This Old House and Every Other One, Too | Eastern North Carolina Now

    Publisher's note: Please join me in welcoming Author Michele Rhem, who presents us with her poignant mémoires 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 just love old houses - this one, and every other one too. This one needed a roof when I bought it. There was a busted pipe under the house and the water heater did not work. either. There was very old wall paper and old carpet too. I needed a big stove and by today's standards, a small refrigerator. Of course, it was love at first sight, for me.

    As I write this, my son Tres is replacing the bathroom floor down to whatever a "floor joist" is. He started on Friday and should finish tomorrow. Kyle and Christian have helped him along, as well. We have had water at times-and at other times, not. There is a ceiling and another floor , to do next. I have been mowing all afternoon. We had "store-bought"chicken for Sunday dinner. This is why not to buy an old house, if you are a single woman and no "spring chicken", as well. One of Christians' friends recently said "you need a crew, to live here." He is about right.

    Finally, after making several "big productions"-my kids have inspired me to find a smaller and more practical rabbit patch. The problem is, every one I find goes with another old house-smaller, but old. I started out looking at big houses again, convinced It would come in handy on Christmas Eve -and Thanksgiving , too. Finally, I stopped that notion. I do not want my children to worry about me as they are busy building their lives. I have convinced myself to be sensible and downsize- when the repairs are done.

    I do not understand my love affair with old houses. Often, they are abandoned, neglected and dirty-but they have window seats and built in china cabinets too! The door ways may be arched and heirloom roses may grow by the windows. If, there are old trees, I fall head over heels with no recollection of busted pipes or windows that won't open. I know where the Christmas tree will go and where Christopher Robin will nap. By the time I leave, the walls are painted and curtains are hung.

    Heaven help me-and I know It will, find a little cottage on a rabbit patch, that doesn't need a roof.
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