On a bowl to sea went wise men three

on a brilliant night of June.

They carried a net; and their hearts were set

on fishing up the moon. 


Thomas Love Peacock, English novelist/poet

Trumpet Vine

Friday, June 7, 2019

Quiet on Main Street

This is what some days look like when you live in a small town south of the Mason Dixon Line.  Life itself sits quietly, all in a row, you might say, waiting to see who will walk by next.  The picture you see here is of a small town north of here that we like to visit when we can, just to remember what stillness looks like.  

When we moved here 25 years ago, our own little burrough used to be mostly still and waiting, but that was before the outlet mall and the soccer field.  It's not that we're that close to either of them, but you know how agitation migrates. 

We live in a split personality kind of world, most of us--running in place as fast a we can, while at the same time, hanging up pictures of weathered barns and sleepy mountain streams on our walls.  Can't we bring them together somehow?  

I'm sorry to say it, but I'm beginning to have my doubts.  At one time I could keep the wolf at bay outside our door, but that's becoming more and more difficult to do.  Just this week they started putting in a road for another subdivision in our area, the seventh within a year.  Out goes the little two-clerk post office, in comes the fitness center and truck-loads of cable.  The wolf wants to come in and knock things around a little bit, and who am I to say no? 

Here's the irony, though. Several years ago we drove for miles into the country to see a home that was for sale.  Miles.....

The farther we drove, the more conscious I was of how far away we were from . . .  everything!  No cars, no homes, no people.  It was like falling down a hole that had no bottom and the top was too far behind us to see.  All we could do was keep going down, down, and farther away.  The isolation began to weigh heavy on me. 

We drove up at last into the driveway of the home we had come to see.  Neither of us moved--too lonesome to get out of the car. 

"Can we go back home?" I asked.  "Yes," my husband said.  

I was quiet all the way home--startled by how the whole experience had effected me.  I had always longed for "a place in the country."    

That was 20 years ago, and I still long for the simplicity of small town living, especially as construction continues around us.

I read this spring that another mega multi-use development is likely to be built several miles from us. When I read the article in our weekly newspaper, fretting crept in like a bad monkey . Then I remembered the trip down the long, lonesome hole.  My fretting didn't feel as urgent or as pushy as it once did.   

It has been said of Atlanta that its people don't know how to drive unless there are orange barrels on the road.  That's true, we don't, even up here well north of the city; it makes for a fast ride and fast people; but I do have a garden here at Rabbit Hill that may or may not give us tomatoes and herbs this year, and Tucker the Dog to jump like a horse over my white-wood fence to help me keep things in balance.  

And the woods.  Don't forget about the woods, or as The Boys call it, "The Deep Dark Woods." We'll keep everything balanced and up close, wolf or no wolf.  

Until next time,

The Head Rabbit

"keep the wolf at bay":  to stave off or delay disaster of some form.  Implies desparate circumstances.  

Online dictionary

Monday, June 10, 2019

Summer Setting

Just in case you've forgotten how cheerful June is, here's a picture of what it looks like, brought to you by none other than a beautiful place setting on which to enjoy the fresh taste of Something From the Garden.  If only I had such a thing.  

Remember when I planted cherry tomatoes in the early spring, two starter pots and two patches for seeds?  Alas and anon, they recently gave up the ghost, all but the orange variety, and I'm not sure about that one yet.  The Head Rabbit watches in disbelief while another garden year discretely slips into history. 

Not to worry, though.  Gardens are eternal, and what I do have in the meantime is plenty of blueberries--plump, frosted blueberries by the bucket-loads.  The Boys and I have been picking a small basket full each morning before the squirrels come for breakfast; and then yesterday the whole bush seemed to ripen all at once.

"I've never seen so many!" said one of The Boys.  He was right--the abundance was staggering, and our harvest was full.  We picked freely, swatting June bugs and talking about the cobblers to come.  

This proud eight-foot tall blueberry bush that gave us its soul has been around Rabbit Hill for about 20 years, ever since I bought it from a man selling plants in his small backyard greenhouse.  It's called a rabbit-eye variety because of the eye-like design on the bottom of each berry, and has become somewhat of an icon outside our backdoor because of its faithful harvests each summer.  Not that I've done anything myself to make that happen.  

Blueberry Harvest

The truth is I'm not as much of a garden expert as I'd like to think I am.  I did get a perfect set of five small pumpkins one year, which I lined up over and over again in various places around the fireplace.  Oh, and there was that small cantalope one year.  That was tasty.  But other than that, the pickings have been slim.  

By the afternoon, however, I wasn't thinking about whether my garden was successful or not, because our home smelled like berries and buttercrust, that unmistakable scent of "something in the oven."   While it was cooling on top of the stove, I took out a spoon and scooped up a bite of the warm cobbler.  In our family we call that "eating out of pie formation," and it's highly frowned upon.  But as the cook, I can do that.  It's called Head Rabbit Privilege, and is one of the most prized perks of the position.  

I have a water gun positioned outside the backdoor to scare away the squirrels who come in groups at the height of harvest time.  We will probably get two or three more small buckets of berries if I keep my eye on them. 

I would say they can have the tomatoes, but that might be a bad precedent.