Friday, February 10, 2012

The chickens are going to have to wait.

Imagine the kids’ surprise on Easter morning, when we open a seemingly routine express mail package and out pop – chicks!  Downy soft and ready to eat their first meal, the three day old chicks cuddle up in their warm hands and the girls’ eyes sparkle with delight as our new adventure in hobby farming begins.

We’ve had that image in our minds since we first put an offer on this place.  With great optimism, we imagined that we’d get settled in over winter break.  We’d be hosting sledding parties in January.  We saw ourselves, as March rolled around, rearing to get out there to plant a giant garden and build a chicken coup.

Reality is reining us in yet again.  With the mildness of winter this year, we spent winter break building a shed and cleaning the garage, instead of unpacking the basement.  Old Man Winter withheld sledding until just this past weekend, when we finally got a snowfall that could cover the grass on our hill.  As the dominoes are toppling, I see that our Easter fantasy is fading as fast as my laundry pile is growing.

I am in no way deterred from the vision of what this place is going to be for us, but I am having to rethink the timetable.  We chose a smaller house, and it takes a lot longer to get organized and settled in when you have half the cupboards, closets, and garage that you did before.  My spring chickens aren’t the only thing I have to let go of.  There’s also the extra set of dishes, the spare bed, the computer armoire, that stunning teal sectional…and many, many things that are still in boxes downstairs, yet to be identified for sale or donation.

Finally breaking in the sledding hill last weekend!
We took a lot on, pursuing this vision of self-sustenance and simplicity; it may take us quite a while to achieve even a basic start to all we hope for.  But it was a gratifying moment last week, when my oldest came in after school, dropped her bag and coat by the door, and sighed, “Ahhh…home sweet home.”  Yes, my dear girl, it really is.  And whenever we do get to it, farm fresh eggs and garden vegetables will only make it sweeter.

Hezekiah, I will tell you what's going to happen. This year you will eat crops that grow on their own, and the next year you will eat whatever springs up where those crops grew. But the third year you will plant grain and vineyards, and you will eat what you harvest. Those who survive in Judah will be like a vine that puts down deep roots and bears fruit. 2 Kings 19:29-30


  1. You can always get the chicks that people who thought they wanted to raise chickens got, by then, they will be closer to laying age anyway, Not as cute, but then, you will save alot on feed. It is great that you want to be ready before getting them. As soon as we moved to the country, people were trying to give us spare animals... Put the word out, when you are ready, they will come...(a. Mel)

  2. Very practical; we're really in it for the eggs anyway. No one's tried to unload any animals on us yet, but our time will come, I'm sure.

  3. They will remember this as a good place to grow up and one they want to come back to.
    You'll clean out the basement like you eat an elephant.(Erin)

  4. Don't I hope my grandkids can sled on this hill someday (and play with the baby chicks, too). Life has its own way of unfolding...