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.
Friday was the last day of school and so I am now officially at liberty to "do mostly, as I please" for a good while. I was in Elizabeth City within a few hours of dismissal.
The last weeks have been full of all sorts of business. There was the end of the year dance performance, graduation and closing ceremonies. . .besides the regular routine . . . and the tremendous spring cleaning of the rabbit patch territory. There was "Mothers' Day" and "Memorial Day". . . and Tres had a birthday, too. The last fortnight slipped by me like a falling star . . .beautiful and quick.
Jennys' husband, Will had a birthday , the same day I arrived. I call Will, my "son-in-heart". I always say, I could not have hand picked a better husband for my only daughter. Will is as kind to me as I could have ever hoped for. He also offers assistance readily for whatever pops up. He is a good father to Lyla and I love his family, which feels like mine, now. It doesn't hurt a bit that Will is "tall, dark and handsome", either.
The season is not only busy for people, for young rabbits abound. Nests are full of hungry hatchlings. Most birds are frantic in general just now, trying to keep their families satisfied. Squirrels are in the same state of mind. The trees shake with all of the scurrying. Blooms are found in well manicured yards and fragrant vines cascade from the edge of the woodlands. Even the roadside ditches are thick with the common day lilies and Queen Annes' Lace. They are a cheerful sight and a handsome pair, too. The last days of spring are upon us and everything tells us so.
Folks always ask, what I am doing this summer. Many people have exciting plans to visit some island . Resorts are popular too. . .as are cruises and theme parks. I, on the other hand declare myself a home body and do not entertain such notions. I am perfectly content to have picnics with my dear friends, in the shade of an old tree. I love strolling by the laughing river with Lyla and sitting on the rock, by the little bridge, which always makes us drowsy. I hope to have some "Sunday Dinners" on days like Tuesday, with Mama and Daddy. I want to visit with my son Tres, and listen to his dreams without a sense of hurry -and cook his supper. These are the things that matter to me.
I will spend a fair amount of time daydreaming, which many frown upon. If I so much as glanced out of the window in elementary school, my name was yelled out, snatching me back to the confines of the classroom with the "Modern Math" books in the corner. Really, daydreaming is "wondering". It didn't seem sinful to me then, . . and it doesn't now, either. With all the calculations a brain must work daily, it seems sensible, that we ought to allow some unhindered "play time" for the mind, as well.
I always choose a few subjects to study in summer and I hope to write more. I plan to read the "Ladies of Convington" and "Gift From the Sea" again. Besides that I will tend the "rabbit patch" and do battle with the hateful vines. I will watch the stars shine over the laughing river and fireflies twinkle in the young woods. The apples and peaches will swell on the faithful trees and the mimosa trees will sweeten the air . . . .all because it is summer.