After years and years of us wanting chickens so that we could enjoy fresh eggs, we finally broke down and bought chicks. To be honest, the chicks entered our lives at a difficult time in our marriage...our daughters were now both adults and we were trying to find our way in the world as STILL young people with grown children. That's a weird freaky zone for those who are still raising their children. Once they graduate from high school and enter college, things change.
So, as simple as little chicks may seem, they have brought more meaning and more depth to my daily world.
There were people I loved who told me that chickens were horrible and that I'd be miserable with them. These people only had negative things to say about having chickens. But, I was not to be deterred. Oh, those chickens will be smelly and disgusting! But, I didn't listen.
Fortunately, Deputy Dave realized that it was time for us to buy some chicks, no matter where we lived, we didn't need to wait to move to our acreage, we wanted to do it NOW. So, we did.
We bought our chicks, raised them in our master bathroom until they were large enough to finish growing up while protected by the confines of the chicken tractor and chicken coop that Deputy Dave built. So, into the backyard they moved and there in the backyard they still happily live.
It's a decision I'll never regret.
Having chickens teaches you about the cycle of life, but in a different way. We have raised our two daughters, they are beautiful people, but being parents taught us how rough it can be when you are just trying to make it day by day. Having chickens is certainly not the same as having children, but I do feel as if my nurturing and care of these creatures is rewarding because I get to be entertained by chicken antics and the fresh eggs we constantly get to enjoy cannot be rivaled. It is worth every moment of hardship to raise chickens.
We've seen their intelligence at work; we've seen nature's innate workings in action; we've seen that we will have heartaches, joys, losses, fears and brave moments with our chickens and each day brings new lessons.
Above all, I'm slowly gaining a deeper understanding of the farmers from our past, the ones who didn't have pesticides at their disposal, the farmers who knew how to care for the land with what the earth had to offer. I feel a sense of gratitude and amazement each time I gather an egg from the coop, to imagine what it must've been like to be a farmer and to know that your eggs were a staple of your diet...so versatile and delicious with a slab of home-grown ham or a few strips of bacon. Each egg I hold in my hand is precious to me. I am thankful to my chickens for laying eggs and for helping to feed my family a very healthy food. It's a joy to know the direct source from which my eggs come and this makes the eggs all the more delectable and enjoyable.
|Heather playing in our backyard with Tux, her Australian Shepherd.|
Again, I am surrounded by naysayers, "Oh, you don't want to raise pigs, they are not worth it, they are a mess and destructive and a waste of your time." And I hear, "You will be surrounded by wild animals and that won't be fun."
Well, I've found that the naysayers are speaking for themselves. As for me and Deputy Dave, we seem to be built for the farming kind of life...the things that other people despise seem to be exactly the parts of life we enjoy most.
The problem we now confront is the issue of WHEN to put the house up for sale. WHEN do we make the big leap? WHEN?
We are so close to making the leap, but we don't want the timing to be off. We still have one daughter finishing her degree...she's close...she's a huge part of our life and we offer her our support by being here for her while she is focusing on her studies. Stefie is a great student, a beautiful person and lovely to be around. So, we're not in a rush to leave or to rush her out into the big world.
|Stefie in her senior year as an Officer on the dance team.|
|Here's another little one we'll be glad to support with love and guidance|
as she finds her way into the future.
Big talk doesn't last. Big actions do.
This is where parents can attempt to protect their children...parents differentiate between big talk and big action. And, as long as my youngest is still around, we are prepared to take big action, even if that means staying in this house in the city a bit longer so that she can finish her degree and be surrounded by those who love her and who want her to live a life of fulfilled dreams. For Stefie, that actually means finishing her degree, being able to work with children, and mostly, she dreams of being a mom. Stefie is a Texas gal, through and through. She loves Houston and will probably be a teacher one day. But, she dreams of being a mom, and I love this about her. I think that is the highest aspiration any woman can have...being a mom is the most important job I ever had.
|My girls are young ones here...having such fun!|
Give a little now, get a lot in return later. Farm Life Lessons seem to mirror this ideal, and it is great that our own path toward moving to our acreage is blooming and becoming brighter before our eyes as we get to savor the final countdown with our youngest daughter as she finishes her degree. Times are changing, our lives are evolving and I do think we will love raising farm animals more than most people in our lives can imagine. All their big talk and negativity won't slow us down, our big actions toward fulfilling our own mid-life dreams are already in motion and it is a wonderful time in our lives.
We welcome more big action and scary changes! Wahoo!