My Life With Gracie…Saturday Surprises!

Here is something a little different for you, our readers, and “Saturday Surprises!” seems to be the most appropriate name for this type of post. This morning when I went out to welcome my chickens into their new day after the passing of Hurricane Dorian, I found some bright and cheerful morning glory blossoms had beat me to it.

These had been slowly growing up the chicken wire, and today they have decided they like this spot and it is time to bloom. They are one of the most beautiful shades of blue there is. I thought it interesting that this is practically the same blue that I used in parts of Monday’s illustration about the hurricane that was coming our way. Sometimes life has coincidences like this, I believe, to remind us that neither the bad times nor the good times remain forever.

Everything around us may change, but pure and simple beauty, such as the beauty of the color blue, will remain the same.

Yesterday afternoon, I was able to leave work early, and when I finally got home, my chickens were glad to see me. They had huddled together in a protected corner under their coop. I quickly changed into my “chicken clothes” and sat on the ground inside their run area with them.

They gathered around me, and Amelia tugged at my jeans. This means she needs to be picked up and hugged, and of course, that is exactly what I did. We all sat there together in our little huddle and watched the wind as it swayed the tree limbs. Only occasionally would it blow some rain in where we were. (Their garden home is very sheltered, and I add additional barriers during bad weather.)

Then Emily and Gracie decided it would be a good time to scratch around for something to eat. Amelia decided she had enough hugging and decided to join them. (After all hugging is for silly little baby chicks, isn’t it? Definitely not for big independent grown-up hens like Amelia!)

Life had returned to normal, even while the hurricane was as close to our home as it was going to get before heading out towards the Atlantic Ocean. I’m sure that there are several life lessons in all of this, and I may write about them another day. For now, I’m just grateful for this new and surprising day!

Each post shares a glimpse into my journey as a writer and illustrator. Every “Like,” “Follow,” and “Comment” is truly appreciated!

Family Photo Friday!

Family Photo Friday

Yes, there really is a chicken in today’s Family Photo! Can you spot her? (If it helps, this photo was taken with the camera pointing down towards the ground.) That’s Emily, or at least as much of Emily as will show up in a photograph taken early in the morning.

Emily is making her own assessment of the weather outside even though last night the birds in our neighborhood were giving their own predictions of what today would bring. (They really do listen to the bird calls around them, and last night there were bird calls which I have not heard in a long time and definitely not in the evening as the sun was setting.)

The other chickens are waiting on the roosting perch above and behind her. They won’t hop down until they know Emily is out of the way, and Emily won’t be out of the way until she takes those brave steps down the chicken ladder (in the lower right) to greet her new day.

Emily is almost always the first to venture out in the morning. She has learned that because she is the smallest, she has to get to the breakfast salad first to get her favorites before anyone else. She may also have figured out that on stormy days there is almost always something special for them like chopped okra with all of those seeds!

Hurricane Dorian was beginning to affect our area this morning, and all of my girls met their new day with cautious curiosity. It is one of the main ways they inspire me each day.

They always get up in the morning. (My record from the past is not so good! Now I have to get up because they always get up!) They always go down their coop’s chicken ladder every morning and look expectantly for something good. (Once again, my record from the past is not so good!)

They have a trust in each new day which I often lack, and so I am grateful for their morning reminders about how important it is to be brave even in life’s stormiest times. As I have said a time or two before, you can learn a lot from a chicken.

Best wishes to all of our friends and readers. Stay safe! Trust in the Goodness which brings you each new day!

Each post shares a glimpse into my journey as a writer and illustrator. Every “Like,” “Follow,” and “Comment” is truly appreciated!

My Life With Gracie…This New Day (Again)

This New Day (Again)

This is a redrawn illustration from a September post made last year about this time. Then it was Hurricane Florence. Now it is Hurricane Dorian. (My chickens and I live on the Atlantic Coastal area of Virginia. Even a nor’easter can be rough for us with high winds and flooding.)

A few things have changed over the last year. The style of drawing is slightly different to help with clearer printing. There is also one less chicken.

But we are still huddling together. Even though we are unable to stop the storm as it heads in our direction, we have each other. We are watching over each other, and we know Love is watching over all of us.

We are still thinking about our readers who have already felt the worst of the storm. We are still thinking about our readers who are bracing for a more direct impact yet to come from the storm.

We are still hoping our actions reflect our gratitude for the gift of this and every new day.

Our prayers are for the peace and safety of all our readers and those they love…two-legged, four-legged, furred, or feathered.

John, Gracie, Bessie, Pearl, Amelia, and Emily

My Life With Gracie let me know with certainty what it means to be brought in safety to this new day (again).

Each post shares a glimpse into my journey as a writer and illustrator. Every “Like,” “Follow,” and “Comment” is truly appreciated!