• Last modified 519 days ago (April 15, 2020)


Another Day in the Country

Helga at the vet

© Another Day in the Country

Where I grew up right here in Kansas, if a chicken got sick or even slowed down, you didn’t take it to the vet! Most likely it got eaten by somebody or something. But that’s not how things are in California where my daughter and her family live.

Dagfinnr, my almost teenage grandson, called the other evening and said, “Baba! Mom had to take Helga to the vet.”

“What?” I said.

“You know I asked you about her — she was droopy-acting and then one foot stopped working, so Mom took her to the doctor and now we are giving her Vitamin B shots and anti-inflammatory stuff by mouth.”

I could imagine that was quite a trick getting Helga, the most obstinate hen of the whole flock, to swallow medication.

“I have to hold her upside down,” Dagfinnr laughed.

Of course, I was skeptical. Most animals in my care rarely go to the vet. I’m their doctor. I’d quite frankly be embarrassed to show up at Doc Novak’s with a chicken; but then probably some people do.

I’m glad to report that the medicine worked. I thought that hen was ‘done for’ and around me, she would have been; but in sunny California, she went to the doctor and now she is walking around bossing the rest of the hens as usual.

Helga was the hen that we traded our farmer friend for a pesky couple of roosters. We probably got the best end of that deal, unless you are really an admirer of beautiful roosters.

We named the hen after a character on an old British television show called “Aloh, Aloh,” about French folk in a little village invaded by some semi-benevolent Nazis during World War II. It’s a great little comedy with wonderful characters and a zillion seasons — just the kind of series ideal for stay-at-home-season.

While I’m talking about “your listening pleasure” I’ve got to mention another favorite: “Kim’s Convenience Store.” Maybe I enjoy this show so much because my son-in-law is Korean; but it’s a sweet, funny, pretty authentic show that’s entertaining and delightful!

Back to real life.

“How are you doing?”

Next question, “What have you learned?”

I wish I could bend my ear a little closer and hear what you have to say. Most of the people I know are actually rather enjoying this down time, once they actually stopped.

I call California and my daughter is actually home. Remember the time when somebody was in the house most of the time and we had telephones for communicating that were actually attached to the wall?

We’ve actually “gotten together” on FaceTime to play our favorite game, Jokers and Pegs. We each set up our game board and followed each other’s plays. Worked slick.

A trip to the grocery store is a really exciting adventure these days, reminding me of how I felt when I was about 10.

“Whew, an outing!”

It is extremely strange to see empty shelves. At my store, they are pulling things forward on the shelf so there’s something there! Unusual brands suddenly appear that in all the profusion of choices you’d never pay any attention to, unless you were looking for it.

Of course, there was no toilet paper. At my friend’s store they were opening multi-roll packages and separating them by each.

One roll at a time available! After our foray with face masks in place, we got in the car and Jess said, “Did you see Bob’s Butt Wipes?”

I hadn’t even turned down the toilet paper aisle.

“It was a funny display. Very clever,” she said.

We were headed home, as she told me about this camo-colored container containing wipes, she said, “I’m in charge of keeping courage alive in the office. I’ve half a notion to go buy one of those wipes for our Emergency Guy.”

No sooner said than done. She turned the car around and we headed back to town.

What fun to be able to surprise a fellow worker, a friend, or a neighbor, with some little treat — be it daffodils blooming, a dozen eggs, or emergency wipes.

It’s just the best way to spend another day in the country.

Last modified April 15, 2020