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.
There is snow on the daffodils at the rabbitpatch! ... and on the forsythia ... and on the hyacinths and on the pale pink blossoms of the peach! We just started hearing about the chance of snow, a few days ago, unless you read the Farmers Almanac. The almanac knew all along. "Alexa" found out this morning!
School closed early yesterday and a few hour later, I was watching it snow. It has not snowed in two years, here and so this is a grand occasion for me, for snow is my favorite kind of weather. It snowed all night, tiny little fine snow, but southerners can not afford to be choosy. This morning we have about four inches and a landscape that is breathtaking. Woods and field alike, have been christened in wonder. Snow and woods are an enchanting duet. . .and a short lived affair in the south. In light of that, I am persuaded to abandon all to the affair of snow on trees.
Jenny called and said that Elizabeth City barely got a dusting of snow. This was odd, as they usually get snow more often than here and usually more of it! Lyla was heartbroken -and so was I. Lyla has been waiting for snow for a solid year, which to a child is "too long". I have seen her peering out the window, in the nursery, hoping for snow and I could not forget the look of hope on her face.
There was some good news. Brant, Sydney and Ryan had made it safely to New Orleans. Their flight was not even delayed. Being a mother, I had been in a state, since the thing had come about.
Other than snow gazing, I did cook. If there is any sort of "out of the ordinary" weather, I tend to cook "out of the ordinary" food at the rabbitpatch. No one ever complains about this habit. Kyle has been here a week now, and he was especially glad of it. I wondered what my friend Gayle, was cooking, for when she and I were neighbors, we both cooked and took to planning huge meals for our families to share at supper. We just never know what things will become some of our sweetest memories.
On Saturday, the sun cast apricot rays on the snow. How lovely it was. The whole territory sparkled in the morning shine. I have lived in the south, the better part of my life and the particular beauty of snow is like a rare pearl-and I do not take it lightly.
Snow also hushes. In a world when silence is a seldom occurrence, I am glad for that too.
I made a big breakfast as the snow was dripping from the roof and the old oaks. I had biscuits baking and potatoes sizzling for hash browns along side some turkey bacon, that I am trying to convince the boys to like. I thought the biscuits would make up for it. I did not scramble the eggs til the last minute.
Afterwards, I read, just as I did yesterday. I read a lot for I am not short on curiosity. The boxer dozes while I learn all sorts of information, I may or may not need -but I also, read scripture, verse and poetry , which I know sustain and restore. Unlike the snow, whose beauty is here today and gone tomorrow, their beauty remains. I have always believed that one way or another, what we see, what we hear becomes part of us. We do not always have the privilege of desirable circumstances, and so on account of that, I spend time gathering, all the goodness, I can, with the hope that when sorrow or ugly shows up, as it surely will . . . maybe there will be less room, in my heart, for it to claim.
It is not often, that I have the luxury of having time without obligations of some sort. There is always some task at hand-or some place to be. Now, I have done laundry and swept floors and cooked, the last few days, but I have greatly enjoyed doing what I want, when I please. I make it my business, to have at least a few moments like that, every day -all be it, they are brief moments- they provide a balance, that I need. Wealth means something different to different folks. To me, it means owning your time-which is your life, really. In that case ... I got rich off of snow! ... at least for a while.
Now, by Sunday morning, the remnants of the snowfall, laid in patches under the pines and along the picket fence. I have always heard that when snow lays around for three days, that more is coming. The Almanac does not confirm it, and I am not about to argue with the Almanac. I wish it were wrong, for Lylas' sake.
Now, Monday came along and that did change everything. On the drive to work, the snow looked like strands of old lace by the edge of the woods. I could not wait to hear the kindergarten class tell their stories about what they remember of their first snow.
I did not have to wait long and I was not disappointed, for the first story was told by a small boy. He and his dad (who is built like a line baker) were at the grocery, when the snow began. I asked what they did when they saw it . . . and he said they danced . . . right there in the parking lot!