It seems to be a trend, I’ve noticed, with people who buy a few acres in the country to raise a small flock of chickens, and then write a newspaper column, or a blog, or a book about the experience.
You too, Gentle Reader, could do this, if you determined to. Perhaps raising chickens is such a novel experience, in the everything-that-was-old-is-new-again genre, that folks who do it simply must write about the experience. Or, maybe people who write just like to keep chickens. There’s that. And some anecdotal evidence . . . I keep chickens and I like to write. That proves . . . absolutely nothing. (But it allowed me to use the word “anecdotal,” and that was fun.) Perhaps new chicken owners are driven to sit down and write, after struggling to understand one puzzling, entertaining, and maddening chicken experience after another.
I can tell you this . . . my Grandma Young, who was a dairy farmer’s wife and kept chickens for practical reasons only (so her family would always have something to eat right out in the back yard) probably wouldn’t have dreamed of sitting down to write about the experience. She was too busy catching, butchering, plucking, and frying chickens for lunch. Now that was tasty fried chicken, friends. And it was accompanied by coleslaw, warm sourdough bread with butter, green beans from her garden, and mashed potatoes with gravy. And pie for dessert. And all ready for an early lunch. My Grandma Young was amazing.
Anyway. As is my wont, I determined early on that if everybody else was writing articles and books and blogs and what-have-yous about chickens, then that was the one topic that I would avoid. I am not a middle-of-the-road, follow-the-latest-trend, kind of person, you see. I’m more of a take-the-road-less-traveled sort, ala Robert Frost.
Anyway, it isn’t difficult for me to think of things to write about anyway, goodness, no! My life is, oh, way too rich and varied and well, sometimes, even, so fascinating to be limited to writing about only one thing, especially if that one thing has a brain smaller than a shooter marble. Delights and life lessons are found everywhere, don’t you agree, not just in the middle of a flock of chickens!?
This was my thought. Yet . . . here I am, launching a blog with “chicken” in the title, and actually sharing stories with chickens as the main players. Pardon me as I sigh wistfully. Perhaps my life is a tired cliche. But (like Popeye) I am what I am, folks. I have discovered that if you keep chickens, you will have chicken stories to tell, and boy, do I have them.
But that’s not the only reason I’m starting this blog. Here are a few more. (You’ll know them by the bold type. See, isn’t this fun?)
It’s pretty simple. I just love to write. I’ve always loved to write. Give me an empty notebook and a nice sharp pencil and a quiet hour or two and I’m a happy girl. Ever since Mrs. McClure, our next-door neighbor in Nelson, read one of my stories (I remember it clearly: it was about a little girl about my age who lived in bliss, in absolutely perfect circumstances, that is, she had a swimming pool in her backyard) and said “Never stop writing stories, Amy.”
Well, I never have. There are lots of reasons why. I mean, even more than the first one, which is that Mrs. McClure said not to stop.
One: A lot of funny things happen out here. A lot of funny things happened to me growing up with my big, creative, nutty family in Nelson, Nebraska, too. I’ve always liked to write all these things down, so that–for better or for worse–they will not be forgotten. I keep a journal and sketchbook for the same reason. And I keep two cameras pretty close at hand, too.
Also: I am blessed. “From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another.” (John 1:16) I think it’s amazing that I can share my life and my stories with people all over the world just by typing them into this antiquated computer in our cluttered library in our drafty house on our windswept acres in the middle of nowhere. I hope and pray that I can entertain, encourage, instruct, and/or uplift anybody who takes the time to visit with me here.
Well, you’re probably wondering “So–why ‘vomiting chicken’?” What’s that all about? Well, my friends, that’s a story for another day.
Hang with me for a bit. I’ll get to it before too long. But for now, I’ve got to go make granola.
- My garden in September
- So you wanna be happy?