Morning Assurances

Morning Assurances

Would you let me know how this reads? I’ve been working my way through the books at the library about writing, and particularly about writing a novel. I’m feeling I may need to switch from first person narrative to third person narrative as it will allow me to give greater depth to the characters. Does the use of third person narrative still connect with you? Less? More? About the same?

The sun was beginning to come up, at least there was a faint blue glow in the sky. The old man took out the large bamboo salad bowl. It could hold enough for a large family or his own small flock of chickens.

He began making their breakfast salad the same way he did every morning. First he chopped some leafy greens. Usually it would be kale, but sometimes collards or even Swiss chard, but mostly kale.

When there was none in the garden, he would buy it in bunches or by the pound. It all depended on which gave him the most for his money. Kale had almost doubled in price since he got his chickens. They loved kale. Even the stems were chopped up into bite sized pieces.

“You need your calciums,” he would always tell them. They didn’t know what “calciums” were, but they trusted him. The kale tasted good.

Then there was usually something different, a special treat for the day. It might be from the garden like peas in the springtime, but that day because it was fall, he gave them eggplant. They lasted well past the end of summer. He peeled and then chopped the eggplant and added it to the bowl. The peel would go into the compost pile to feed the worms and the worms would feed the chickens.

Next he grated carrots. How long had he been using that grater? The bamboo handle had come off years ago, or so it seemed. Then again, it might have been just last week. The metal underneath was still good for holding. About a half carrot for each chicken was enough. The tops which didn’t work well on the grater would be added to the compost pile.

Then he would dice an apple. Today it was a red delicious, much better than the one yesterday which seemed a little mealy and had a brownish spot he hadn’t seen until he cut into it. Their favorites were Fuji and Pink Lady. They were always the right firmness and juicy. This one cut nicely and juice oozed out as he chopped up the slices. It was going to be a good day.

There was half a banana from last night. He sliced and then chopped it too, including the peel. It still surprised him how his chickens would eat that part. Banana was the one thing Gracie had a difficult time sharing, so in the evening, he always tried to give them extra. What was in their big breakfast salad was for whoever could find it first.

Finally he sliced some lettuce into long shredded pieces. It topped off their salad nicely.

The old man took a can of beans from the cupboard and placed it on the kitchen counter. There was probably some leftover rice in the refrigerator, if he remembered right. There was still part of a fresh sweet pepper left from the garden. They were always a late summer and early fall treat. It would be nice to add to his beans and rice.

He chopped it up into small pieces to make it go further and put it in the chicken’s breakfast salad. They would enjoy it much more than he would anyway.

Maybe the half onion wrapped up in the refrigerator was still good. He would add it to his beans and rice instead. He never gave his chickens any onions because it would make their eggs taste strange, or so he had read in a book once.

The can of beans on the counter gave him an odd assurance throughout the day. He knew his dinner would be waiting for him ready to be prepared. It was a kind of prayer to help him arrive home safely. No one died away from home when there was dinner sitting out ready to be prepared at the end of the day. Did they?

He needed some type of certainty he would make it back home safely. Otherwise who would secure the chickens for the night? Who would watch over them? They could make their way back up into their coop for the night. That wasn’t a problem. But when they came down the next morning and found he hadn’t come home, found he would never come home, what then?

Enough for now. It was time for him to welcome his chickens into their new day.

I have used a vertically formatted illustration for a different tone and to fit on a printed page. This may not be an illustration style I will use, but it does help to point out this is written differently. 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, love never gives up, just as Emily demonstrated so well throughout her Summer Drawing Camp experiences.

Part 1 through Part 3 showed her progression towards gaining self-confidence. Part 2 was perhaps my favorite as it opened up some interesting storyline possibilities. Part 4 was especially fun to write as it showed her newly found ability to take on anything and to challenge others (like me) to do the same.

Some of you caught the “and Emily” in the side copyright and signature in Part 4’s illustration. Did you also notice the feathers added to the red knitted flag? They were something not written about, just shown in the illustration.

I wonder if Emily may try to do some knitting herself with feathers instead of knitting needles…hmmm. They do have a similarity, don’t they?

Learning to knit is not as easy as I thought it might be. And if you do know how to knit, you can probably spot the obvious error (or errors) in today’s photo! But the good thing about knitting is that it is easy to “un-knit” just by pulling the yarn. Then you can start again. And if you’re wondering whether or not Emily was glad to help with this “un-knitting” part, the answer is “Yes!”

All of this is simply to say with Father’s Day coming up this weekend here in the States, it’s nice to think about all of the fathers who have not only taught their daughters (and sons) new things but have also learned new things themselves in order to bring joy into their daughters’ (and sons’) lives.

Learn new things. Be willing to fail. Letting others see how you face your failures is just as big a lesson as how you face your successes. Do your “un-knitting” and try it again.

Love is persistent. Love never gives up. Love learns to knit if it brings joy to a little one’s life.

It’s what Daddies do, even Chicken Daddies!

Feathers by Amelia and Emily. Bamboo Knitting Needles by Clover. Silk Garden Solo Yarn by Noro, made in Japan, 45% Silk, 45% Mohair, 10% Wool. (My little girls deserve the best.)