Past Love | 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 was raining before the day arrived. The dawn came gradually without any fanfare. The mockingbird did not proclaim the morning, either. For me, however the day arrives, it is a sacred time.

    Mama and Daddy are not coming to Sunday dinner, so now I am having Sunday supper instead. I still intend to make the bread pudding with a generous amount of apples. Rain gives me an excuse to spend as much time as I want in the kitchen-and especially since I worked in the yard yesterday.

    Sunday Afternoon

    By mid afternoon, I had been to the grocery and had a pot of soup simmering. I try to keep some sort of soup on hand, in winter. Kyle relies on this ritual heavily for his lunch box, during the week. I decided on "Jo Dees' barbecued chicken" for supper, as it takes such a long while to cook, and therefore, not likely to happen on weekdays.

    The sunlight was so delicate, that lamps burned like cheerful beacons in windows, all day. A steady rain was falling-without any malice. When rain falls straight down, it usually stays a while, and today was proof of that. I love rain, and so does my friend, Rae, so I always think of her on such days.

    The rain did not hinder my housework-in fact it may have helped, as I did not feel the least bit inclined to go out. I decided conditions were quite favorable for a thorough cleaning. While cleaning the shelf that held the cookbooks, I found a hand written recipe from my aunt Carolyn. She ended the instructions with "Try this, it is good." My eyes stung and burned, reading the faded paper written by the hand of a loved one, passed. When I moved to the den, there were several "treasure boxes" in a cabinet. They are pretty boxes in floral patterns. Their contents are mostly photographs and cards from years gone by. The smallest box held the only possession I have from my maternal grandmother-her gold watch. Grandmama died when I was ten years old. It was the first heartbreak I had ever known. She loved me enough in those ten years to last a lifetime. Later, as I was going through the hateful box of bills, I realised it was the 28th-Today was my aunt Josies' birthday. Aunt Josie passed the year I moved to the rabbit patch.

    It felt like they were each saying "I love you", as I found each souvenir. Love is a mighty force . It is almost startling to comprehend the endurance of love. Oddly, I did not succumb to a sense of melancholy. Though my heart felt a pang each time I discovered a relic, my gladness for having had each of them in my life, far out weighed the sorrow, I felt. Their contribution to my life, is still evident today. Surely, I was born with a "silver spoon", I thought later, as I was peeling apples.

    When Kyle came in, supper was about ready . I never have to call Kyle twice for supper. He loves home cooked food and neither he nor Christian never fail to thank me.

    Night arrived early. Tomorrow is Monday, and that changes everything. I did not turn in early, but when I finally did-it was still raining.
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