Thursday, April 24, 2014

rainy days

In the eyes of a chicken, you are an agent of change. For the worse (they know you can swoop them up and carry them of to some frightening place), for the better (you open their gate, you bring them food). Being chickens, they can't fully appreciate the range of your powers. They don't know that there are things that are out of your control.

So that when I got up ever so reluctantly on this cool and wet morning to open up their coop and pen, I took note that the chickens moved more slowly, hesitating, looking at me as if asking for an explanation as to why today just doesn't feel as wonderful as, say, yesterday.

I'm sure they feel it is my fault.

I agree with the chickens -- the weather today leaves much to be desired. Unlike them, I blame no one. It is April, there are wet and cool days in April. Not your fault or mine. Not the fault of gas emissions or the result of climate change. An act of nature, nothing more.

Still, I felt that the daffodils said it well with their drooping faces: this day is just not worthy of our bright countenance.


After breakfast (French toast for Ed -- to use up stale bread and fresh eggs)...


...I should have sat down to my indoor tasks, but I am carrying now an outdoor disposition and so it is hard to think in terms of a whole day in a sitting position. I keep getting up. To check on the chickens! -- I tell Ed, who then responds -- were you like this with your children too?


When there is a pause in the rain, I should use it to amble out and work on the new asparagus patch. (There is a dysfunctional old patch that is buried under weed and shade and, too, there is a wild one out in the prairie that occasionally throws single stalks of asparagus to random places. Like right next to a new apple tree. Weird, no?) But I didn't do that. If you don't get the motor into high gear early on in the day, it's nearly impossible to do so after noon. Or at least it is that way for me. The only compelling reason I had to go out was when the hawk came back and I felt a need to wave my arms at him so that he'd come back less often. The chickens, thanks to an Oreo alert, were hovering safely in the tiny space between the house and the air conditioning unit. But I waved my arms anyway. Another one of those motherly instincts.


Finally, finally, in the late afternoon, I agree to go with Ed on errands. To Farm and Fleet to buy a summer container (no electric hook up needed) for chicken water. And a belt for the broken Zero-turn. And a new hose distribution system. Yawn, right? Not for us. Farm and Fleet feels, these days, like the store that has everything you may need to get from one day to the next.

A recount of today would not be complete without mention of a milestone: last night, Ed's car of choice, a '93 Geo finally developed an issue that he is unwilling to fix. This is the same car that has more rust on it than it has car. It's one he has loved to keep going because it is small and insignificant. It is also the car in which he came to pick me up, back on October 20th of 2005 when we decided we were worth a shot to the other (on paper, remember, we had nothing in common).

I remember coming down from my apartment and seeing Ed, walking the railway tracks just to the back of the parking lot. Then I saw his car: red, rusted, with pink stripes running across the sides. It struck me that a guy who drove that car really knew how to sift out and ignore life's unimportant details.

Since then, I've disliked the Geo because it truly feels like it will fall apart from underneath as you're driving along a rural road or worse, on a highway. Held together by sheer Ed stubbornness. And still, I have now this reminder of time passing. Of nearly ten years with Ed and his inconsequential Geo. You wont mind if I post a most unattractive photo of this most unattractive car, right? Just so I can remember how irrelevant pink stripes and rust can be.


The car, selling at $200 on Craigslist, had a dozen inquiries within a couple of hours. That's two things that will remain forever a mystery to me: why old cars get people excited and why chickens aren't scared of Ed.


Supper? Gotta use up those free range eggs. With a plethora of beloved veggies.