows my habit of cooking, on such days. When the kitchen smells, like a garden-it is summer. There are other indications, as well. The stars have increased in number in the night sky- and wild honeysuckle vines cover old fences and act like garlands for the woodland trees. Honeysuckles have a pleasant smell, and most every southern child has drank nectar from their blossoms.
The “Farmers’ Almanac” has predicted a cooler season, than usual-and they are dependable forecasters. This does not hurt my feelings a bit. I have felt every bit as housebound in July, as I have in January. I do well, until it is 100 degrees and high humidity-in that case I wilt. A country woman rises early under such conditions. I was often in the garden by six am, and canning in the afternoon. I have also canned at midnight, so the house wouldn’t get so heated. Oddly, I may miss my summer schedule, this year-but I am gladly willing to try a normal life.
Every chance I get, I go out to see if the bees that have claimed the barn, are still angry-so far they are. It takes a fair amount of bravery to go in the barn these days. They sting through clothing and can sting multiple times. I almost swatted a butterfly, while under one attack. He flew by at precisely, the wrong time. I was so thankful to see him rise above the commotion unscathed. Kyle has mostly finished his work . All that is left for him, is putting in a few new boards. Of course there is also the job of removing the old wood . I will start on that tomorrow. I hope to paint the awning tomorrow, too. On Friday, I am leaving for Elizabeth City.
I love the careless days of summer. The sun is the only clock, at the rabbit patch, when it is summer. Work, rest and play get their proper turns and I can devote my attention, mostly where I please. Wealth is often measured in dollars, but for me, I think owning your life is a far superior alternative. I have always held that notion and preached it to my children. Of course, when the roof leaks and a barn commences to sag, money is necessary-and there is always the electricity bill. In some way, summer balances the accounts . . and at least in summer, I am very wealthy.
Dear Diary, It is summer and in summer, I am glad for the rambling honeysuckle. I am glad for the time when the sky fills up with stars. I am glad for tomatoes and porches with geraniums. When hours are counted by the way light falls and shade increases, then it is summer . . .and I am glad.