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.
After the glory of last weekend, this week passed like a slow moving train, carrying me further and further away from one of the happiest times of my life. I truly did my best to make an effort to notice the beautiful details of early autumn. The cool breeze that made the oaks sing and the bright blue flowers of the hydrangea that have appeared like an encore performance , the stars that are like dazzling silver dollars in the velvet black sky- and how I love the cheerful chrysanthemums that are now outside at the grocery stores. . .still, I confess, I felt pangs of melancholy, that I could not entirely shake.
It was to be expected, for how can anyone have such a holiday, celebrating the birth of a grandchild, with all the beloved grandchildren and children, gathered at once and just leave it without a degree of forlorn! I kept feeling like I was missing something so important, throughout the week.
Oh, how spoiled I was as a child myself, when I took for granted that family lived next door or just across a field. I knew when Aunt Josie called my cousins in for supper . .. and when Aunt Agnes turned the lights on. Now, I recognize the absurdity of my expectations. I know full well, that times have changed. I have friends that must catch a plane, to see their loved ones and they do not whine as I do. To their credit, they do not chide me for "the tempest, I am determined to brew . . . in my tea pot".
On a brighter note, my back has improved steadily, till at last, I can return the cane to its' rightful owner. I still move carefully and wear sensible shoes . . .but I am thankful for the progress. I have grown so accustomed to the half done ceilings, that I am no longer even bothered by them. . . likewise, the piles of branches in the yard. With the mosquitoes at full hilt, I am even less inclined to tackle that job. The mosquitoes have also put quite a damper, on the "early service" and my evening prayer, under the stars.
With Will and Jenny, at Wills' familys' reunion and Brant and Sydney introducing Ryan to his great grandparents, this weekend, I do intend to do some tidying up and cooking, at the rabbitpatch.
On Saturday morning, I woke up very thankful for the "drying room" I had made recently, for it looked and smelled like rain, outside. The "drying room, came about because the dryer quit working. There is a big laundry room in the farmhouse. There is a sink and cabinets in it and a large closet, too. I had used the closet as a place to store cleaning products, mostly-and the mop and broom. Just before, my back went out, I got the bright idea to hang clothes in there, that needed to dry. There is a window in the closet, which made it a good place for such a thing. I cleared the place out, and one thing led to another, til I was painting the walls and the old wood floor got white washed. I put an old box fan in the window and added a clothes rack, made from some bulky wooden curtain rods, I had saved for some odd reason. There were already hooks there and I made a small makeshift clothes line for socks that ran under the shelves. I used ribbon til I could do better. It has been three weeks, and I have not "done better" - but I declare it works. Since it turned out so cute, I removed the door, which also made a difference when it came to carrying laundry in.
Now, sheets and towels must be hung outside, but the drying room is perfect for clothes and how handy it is! . . .all because, "one thing led to another" I have a functioning room that is also adorable. That is how it usually seems to go for me. I am convinced that I have had very few ideas that really panned out as I had expected. Just about every project at this house could be a testimony, for the theory. The fire pit came about because we spent a day collecting pavers scattered about the territory - and the "Quiet Garden", was created in an odd place that was not suitable for anything but mowing . . .even in the kitchen, for many times a cup of left over peas or a few small potatoes, have led to a huge pot of soup, that I never "saw coming"!
One day, the dryer will be fixed, but I like the drying room. The earth deserves all the kindness, I can show it, after all - and besides the practice saves money. I suspect it is much easier on clothes, too.
I had clothes washing and a pot on the stove by seven. If I am home on the weekend, I spend Friday night, concocting plans for Saturday. Saturday would be spent cooking. I had chili for Daddy, spaghetti for Mama, Soup and navy beans for all of us, which still includes Kyle. I wanted a cake and so I would share that too. ( I always want a cake.)
The early morning shower passed and the sun came out, brightly and soon it was hot. I decided to wash linens and the dog beds, which required the line. I washed floors while the stove earned its' keep. I kept a steady pace and little by little and inch by inch, some of this too big farmhouse, was looking like it ought to. I did call Brant and Sydney, to hear the latest updates on Ryan. He will be two weeks old tomorrow and I do not know how we ever got a long without him.
I am not sure when the gumption left me. I do know it was before I made the cake. I talked to Jenny. Tres was with her as the reunion, that she and Will were attending, was just south of Wilmington. Tres met them at the hotel with ice cream, which pleased Lyla and Brynn.
I did get a slight second wind and was at least able to get the kitchen cleaned and put all the laundry away. . . and I did concoct another plan. I plan on making that cake tomorrow.