When the Mimosa Blooms | Beaufort County Now | The mimosa blooms today as it did, years ago, when I was just twenty two years old. I remember sitting under a mimosa, the day before Brant was born. | Rabbit Patch, mimosa

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

When the Mimosa Blooms

    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.

    Dear "rabbitpatch diary", Today is not just any other day. . . it is Brants' birthday . Brant is my first born, the child that made me a mother.

    The mimosa blooms today as it did, years ago, when I was just twenty two years old. I remember sitting under a mimosa, the day before Brant was born. The feathery blossoms have the sweetest scent and I was so content, sitting there. Brant was born on a fair, Sunday afternoon. . . .and that day, a part of me was born too. It was as if I had "awaken". I had an understanding-and all of a sudden, it seemed. One of my first thoughts, was to show him the dear mimosa- and I did, before I stepped foot in the house, upon bringing him home. My grandmother loved the mimosas and so does Jenny. Lyla napped under a mimosa, as an infant on more than one occasion.

    Oh what sweet days are those of young motherhood. Of course, I knew right off that I had the most beautiful baby in the world. He was a "divine gift " and nothing less. I am as sure of this now, as I was then. As a child, I noticed that he had an uncanny knack with animals from wild birds to dogs. He still does. He also has a tremendous sense of compassion. He buys shoes from a company that sends a pair to Africa, when he purchases. His generous heart is always showing up.

    Once, not too long ago, we were all at the beach. Brant had brought a football to toss with his brothers. Three little boys watched and so Brant invited them to join in. The little ones were so happy to be included. We left hours later . . without the football. Brant had given it to the children.

    No matter where Brant lives, the senior citizens seem to know. It is not at all unlikely for one of them to knock on his door. He carries their groceries in and moves potted plants, on a regular basis.

    Such things do wonders for a mothers' heart. . . Happy Birthday, Brant.

    Brant came early enough for a hearty breakfast. He lives much closer to the rabbit patch now and that is delightful, for me. (We set another place at the table now, as often as we can.) His very significant "Sydney" was with him. Sydney had her own birthday recently and so we celebrated the both of their birthdays. After breakfast, Brant gave Sydney a tour of the rabbit patch. Sydney had gotten a modern version of the Polaroid camera and so we had great fun with that.

    I had returned from Elizabeth City, the evening before. It had rained most every day that I was there and so Lyla and I did not sit on our rock, even once. Jenny and I got two closets cleaned out , while Lyla played "dress up". She was especially good at being "Queen Lyla" and we had to curtsy multiple times , because of that . It mattered little to Lyla, that we carried heavy bundles, at times and were likely to topple over. When the chores were done, Jenny and I had gathered quite a collection to donate and also had an assortment of items for the grand event in early September, when the second baby is expected. The entire nursery was put in order as well. Circumstances were now favorable for baking. Lyla and I made a lemon dump cake. I do not think, I have ever made a dump cake before, but Jenny had been wanting some type of lemon dessert . . .and so "Queen Lyla" gave up her throne to cook. Lyla is becoming quite a little baker, and says things like "let it rest three minutes, Honeybee." in between steps. We have made a fair share of cakes and cookies . Lyla was thrilled that she could do so much of the recipe on her own. When we put it in the oven, I told Lyla, she would soon learn to cook potatoes . . .to which Lyla said, "no thanks!" and skipped merrily back to the orderly nursery.

    I started mowing today, when Brant left for his next celebration. I got tangled up in a grapevine, ran out of gas and managed to lose an important bolt on the deck, of the mower. That missing bolt stopped any possibility of further progress. A least most of the territory got mowed. . .and at least, it is summer break when schedules are not so rigid.

    I came in the back door of the farmhouse, with moments to spare, that I had not planned on. Brant had been reading one of the diaries, I had kept while he was growing up, during his visit. He had intended to carry it with him today, but there it sat on a table in the den. I started reading it, but became so sentimental, I had to stop.


    For the first time, in a long while, I was late for the early service. The clouds were so thick, that it was almost a secret, that the sun was up. Time seems very still without the sunshine. I am quite good at telling time by the sun, but on cloudy days, it can be any time all day long.

    Now, today is not like any other day, either-for today, is my cousin, Faiths' birthday. Faith was born when the mimosa blooms, too. Faith and I spent our childhoods together. We got in all sorts of mischief. (anything was likely to happen when Faith was around.) Faith got bit by a snake, hit by a car and sassed adults on occasion . . and still lived to grow up. She never passed up an opportunity to fight, even with boys. Not even a catholic school could tame Faith. Faith got "C s " on her report cards and was as happy as a lark about it. . .but she played the piano beautifully, as her mother, my great aunt Agnes did and I figured that "covered a multitude of sins". . .I sure hoped so. In church, when a young and very menacing boy, was being "baptized by water"- Faith yelled out "Drown him!" at that holy moment. I sure was glad she could play the piano, on that Sunday.

    It is good to report that Faith is alive and well, by some miracle. She is a loving grandmother now and remains my dear friend as well as a special cousin.

    Happy Birthday, Faith.


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