My Life With Gracie…About Diving In!

About Diving In!

This illustration is based on my third “My Life With Gracie” drawing. It is still one of my favorites because it reminds me of the joy of having a baby chick standing on top of my foot for the first time, but here I’ve added the joy of watching them explore the world for the first time.

From his first day out of his shell, Lefty believed that the world was made just for him. He loved to explore, and he didn’t want to miss a thing. He always tried to be everywhere at once, and almost succeeded too!

As a chick, he was at his top exploring speed non-stop throughout the day! Eventually he would wear himself out and just do a “splat”! He would flop down wherever he was with his wings and legs spread out and just instantly fall asleep.

Once his nap was over, he was up and moving full-speed again. He didn’t want to miss anything!

He was first to try whatever was new or different. Where others might hop up on top of my shoe to warily check out something, Lefty would hop up and use my shoe as a jumping off spot to dive right into it!

I miss that little guy, but I’m glad he is on a nice farm where he can crow and cock-a-doodle-do as much as he wants. I’m sure he has explored every possible inch of his new home too!

Lefty would always run as fast as he could back and forth along the fencing of the run with one foot on the fencing support and one foot on the ground.

To me, it would make more sense to have both feet running on the ground to move more smoothly and quickly rather than the clunky, uneven hobbling up-and-down, up-and-down movement. Then again, I’m not thinking like a chicken.

Soon after he moved out, Bessie took over his leadership role. It was an amazing transformation. She remembered how he ran along the run, keeping watch, exploring constantly, and so Bessie started doing the same things, even imitating his clunky up-and-down way of running next to the fence. I had to tell Bessie, just like I had told Lefty, “Slow down before you hurt yourself!” Neither of them ever listened to me.

But when you are excited and curious and hyper-alert, does it really make much of a difference? Where I might be concerned about looking silly or awkward or failing, chickens truly don’t seem to care. They don’t want to miss a thing!

So what is holding any of us back? And why even waste time bothering to answer that question? (Or that question!) Right now we could be exploring what we might never have another opportunity to experience. What’s the worst that can happen? Maybe we wear ourselves out and have to take a “splat” nap!

Dive in! Find out what’s at the bottom of that pile of leaves! Hey! Maybe I really am thinking like a chicken after all! The whole fullness of the world is waiting to be explored!

My Life With Gracie encouraged me to dive right in more often!

I will do my best to post each Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Every “Like,” “Follow,” and “Comment” is truly appreciated! Right now I am revisiting some of my earlier cartoon illustrations and giving them a different twist. This one is inspired by all of you who don’t ever want to miss out on anything! (You know who you are!)

About Diving In!

My Life With Gracie…Our Greatest Joy

Our Greatest Joy

Saturday’s special post will be all about Pearl’s comedy debut. Just remember with chicken humor, you either get it or you don’t! But I hope you do!

While setting up “Pearl’s Comedy Coop” in my backyard, I realized Gracie and I have spent a great deal of time together turning the dreams of others into realities. Pearl, the stand-up comedian. Amelia, the first chicken to fly to the moon and back. Bessie, the master chef. (We still have work to do there!)

Yet as much as Gracie wants to be a ballerina, we hardly ever spend time working on turning her own dream into a reality. She never complains. She never feels abandoned. Her heart never turns hard with jealousy towards the others.

Whenever I’ve tried to make my life all about me, the effort leaves me feeling disappointed and frustrated. There seem to be some people who can make everything all about themselves and do it quite well. But that’s not me, and that’s not my Gracie.

Maybe for us, our greatest dream is to make the dreams of others come true. Perhaps to gain your dreams, you must lose them in a greater dream.

My Life With Gracie reminded me there is something special about finding my greatest joy in the joy of others.

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

Our Greatest Joy

My Life With Gracie…Knowing What’s Best

Knowing What's Best

My chickens don’t like human processed food very much, and that’s probably very good. There are a few things they will eat like a bite of or two of bread crumbs from the leftover edges of my lunch sandwich. Even then, it has to be a whole grain bread with nuts and seeds in it. Otherwise they will turn their beaks away from the bleached white puffy stuff.

Along with their regular feed and scratch, every morning I make a fresh salad for them with chopped kale, shredded carrots, lettuce, and cubed apple. There’s usually something extra in there too depending on what’s fresh in the garden or in the produce department.

In the early spring, they can’t get enough of the newly sprouted grass and earthworms. Then later in the spring, they enjoy our strawberries which are must smaller but tastier than the store-bought variety. In the summer, there are plenty of garden vegetables. In the fall, they enjoy fresh pumpkins, and I roast the seeds for one of their most favorite treats of all. In the winter, I sprout wheat and barley seeds for them which they like very much.

I’ve often thought if we all ate like chickens we would be much healthier and happier. We eat things a chicken would never eat like cotton candy and cupcakes!

With chickens, no matter how good or tempting something may look, if it’s not what they know to be good for them, they aren’t going to touch it. Usually they aren’t even going to taste it.

Chickens are naturally suspicious of anything new that is placed in front of them. They cock their head to the side to get a closer look and will usually go right back to whatever they were doing. Occasionally they will give a disappointed or even exasperated cluck.

They tend to stay with what is familiar and dependable. But me, well if it is new, looks appealing in some way, and promises to bring me happiness, it will usually capture my full attention!

People aren’t like chickens with food choices or other things either. Although like chickens we are always looking for something, often we don’t have any idea what we are looking for or are looking for all the wrong things.

The first and biggest mistake I ever made was to say, “I know what’s best for me.” The second was to say, “I know what’s best for you.” (In other words, “If I can’t make myself happy, then you need to make me happy.”)

These errors are perhaps as old as humankind itself. They have brought us a great deal of trouble and heartache…particularly when what is best for me is to lie to you, steal from you, or kill you…or to kill the joy you hold in your heart.

When all else fails to fulfill our longings, it is important to remember faith, hope, and love still remain, and the things best for us are often unseen.

My Life With Gracie convinced me chickens know what’s best for chickens far better than people know what’s best for people.

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

Knowing What's Best