There Are Always Rabbits | Eastern North Carolina Now

    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.

    It is the last day of the wonderful spring break. A cold wind blew last night and rain fell. The laughing river churned and spilled out at the little bridge where the ducks live. Today we will have Sunday Dinner in Elizabeth City with Will, Jenny and Lyla. Mama and Daddy couldn't come and that is the only disappointment so far, this week.

    After some chores that Will needed help with, Kyle and Christian joined Lyla and I for a stroll through the Riverside" village. We walked a long while in the breezy and overcast day. It seemed like the dogs and cats were acting sensibly, and were inside safe and dry. We did see some rabbits-there are always rabbits, but the birds and squirrels were scarce. Since we weren't distracted by the animal kingdom, we took note of the trees .

    The area is full of old trees . There are several ancient magnolias. Magnolias give the coolest shade on the balmy days of summer . Their massive blossoms are highly prized for their fragrance. It wasn't so awful long ago, that magnolia blossoms were used at every bridal and baby shower-and were a "given" at summer weddings. I remember gathering them in a blinding rain, for a wedding the next day. The public library, in the small town I grew up in, had several large magnolias. When I was young, my mom would drop my sister and I off, at the library, while she ran errands . We would wait for her, under the magnolias, reading our books, til she got back. It is a favorite childhood memory of mine. Everybody ought to have a chance, to read a book under a magnolia, I think.

    The largest crepe myrtle, that I have ever seen, is in Elizabeth City. It grows by a picket fence and shades an adorable cottage. Crepe myrtles are slow growers, so I know this is a very old tree. These trees bear flowers all summer and I intend to find out the color of its' blooms in July.

    An old oak, gave us a mystery, to think about. A section of the large trunk was missing near the base. It was large enough to provide shelter for someone, if need be. . .however the cavity had been stuffed with a large stone in the exact shape needed. So-we thought about that a while and never did come to a conclusion .

    We walked so long, that Lyla took a nap. She did wake up in time to smell the mock orange on the way back. Jenny had supper about completed when we walked in the back door. We came in especially hungry as with all of our meandering, we had forgotten to eat lunch. We had a lovely evening meal under the glass chandelier that I find so pretty. Gathering around the table, was a sweet conclusion to a lot of lovely moments.

    Dear Rabbit Patch Diary, I am glad for family and magnolias. I am glad for the chance to smell the mock orange and to share Sunday Dinner . . . and I am glad there are always rabbits, too.
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