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  • Last modified 149 days ago (Feb. 22, 2018)

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Another Day in the Country

Eggs in my pocket

© Another Day in the Country

There’s nothing quite like starting a story with the punch line, “eggs in my pocket.” No opening statement. No build-up. Nothing left to your imagination except maybe the color of those eggs and why they were in my pocket.

Did they crack in this cold weather? Was there a huge mess because someone grabbed me in a bear hug? Big-time drama — excellent for a good story.

If you’ve read this column before, you know that I like chickens. They are interesting creatures, and I like them best when I can let them roam in my yard.

Unfortunately, my current batch of chickens are held captive — only out by accident and quickly shoed back inside their fence — because of folks who are irresponsible with their dogs. Chickens roaming the yard is out unless I stand guard with a gun, which makes it no fun at all!

Winter is what I don’t like about having chickens. A California climate is much preferable for enjoying your chickens — even with winter rains.

In Kansas we have cold, frigid, freezing weather. It’s not that the chickens can’t survive; it’s me wondering whether I’ll survive trying to keep them supplied with thawed water. And, yes, I do have a water heating unit.

So, why, you might ask, is it so difficult to keep thawed water in that chicken coop?

I think what happens is that they get restless, “being cooped up,” and for all I know somebody gets picked on, pecked on, whatever, and a scramble ensues in close quarters, and next thing you know somebody pulled the plug.

For whatever reason, mayhem occurs, and I come out to check, and the water is frozen. So I do a fresh-water bucket exchange, and it’s just flat out more work in cold weather.

The other thing that happens — especially in this very old and breezy chicken house — is that in weather like we’ve been having at night, the eggs will freeze if you don’t watch for them, which renders them cat food in our household.

With that setting of the scene for our story, you can imagine an old lady carefully making her way through ice and snow, wind and whatever, faithfully, out to the chicken house — like the proverbially famous mail carriers — to deliver sustenance to her beloved chickens.

Whenever she finds an egg or two — and there aren’t many this time of year — she puts them in her pocket for safe carriage back to the warmth and safety of home.

I must have got distracted with something — mailman at the door, phone ringing, noticing something that needed doing besides depositing those eggs where they belonged — in transparent egg cartons with a fancy chicken picture on top.

A lot of things happen in a 12- to 24-hour period — especially now that the Olympics are in full swing. And there’s supper to fix and clean up afterward. I’ve also been reading another book called “The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning,” by Margareta Magnusson. It sounds morbid, but it’s not! A friend of mine told me about the book when she announced one day, “I’ve been doing Swedish Death Cleaning and I started with my Christmas ornaments.”

“What the heck is that?” I asked.

I knew she had the flu, but this sounded serious. She laughed and informed me that this practice — like all the others that we read about and attempt to emulate — promises to free you from a lifetime of clutter.

And, let me give you a clue, artistic types like us, are very prone to clutter. We see possibility in most everything, so, when I saw the book at the library, I brought it home and started to read. And not just read — DO!

The book suggested that I start with a closet. Sounded like a safe enough idea because I’d already started with bookshelves and got nowhere and I knew that starting with my “art studio” was definitely graduate degree attainment.

Within an hour I had several bags to drop off at Goodwill on my way to exercise the next morning.

“Good job, Pat Wick,” I said to myself. “You can do this!”

The next day, on my way out the door, I grabbed my coat from where it had been thrown haphazardly on a chair, shrugged it on, felt something heavier on one side than the other.

What’s in this pocket? This was too heavy for lipstick, like I usually discover, or quarters.

I stuck my hand inside and put my fingers around two large, lovely eggs that I’d put there the day before.

How amazing! Unbroken! Unbelievable! What a lucky gal to find — not white, not brown, but two BLUE eggs in your pocket on another day in the country.

Last modified Feb. 22, 2018

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