"Don't Throw the Baby Out With the Bath Water!" | Beaufort County Now

It finally rained -and that changed everything. After weeks of blistering heat that wilted flowers and spirits, a cool wind blew and then the rain fell. Rabbit Patch
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"Don't Throw the Baby Out With the Bath Water!"

    Publisher's note: Please join me in welcoming Author Michele Rhem, who presents us with her poignant memoirs of the Rabbit Patch, where her diaries weave tales of a simpler, expressive life lost to many, but gathered together in her most familiar environs - the Rabbit Patch.

    It finally rained -and that changed everything. After weeks of blistering heat that wilted flowers and spirits, a cool wind blew and then the rain fell. That was on Tuesday . . . now almost a week ago.

    On Wednesday, the realtor came. I will tell you that every room fairly sparkled and not a single cobweb was in sight. Even the dogs were bathed! The meeting was all business and I could tell, the realtor was thinking hard about how I should proceed. The big question is , should I spend money on the house and hope to get it back? or should I sell as it is, and hope I sell it soon. The realtor left , wanting to consider the facts. Apparently clean dogs, do not make a difference at all.

    In a few hours, I was on that very familiar stretch of highway, to Elizabeth City.

    Since my arrival, there has been a whirlwind of an agenda. I declare I am at the "house that never sleeps". One day, we cooked a supper for Wills' Uncle Larry and his aunt Mary Ruth. Of course, we also cooked for ourselves and Miss Thelma. Uncle Larry has a huge farm, and I must say, that when we went to deliver the food, I felt right at home. In the yard were apple trees and grapevines, There was a pasture of cows, with two grandsons, there working. There was a litter of very young kittens in the yard. . . and there was a tremendous sky overhead. I understand this kind of beautiful. I surveyed the landscape and all sorts of memories flooded in. I half expected "Pop" to appear from around one of the barns.

    We had a nice visit. Jenny and I listened to the story of how they met, and how they were not allowed to date for a while. When at last that ban was lifted, they were married within about six months . That happened fifty years ago and so they do live "Happily, ever after"

    With the weather, remaining pleasant, I took the girls on a stroll one day. Jenny has a double stroller, so both girls ride. The day we went out, I had high expectations, to walk the whole course along the river. It was a lovely day, after all and besides I had done so countless times, with Lyla. We stopped to watch some porpoises in the laughing river. That was a sweet surprise. We stopped under a pine and smelled "Christmas" and later, we watched about a half dozen turtles sunning on an old log, by the little bridge. We had traipsed all the way to the furthest edge of the village, which had seemed manageable, but the thought of walking all the way back . . .well, that seemed daunting. A double stroller, is not for the faint of heart. Still, we struck off in high spirits. Lyla identified pine trees all along the way. Brynn watched some friendly squirrels and the river rolled by, all the while, like a lullaby sung with a hushed voice. Before I knew it, we were approaching the shady lane, where the lilies grow, that runs along the side of Jennys' house.

    On Saturday, we went to the "Farmers' Market". I went straight away to the lady that makes soaps. This is where I bought the "dish washing" bar soap. I continue to promote this, as the soap has pleased me in every way - and I am far from a light weight in the kitchen. Whether I have fried pork chops, made a pan of biscuits or a pitcher of peach tea . . .the soap works. I was pleased, my new friend had shampoo bars , too. I have been using shampoo bars for a year, and so I decided to try hers'. It is a pleasure to find, that this bar is my favorite. . . and once again, it doesn't come in plastic. I know, such things are but a minute dent in the enormous problem of plastic, in this world, but it is what I can do - and that comforts me.

    One day, we had an almost fancy luncheon. Aunt J and two of her best friends came. It was a lovely affair altogether . The table was set with Miss Claudias' beloved dishes, which touched Aunt J. Lyla played her violin and recited poetry, she minded her manners, but said she was "too young, to eat such food". We had a wonderful visit and it did me good to see Aunt J smiling with her best friends. She was "in good company" - and it made a difference.

    Modern living does afford so many conveniences. Just in my lifetime, few things remain as they were. Technology changed life and continues to do so. Many things are better, many things are easier, yet there are some remnants of the yester years untouched and unrivaled by modern progress. My elders used to say "Don't throw the baby out with the bath water". I don't suppose many folks say that anymore-or can make "heads nor tails" of its' meaning, for we do not even bathe our babies as they did, with a large washtub in the kitchen sink. After the bath, the tub was emptied out of the back door, hence the saying. We ought to take great care , not to lose the most precious things in our haste.

    Now let me admit, that I have little hurry in me. I never have. I did not grow up in a mad rush, for I played well past the age children do now. My parents did not push adult issues on any of us - and I remain grateful for that, now decades later.

    I thought of this when I listened to the love story of Aunt Mary Ruth and Uncle Larry -and again when I saw the "ties that bind" with Aunt J and her friends. . . and as I rocked Brynn to sleep and felt her against me . . . when I watch Lyla dancing around the willow . . .and when I peel apples. Some joy remains -ageless - and is not improved upon.

&nbs;   P.S. Here is the link to the lady that makes lovely soaps - and does not use plastic! "loveandlightning.patternbyetsy.com


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