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
On Friday, just after school, my friend Sara and I headed north to see our grandchildren. Sara and I have been friends about twenty years - and as it turns out, our grandchildren are but a few miles apart. Little Ryan lives in Wake Forest and Saras' grandchildren live in a community, just a few minutes away.
Sara knows the route well, for she has been driving it for over five years. Regular readers know, that I am quite a slow learner when it comes to driving anywhere unfamiliar. Besides that, I am just not cut out, to drive bumper to bumper at seventy miles per hour. I have lived in the country for most of life and for a while in a small town. Neither prepared me for the commotion of an interstate in a city, where everyone seems under the assumption, that they have at least nine lives.
One day, in a friendly conversation, Sara mentioned a bakery, she frequents when she visits her daughter. When I was in Wake Forest with Will and Jenny, and Tres, we drove right by a bakery with the name, Sara had called. It was right around the corner from Brant and Sydneys' and I decided it had to be a fluke, but as it turns out it was the bakery, that Sara had mentioned. . .Hence, we planned a visit. I was thrilled, for Sara agreed to drive, in a heart beat.
The hours flew by. We always share recipes, and talk about our children. Sara is building a tiny house in the mountains and we talked about the Charlotte Mason method of education . . and books. It was a lovely drive and we made good time. It is wonderful to have friends.
If you think, I brag about my grandchildren, you will know for sure now, that yes I do! Ryan is simply beautiful. He is a cheerful baby, too. He is two months old now, and coos like a little dove. He smiles and will laugh out loud, on occasion. I fell in love with him, all over again and could not stop gushing over his beautiful skin and perfect little mouth. I found myself staring at him and not a single thought would pop in my head, in those moments. I prayed over him and proclaimed my love for him over and over. I sang "Roses are red, my love. Violets are blue-Angels in Heaven, know I love you."
Then there was Sydney and Brant . . .they are surely the icing on the cake. Sydney is just so sensible, it astounds me! She is a young first time mother, yet she is confident and so very loving. I have yet to see her show any signs of frustration. If Ryan frets, she knows why. She fairly glows with contentment. Brant is hopelessly in love with his little son. I have never seen him happier - and that means everything to me. He changes diapers, gives baths and picks out Ryans' little clothes with great thought. Brant told me, that all the time he is working, he is thinking about coming home to Sydney and Ryan.
We cooked a lot for a "Sunday dinner" at Sydneys' grandparents. They live in a beautiful area of Chapel Hill. There are small rolling hills and pastures and woodlands behind them - and a stream. Brant and I rambled through the land, as we used to in his childhood. The weather was perfect and I declare the place was holy.
The dinner was nice. Sydneys' parents stopped in, on their way back from a trip to the mountains and so did Seth, Sydneys' younger and very well mannered brother. I felt right at home with all of them, as if we had known each other, always. Again, the gratitude just welled up inside of me like a fountain, thinking of all the love that Ryan was born into.
We drove back under a full moon, the color of butter. Sydney is used to the traffic and did not flinch as folks were weaving in and out of lanes- "The country comes to town" I thought. Brant and Ryan slept and I looked for every "lucky star" I could find.
Monday morning dawned cold and bright. Everyone had to work, except for Sydney and I. We drank coffee and ate left over cheese biscuits. I spent some time with Ryan and secretly vowed not to cry when I left. The holidays are just around the corner after all, and we have some wonderful gatherings planned.
Sara came just after noon. We were both full of stories of the holiday . . .and we told them all. We also stopped at the little bakery.
We drove back and admired the bright leaves that made the countryside all the merrier. Sara loved having company and I was glad to ride . . . so of course . . we will do this again.