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.
Most of my regular readers know that I almost sold the rabbitpatch, not once, but twice in the last two years. It is a grand place, in many ways and awful in other ways. The farmhouse is a big one and mighty old. The rooms are all a nice size and for an old house, there is nice lay out. I loved it, the minute I saw it ... love at first sight ... but it is old.
The territory around it has bragging rights. There are peach, apple, pear, pecan and cherry . .. and fig trees. There is an old grape vine too. All of them are so very generous, too. Old oak trees surround the house like warriors, ready to defend its' honor - and a grove of pine trees whisper , in the slightest breeze. There are friendly neighbors on either side and across the road and a huge plot of fields behind it. The sky is so big at the rabbitpatch ... and full of birds. There is also a patch of young woods -and everywhere you look, there is a barn or shed of some sort.
This is the story of how I "landed on the rabbitpatch"
. . . It happened like this.
In the spring of 2005, I was looking for a house. I found a small, quaint house in the oldest town in North Carolina, Bath-just twenty minutes from the school, where I still work. The lot was nice and of course, the little house was old. I knew the lady, that owned the house. She had inherited it and said she didn't need it. In that case we made a deal and so I began cleaning it up, which was no small task, as it had been empty, for two years. Every weekend, the boys and I worked, til at last, lights were on and the kitchen was stock piled. A few days, before the weekend we would move the owner called and said casually, "I just sold the house."
I was speechless. She went on and said, "Now, don't worry-something better will come along."
, as if we were talking about a rained out picnic. I was so hurt, that I couldn't feel angry, but my Mama sure could! I was too shocked and dreaded telling the children.
Weeks passed, and the disappointment faded. I am not sure why, but I never did get angry, instead I was sullen. I no longer, had the same regard for the lady, but it wasn't because of my righteousness . . . I was weary and also, I had been praying a long time about things, so if I had an argument, it was with God, after all.
One rainy day, Mama and I went house hunting. This time, in the neighboring county of the one my parents, still live in. We met with an agent, at another old house. He was a friendly man and since, I wasn't interested in the deal on the house we were looking at, he suggested another house, near by.
This time, I felt a spark, but I also felt cautious. I did not want to go through another broken heart, anytime soon, but the place was lovely. The old trees were like the icing on my cake for I care more for the land, than most folks. The house was open, and so I went in. Mama was sure that we were breaking the law and just glanced nervously around.
We saw someone next door working in flowers and decided to ask her about the property. As it turned out, she was the owner. She did not want to sell, but instead wanted to rent it. I wanted to buy and so we exchnged phone numbers as she had another house for sale, and I knew of someone who might be interested.
Several weeks passed, and then I got a call from the owner, "Miss J"
. She asked me had I considered renting anymore, but I assured her that I wanted to own my next home. She made me an offer, but it was much more than I could afford. The next day she called again and told me to make an offer and so I did and she accepted! Well, we will see, I thought. I was not about to jump on another "high horse". . .but I remembered the wild irises, fondly.