My Life With Gracie…Remembering Blanche

There is never an easy way to write about death. I had shared earlier this year how Blanch’s health was not good. Since then she has had her ups and downs.

Warm days were the best for her. She would sit in the sun and would feel better. Lately though, that didn’t seem to help as much. She spent more and more of her time to herself and sleeping.

She stayed up in the coop Easter Sunday morning and didn’t come down for breakfast. She just slept, breathing slowly.

When I returned home from Easter worship service, I found she had passed away in her sleep. I had felt it’s what would happen while I was away, when it was just Blanche and Pearl together.

When I picked her up, I found she had lost even more weight these last few days, but her feathers were still pure white, just as white as the Easter lilies had been in church, maybe just a bit more in the afternoon sunlight.

I wrapped her in a piece of cotton quilt batting. It was soft and protective. There really was no reason to hurry. We all took our time saying our “good-byes” to Blanche.

She is buried next to the spot where I like to sit with my chickens in the evening, under the camellias next to the coop where we sit and enjoy each other’s company.

When it is time, we will plant white Easter lilies beside her in the garden next to the lunaria (also called honesty) growing there now. The lilies just seem right for her, though I can’t imagine them being as white and as pure as her feathers were when she would stretch them out in the sun.

Blanche was a good friend. She was so patient and kind towards Pearl, no matter how annoying she got. And she did get annoying! On Blanche’s not-so-good days, Pearl would tell her, “Get up! Get up! It’s time to play!” Blanche would always do her best.

From the time she hatched, Pearl had adored Blanche and was almost always at her side as a sister and a friend.

Out of the kindness in her heart, Blanche struggled to stay with us for as long as she could. She did that for Pearl’s benefit. She knew how lost Pearl would be without her.

We will always remember and love Blanche. She taught us so much.

My Life With Blanche showed me every day the meaning of “love is patient and kind.”

My Life With Gracie…Thank You, Readers!


Thank You

You are one of the one hundred and seventy-eight best reasons for posting through WordPress. Although there are other platforms, the people who use WordPress are simply the best!

Without you, our readers, I am not so sure how “My Life With Gracie” would have developed. You give encouragement and help me to know what works and what doesn’t work.

As I was putting together this first book, I realized I would have never even thought of doing this if one of you hadn’t written, “I wish I had a friend like Gracie.” That made me think maybe there are others outside of the WordPress environment who might have their days brightened by Gracie, Bessie, Blanche, Pearl, Amelia, and Emily. So our first book is about that…friendship.

To show my gratitude, I’m making our first book available to our regular readers as a free ePub download for the next week until April 24th. If you don’t have a way to download and read an ePub document (or if I’ve really goofed up my link below), don’t worry, it is also available so you can read directly online.

All of this leads up to April 25th which is our big Hatchday celebration for Gracie and Bessie when they will be two years old!

“Seasons Of Friendship” will be officially available for sale as an eBook through Barnes and Noble beginning April 25th, but it is yours free to read and enjoy now! (We have plans to turn any royalties from sales into another gift as well, but that is for another post to explain!)

Here is a link that should let you download from Dropbox even if you don’t have a Dropbox account.

https://bit.ly/FreeDropboxCopySeasonsOfFriendship

(Sorry! This free download was only offered for a limited time to regular readers as a “Thank You” gift..)

I have tested this and it worked smoothly for me as a direct download to both the Nook app and iBooks. (Since systems vary, I’m unable to guarantee 100% success for you.) The file will probably be too big to preview so just use the direct download option from the menu.

Here is a link that should let you read online. Just select the “Read Book” button once you’re there. After that, navigation is on the red bar at the bottom.

https://bit.ly/FreeOnlineReadingSeasonsOfFriendship

(This link will now take you to a preview only. Full view was only offered for a limited time to regular readers as a “Thank You” gift.)

 

By the way, you will noticed I simplified the cover. Although Gracie and the other girls would have liked there to be little flowers all over the front cover, I prefer this one. The brownish eggshell background and the small little baby chick just seem to work well visually and also with the overall message and tone of the book. My irrefutable logic was, “How can we have a book about chickens and not put a chicken on the cover?” (At least it was irrefutable when I was discussing it with my chickens!)

I truly hope you enjoy this book! It should be a different reading experience. Even though much of the content is pulled from these posts, in book form you can become more immersed in the lives of these amazing chickens. Hopefully you will feel like you are right there with them, sitting under the camellias and enjoying their company. Hopefully you will feel they are your chickens and your friends too.

Thank you again for reading, liking, commenting, and being our friends!

John

My Life With Gracie…Seasons Of Friendship

“What are you doing?” asked Gracie.

“I’m making some pencil sketches of you and the others.”

“Why would you do that?”

“So I won’t forget any of you.”

“You aren’t forgetful. You always remember to feed us.”

“Well, sometimes people forget even though they don’t want to forget especially when they get old. So I want some words and some pictures to help me remember just in case that ever happens to me.”

“What will you do with all these words and pictures?”

“I will put them in a book and maybe share the book with other people.”

Gracie thought this over carefully. “Do they need to remember us too?”

“No. They just need to know how special you are and how much wisdom you have.”

“I don’t know if I have any wisdom.”

“Well, you do. You have taught me more about life than I can ever write or draw.”

“Are you sure? You’re so much bigger than me. You’ve got to know a lot more than me.”

“There are a lot of big people who need your kind of wisdom. You know heart things, Gracie. That’s what really matters.”

“Are you going to tell about Bessie and how she likes to cook?”

“Maybe in another book.”

“Are you going to tell about Pearl and how she puts on comedy shows for all of us in the backyard?”

“Maybe in another book.”

“Are you going to tell about Amelia and how she wants to be the first chicken to fly to the moon and back?”

“Maybe in another book.”

I could guess what her next question was going to be because she was too hesitant to ask it.

“And as much as I want to tell about how you dance ballet, I will do that in another book too. I want that to be the most special book of all.”

“But you promise you will?”

“I promise, and we can work on it together.”

I could tell there was still something troubling her. “What else do you want to know, Gracie?”

“In the ballet book, can you draw a picture of me dancing with you in the streets of Paris? I don’t think we will ever really get to dance there together.”

“Of course, Gracie. Drawing lets you do things you would never be able to do any other way.”

“So what will this book be about?”

“It will be about how our little family came to be. It will also be about the most important and wisest things you taught me about friendship.”

“I like that,” she said approvingly.

“I thought you would.”

Today’s post is the Introduction to a book I’ve been working on titled “Seasons Of Friendship.” There are still some final tasks to complete before it is finished. Hopefully within the next week, all will be ready so I can share it with you, our readers and friends.

Our plan is to make it available as a free ebook download during the week leading up to April 25th. Why April 25th? That is the “Hatchday” celebration for Bessie and Gracie! It is also a way of saying “Thank You” for reading and liking and commenting.

You are a seriously huge part of helping to make “My Life With Gracie” what it is. In fact, even the title “Seasons Of Friendship” is based on a comment made by a regular reader who wrote, “I wish I had a friend like Gracie.”

My Life With Gracie taught me a writer without readers has no idea what he’s pecking at or scratching for!