Since my little people are with their father for the bulk of summer, I wrote a letter to keep them informed as to the ongoings of our neighborhood.
My Lovely Children,
I certainly miss you. The most delightful things have been happening since your departure and I thought you should know. Just yesterday, I saw a rabbit as I tidied the side yard. He had hidden so well at first that I was startled when he sprang out, tap danced a bit, and then bound away. I later heard from one of the associate rabbits of the Malvern Rabbit Association that much dancing has been taking place. Apparently, your own pet rabbit has been giving soft-shoe lessons. There seem to be preparations for some kind of party at the end of summer. Perhaps, we may be invited. I will let you know. What does one wear to a rabbit festival?
The bees have been active as well. This week, your step-sister and I visited the produce stand out in the country. Really, the site of overflowing baskets of zinnias and delphinium had stopped us. I pulled over into the lot to admire them and found that the bees had beaten us to the spot! They were plundering the blossoms for pollen and nectar. Some of the larger bees instantly recognized me as your mother and sent greetings, but they were too busy to stop for a long chat, so we moved into the shade to admire the fruits and vegetables.
I should tell you what we purchased there—glistening berries, plump tomatoes, Amish butter, and eggplant as rich and purple as exotic jewels. The air hung heavy with the perfume of turned earth and ripe produce. We would have stayed all day if it weren’t for the dog, who had taken a ride with us and was howling in the truck. So, we collected our things and returned home for a country lunch made in our light-filled kitchen. We had fried green tomatoes, thick slices of French bread, and North Carolina livermush. While we ate, we talked about the pie we would make later.
And we did make that pie—with blackberries and apples! I threw out the scraps of leftover apple peelings and cores for the critters in the backyard. That night, I saw the most amazing thing. Several chipmunks had gathered and were fighting over the peels. As they pointed, exclaimed, and poked one another in the eye, a devious squirrel slipped surreptitiously over the fence, gathered all sweet and delectable fruit remains, and then absconded without notice. When the chipmunks finally had called a truce and sorted matters amongst themselves, they turned to find their stash completely vanished. They were speechless. Your rabbit could not stop laughing. You know, he is so naughty that I think he might have arranged the whole thing.
Anyway, little people, Mommy loves you and is thrilled that you are having such a good time. My true hope is that this summer leaves you rich in good memories that you will carry always. See you at the end of the month, and of course, I will not forget the stuffed llama (he does not talk much, but he is an excellent singer) and we will have an early celebration for Tiny Man’s birthday.