My Life With Gracie…Perhaps The Perfect Gift

Perhaps The Perfect Gift

This illustration is based on a previous “My Life With Gracie” drawing which has a blank neutral background. Each gives a different perspective.

Thanksgiving Day makes it official each year. The holiday season has begun. For most people it is time to share a meal together with friends and family. It often also means sharing gift lists or at least gift hints for whichever wintertime holiday is next to be celebrated.

Some people, I believe, just seem to have a talent for always giving “the perfect gift.” For me, it is an elusive skill. Gifts never seem to work out as wonderfully as I imagine they will.

Yet this weekend, my chickens and I gave each other the perfect gift. We just sat with each other and enjoyed a pleasantly sunny Sunday afternoon.

With the changing time and fewer sunlight hours, there is little light when I leave for work and even less when I get home. There are no long pleasant summer evenings or shorter brisk fall evenings to sit and discuss what is on our minds or share what is in our hearts.

So Sunday afternoon was a wonderful and most perfect gift. It was our time to be, simply be, together.

It was exactly what all of us needed, and particularly Amelia who waited until the others had gone to take dust baths to have a private conversation alone with me.

For a moment and perhaps longer, I thought of how quickly time was passing. Her time and my time will one day end.

Perhaps chickens know this from the beginning, but it takes people longer to realize.

Even as little chicks, they had their special best friends with whom to perch on their favorite brick. Everything is right with the world when they are perched way up high on a brick with their best buddies! They value each moment together.

When Amelia and Emily came to live with me, all they brought with them was each other. That was all they had, and it was enough. How different the world of people would be if we never cared about taking things with us, and only cared about taking people we love with us.

Amelia and Emily will always spend time perching together, like Blanche and Pearl, like Gracie and Bessie. Mostly they just sit and share the experience of enjoying the world around them. Like old friends, though not really very old at all, they give each other comfort, warmth, and time together.

Perhaps the greatest gift we could ever give or receive is simply time together as friends.

What a terrible heartbreak it would be if we were to hear as someone’s last private words to us, “Couldn’t you spend just one hour with me?”

My Life With Gracie made me wonder if an invitation to perch might be a perfect gift.

I will do my best to post each Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Every “Like,” “Follow,” and “Comment” is truly appreciated!

Perhaps The Perfect Gift

Family Photo Friday!

Family Photo Friday

Here is a photo of Blanche and Pearl on a backyard outing when they were about three weeks old, maybe a little older. They were still spending most of their time in the brooder, not quite ready to join the others permanently outdoors.

Blanche is the larger chick in the lower right looking for something to eat. Pearl is the smaller chick in the upper left hoping to have a good profile for her photo.

Pearl was always the more rambunctious of the two. She was hardly ever still and hardly ever quiet. Blanche has been a model of patience for chickens and people everywhere. She would always put up with Pearl’s silliness and just kept eating.

And Blanche did eat. A lot. And Blanche still eats. A lot more.  Blanche turned out to be the largest of all my chickens. She is much bigger than Pearl now by comparison, and her comb and wattles are easily twice as large.

From the very beginning, I believe that Pearl had a plan. She was going to be quiet. She was going to mind her own business. She was going to keep her head down. And she was going to eat everything in sight and become the largest chicken anyone in the world (or at least in our neighborhood) has ever seen.

Then she could keep her head up high. Then she could have her choice of the best sunny spots and the best dustbath spots. Then she would not have to worry about any of the other chickens pecking her. Then Pearl wouldn’t be climbing all over her and annoying her.

Blanche’s plan was successful except for the last part. Pearl still crawls all over her and all under her and does everything she can think of to get Blanche’s attention. But they are inseparable, and I’m unsure what Blanche would do if anything ever happened to her best friend Pearl.

You can read more about all of my chickens on this page.

I will do my best to post each Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Every “Like,” “Follow,” and “Comment” is truly appreciated!

My Life With Gracie…Your Real Friends

What's On The Inside

This week’s three posts feature marshmallow candy chicks called “Peeps”. They were one of the items I once stocked at a nearby Navy Commissary with a real friend of mine, Dennis.

Friendship is a curious thing. It’s not always easy to figure out. What makes a friendship happen? What keeps some of the oddest friendships together for life? What makes a friendship end?

With friendship for baby chicks, at first they are just a mass of peeping fluff and excitement with all of them all over the place all of the time! Eventually patterns form and connections happen.

One of the most curious things I’ve found is that if you have only two of the same kind of chicks being raised in a variety of chicks, those two will eventually find each other and become friends. That is a mystery to me.

There just seems to be something on the inside helping little chicks to find others of their own kind who are compatible with them. But it’s not with how they look on the outside.

How do they know what kind of chick they are? It’s not like they can look at themselves in a mirror! They can’t really see their own feathers yet. They can’t look down and see that they are a ball of white or black or yellow feathers and then find their matching chick. Somehow they just know.

My own theory is it has something to do with the sounds they make. Maybe it’s a specific pattern of peeping. Maybe it’s a specific sound pitch. No matter how it happens, they are able to identify others as “friends like me” even with all of the noise they are all making.

People are a lot like that too. Only its not about sound patterns and pitches. With people, it’s more about the content of what is said. Kind hearts on the inside send kind words to the outside.

My Life With Gracie reminded me just because someone looks like a friend on the outside, you won’t know for sure until you listen to what’s on the inside.

I will do my best to post each Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Every “Like,” “Follow,” and “Comment” is truly appreciated!

What'S On The Inside