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.
While November, has a fair share of "silver days", there are golden ones too. Yesterday,as I was driving to work, the sun came up and turned the territory to gold. Barren fields were the color of honey, in the first hours and the woodlands, gilded in gold, were nothing short of spectacular. Now today, I see the rabbit patch, through the window by the "morning table", lit up with light the color of marigolds, and I declare it a picture-and name it "Morning Glory".
The sycamore and oak leaves have carpeted the yard , without mercy. I must tend to this today. Thankfully, I can mulch the leaves with the mower, but it is slow tedious work. Kyle started yesterday, but he can not bear riding along in the low gear, the task requires.
I am especially looking forward to another task today. Tonight, Will, Jenny and Lyla are going to have supper with us, at my parents house. Mama is cooking string beans and we will fry chicken. There is also turnips and potatoes to be creamed and macaroni & cheese to be made. At some point Mama and I have to make the decision about whether to have biscuits or cornbread. Mama can bake cornbread, crispy and thin. I must learn how to perform the same miracle with the simple cornmeal.
Circumstances have prevented me from seeing Lyla, for several weeks. I have missed her "like rain". So much happens in a matter of weeks, when children are so young. Just this week, she used the word "impossible". Jenny had walked in the nursery and found it littered with blocks and books. She told Lyla, that it had to be cleaned. Lyla surveyed the chaos, and said "it was impossible" ! Mind you Lyla is just two . She ordered "broccoli please" at a restaurant, this week-and Lyla does not like broccoli, but apparently was not going to pass up a moment to use her new skill. Jenny said when they left, Lyla said "bye people!" oh, what will she tell me tonight!
I decided to make a dish with grapes as I had so many-and Lyla loves them. Some people call it "grape salad", but that sounds awful to me. It really is just a concoction of grapes in a light, creamy sauce made with cream, brown sugar and cream cheese and it is just sweet enough to be considered a light dessert. I looked out the kitchen window, as I cut the grapes. I felt so content to be in the kitchen preparing food for a family gathering . I watched leaves fly by the window in the steady breeze, like autumn confetti.
I dreaded the mowing and put it off until I couldn't, in good conscience, find another excuse. It was quite mild outside after all. I began mulching the leaves and as I did, I saw tender, green grass beneath the leaves, that reminded me of April. Later on, I came across some wild hyacinths, with maple leaves scattered around them.
I mowed a good while, but didn't finish. I came in as there was a lot of chicken to fry. I got to Mama and Daddys' right on time. Mama had her string beans cooking and was making the cornbread. I paid special attention to that. I was almost finished frying the chicken, when Will, Jenny and Lyla, drove up. Lyla and I hugged for a long while.
Mama gave Lyla a fancy little lantern, and since it was so warm out, Lyla and I took a walk around the yard. We both enjoyed that. In the absence of stars and moon, the countryside was dark and quiet. . .but Lyla "let her little light shine". What a difference just that bit of light made. I thought to teach her the song, over the holidays.
When we came in, Will and Daddy were in the den , watching the "news" and Mama and Jenny were in the living room, talking about Christmas. I couldn't think of a single thing I wanted, (other than a small cottage ) for it seems I am totally satisfied with things like, cooking for family gatherings, taking evening walks and watching Mama make cornbread.
Dear Diary, I am glad for the glory of bright mornings and the darkness of autumn evenings. I am glad for having a loving family to gather round a table. I am glad for Lyla. . . my own child's daughter, that reminded me how beautiful it is to "shine your light".