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.
I am at the rabbitpatch this weekend. It has been a long time since I have said that. The boxer is happy about it ... the spiders are not. The cold winter air has passed and today does not warrant a jacket. Southerners, for the most part are not fans of frost and only the children wish for snow. I, on the other hand, love frost, and dark evenings and hope against all odds for snow. I love winter when trees tell their truth and the fields are resting.
The kitchen is a lovely place in the winter. Meals are hearty and cast rich aromas, that call out better than a dinner bell, that supper is ready. Most often there are golden biscuits and creamy sauces, unlike the dainty foods of warmer seasons. In the winter, a cook is likely to spend a good deal of time in the kitchen, for soups and chowders are not made quickly, nor are dried beans, which are a staple, at the rabbit patch.
Daddy just can not eat, as he once did, and so I have been making all sorts of soups lately. Last week, I made a pureed broccoli and potato soup, and he had that for a supper, so today I will try more soups with a little more confidence and hope for the best. One variety, is a tomato soup, with pureed carrots, for I am good at sneaking all sorts of healthy things in foods. Besides, Daddy would not eat a carrot, otherwise.
Will and Jenny, Lyla and Brynn had to attend a wedding, this weekend. It was not far from Brant and Sydneys' home, so it was a visit with little Ryan too. Since they had to come through the little town, where I live, we met for lunch. I do not know the last time I went out for lunch. I carry my lunch to school, and if I am home on a weekend, I am doing neglected chores. What a nice change for me on this Saturday! Lyla told me to eat slow, so we could visit longer.
I came home, and made the soup, while clothes were drying on the line. Tres installed a dryer, while he was here, but it seemed a shame not to take advantage of the mild day with a shining sun. Besides, I remain committed to line drying every time I can.
Sunday dawned bright and with a chill. I went out and knew by noon, the day would be as mild as yesterday. I washed the dog blankets and they were on the line shortly after. Next, I started on a yellow squash soup. If such things are the bulk of daddys' diet, then he will need variety. He would be glad to know that I used the last of the carrots, yesterday.
I have noticed the refrigerator needs cleaning-and several of my cleaning solutions, must be concocted. Three floors need scrubbing too. If I dare to look hard enough, there is bound to be something else.
Many of you remember, that I always embark on different studies in the winter. Last year, I studied horses, which was a delightful subject. i can tell you almost every detail about Secretariat to this day. I also studied politics, which I have done my best to stay unfamiliar with for most of my life. It was an enlightening and disheartening subject . . . and just about the time, I was thoroughly exhausted of it . . . the daffodils bloomed, thankfully.
This year, I am studying nutrition, which is more complex than you think, for there is enough science to it, to satisfy Tres. Now, I have studied nutrition for decades. It all began when my children were little, but this time around, I am focusing on the changed environment which grows our foods, the awful processing factor and the beautiful simplicity of a well balanced diet. Of course, the study includes essential oils. If you saw "my medicine cabinet" and my "cleaning closet". you would know that I am a serious student. I am not declaring the discovery of miracles, but I will say that if we believe fruits and vegetables are good for us, then we have to say that essential oils are really in the same sort of conversation. Besides, when you think about it, those before us relied on medicines derived from plants.
I was also studying war-mainly the history of the world wars-and Vietnam. It is a bleak subject, I am really focused on how they all started, in the first place. I am happy to say that after months of research, I know all I want to. It has been a grim and terrifying study and I am determined to study a happy subject next.
By the time, light was fading, I was cooking supper. All that remained were those three dirty floors. Jenny called. She was "safe and sound", and back at home. She told me sweet stories about the visit. I love being a grandmother.
When we are growing up and full of dreams, no child ever says "I want to be a grandmother." Instead, we are focused on careers . . . and houses . . . and cars we will drive. Then, we grow up and those same hopes evolve and become a "bigger house, more money and now, some clout" . Well, "when I was a child, I spoke as a child",
too. I have reached the age, to realise how shallow, mankind dreams. What we really want is love . . enough to last our life time.
Now, hopefully, we will make valuable contributions to society . . .and keep that electric bill paid, in the meanwhile, but "to love and be loved"
really is a lasting happiness, and everything else just pales in comparison. I love being a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a cousin, a friend ... and I love being a grandmother. Truthfully, there is so much more to life than we could have ever dreamed.
I did get those floors scrubbed, though at one time, I had about lost my gumption. I went out afterwards and stood under stars the size of silver dollars. I am not sure why, but I felt so valuable to be privy to such a spectacle. It was as if, the stars were shining, for me. I could smell the pines in the crisp air, and so I breathed deeply to savor that fragrance. That is the way a pine loves, I thought . The world was hushed and without a bit of hurry. What a quiet place the world becomes - at night . . . in winter. I knew I was being loved . . . and I loved, right back.