Thursday, September 10, 2015


Many thanks for all your kind words! Perhaps most of all -- thank you for understanding that the loss of little hens can bring on such sadness. Attachment is a curious bedfellow: it grows out of steady contact. Out of sweet gestures and familiar sounds. Out of common routines and a sense of community. And I find out that yes, you can feel it toward two young hens.

Of course, you move on. A good night's sleep helps. Remembering about other members of your community helps as well. I understand that, as I tell Ed to go back to sleep and get up this morning to set the two big girls free. (And Scotch immediately follows me back to the farmhouse.)

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Being around a sympathetic soul is wonderful too.  Ed and I have breakfast, though not on the porch. Cool, wet and very early (Thursday is my earlier Snowdrop sitting day) -- there's something to be said for making it easy on yourself!

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I am at Snowdrop's home now and very happy to see her. Good morning, little girl!

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I bathe and feed her and when I reach for something for her to wear, my hand migrates to a t-shirt I had picked up in Edinburgh. I remember it well -- I thought it said "have a nice day" and I thought then that this would be a nice message for a baby to wear. It reminds you that niceness and joy are so deliberate and intentional. Only recently did I notice that it actually says "have a mice day" -- as a mouse is a frequent mascot of this particular British clothes line.

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We do have a very nice day! A sampling of our play:

Practicing standing, supported:

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And unsupported, though heaven help us if she decides to pull out all the books she is grasping now! Ah well, the carpet is soft and grandma is hovering.

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Here are the books that she does pull out (and I have to think it's for their smooth, thin line, rather than the content, though I do believe that this girl, with a scientifically inclined dad and a mechanically inclined grandpa Ed, will know about physics sooner than, say, I did).

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On a level closer to her age group, she still likes to practice kissy noises...

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And bang on the koala pillow as if it were a drum.

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And of course, she loves to jump! In her jumparoo...

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... and off her jumparoo.

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I should include an update on eating: notice the absence of the scrunched face, even as I'm pushing on her here blueberries, pears and purple carrots.

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And, too, we're in a new era of stroller walks. This one, around the small lake again, has her sitting up and paying attention to the world. Too, she checks on my whereabouts again and again...

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Probably the best part is when I sing and Snowdrop joins in. She doesn't articulate the words or notes perfectly yet, but it's all very joyous and between the two of us, very loud!

The clouds come and go, but we avoid any rains or stormy moments. I'd say we've navigated the day just fine!

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In the evening, I have my monthly dinner with my former law school group. None of them read Ocean and it strikes me how trivial a recount of an event such as a chicken catastrophe would be if you hadn't been aware of the role these girls played in our farmette week. It is at times like this that I recognize how important Ocean is to me, not only for the writing practice -- which has always been my excuse for blogging daily -- but because of its power to bring to the forefront the stuff that doesn't reach headline status.  Sharing (but not imposing -- you don't have to read this!) something as low key as the naming of the new chickens or Snowdrop's kissy noises is so gratifying and so difficult to accomplish in our fragmented communities where everyone lives too far away for daily story telling, of the trivial kind, even though it's this stuff that fills our waking minutes.

So I say nothing about chickens and instead I search for the big ticket items, which of course, is never very satisfying because on the retelling, banner items all seem rather bland and devoid of emotion, especially since currently, at this very minute, my world is still full of kissy noises and chicken drama.

I mention this because it is not the first time that I wish the storytellers among us (meaning those who enjoy the craft -- whether in the telling, commenting, or merely reading) had stayed with blogging rather than migrated to facebook (not that I don't recognize the importance of facebook) or worse -- twitter.

I return home just as dusk fades into night. Ed is working outside and I ask him about the big girls. He tells me he tried putting them in the coop, but it had been too early. You can't do it too early because they wont acquiesce. But you can't do it too late either.

We walk to the garage -- Butter is inside, hiding. She wont go near the coop in the evenings. I pick her up, gently -- she lets me -- and I tell her stupid things as I carry her to her safe spot in the little hut of good and terrible things. Scotch had gone in by herself just a few minutes earlier.  So they're getting there. We're all getting there.