Thursday night I remember that we have a full day on Friday. The time has come to (and I whisper) butcher the chickens. We had prepared our children for this (as much as one can prepare children), and we were all ready. We have new baby chicks, and these ladies were just getting too old. So, my Friday story begins:
I wake up with plenty of time to get everyone ready, load the chickens, and drive the hour and 20 minutes it takes to get to the butchering place. So I am going slow before I remember that I forgot to do groceries the night before, and there really isn't anything "quick" to eat....no fruit, no oatmeal, no yogurt, no bread, nothing....and no time to cook. No biggie, we have plenty of time, I will just buy something on the way. I know what you're thinking, "Eew buy something on the way and eat in the car?!" And when I say "buy something on the way, I mean the grocery store" (we do not eat fast food and have not eaten fast food in years). So still feeling pretty good about the day (although missing morning breakfast at the table is never fun), I proceed to get ready. I choose my white "hippy" tank with my colorful, mismatch fabric skirt (why do I not have photos of this cute outfit....well, it was one of those days, and I didn't take any photos). I love wearing skirts in the summer! Kids are dressed, water bottles filled, and we are heading out the door to load chickens when the phone rings. It's daddy so I have to answer. He needs help with something from our home computer. I give him the information he needs (which takes another 5 minutes). At this time I am feeling a little stress but still in control.
We head out to get the chickens, and then it dawns on me. How in the world am I going to get those chickens from their pen, to the cage, and into the van? Okay kids, pile out of the van and help mommy load chickens into the cage. It takes us 15 minutes to get all those chickens in the cage (I think they know what is happening). Then the Ugh moment. We have to get this cage all the way over to the van (which is a walk across the yard). Why didn't I put the cage in the van first then load the chickens? I don't know....hindsight is always 20/20. So my little darlings help me carry the cage over to the van, all the while those lovely chickens are pooping all over my white shirt (again, what was I thinking). We try the back of the van, they don't fit. I scramble to the side and throw down newspaper and stick them on the seat. Another 15 minutes has passed, and we are ready. We pile in. We are now going to be late....no time to stop for food. We are all hungry, but the kids are troopers. Drink your water! Meanwhile, the chickens are pooping all the way, and I am suffocating because of the smell on the hot July day.
We arrive ten minutes late (and yes I am still in my poopy shirt and my chickens have covered my van door with lots of deposits) so we have to wait. The kids see more than I want them to, and the oldest starts to cry. I try to hide them, to shield them but it just doesn't help. I unload the chickens and almost loose my stomach. This is too much for me. I thought I could handle it, but I can't. I leave the chickens and take the kids around the side of the building and wait. I comfort my oldest while my middle two are whining because they are so hungry (who can blame them)? She says, "they don't deserve to die; they didn't do anything wrong." I hold her and love her. She calls daddy, and he offers more comforting words.
The chickens are done, the younger three are happy to be leaving because all they can think about is food. Now, where to go to get them something to eat. Ah yes, a cute little sandwich shop. We pull in, the older two start to order while the third starts crying. She says, "I don't want to eat here." Already on edge, I respond with a not so patient, "Why?" "Because Big G's will make me sick!" Because the last time we ate at a sandwich shop, the whole family got sick, and she got the worst of it. I see. I offer what comfort I can, explain that it is a different place and that she needs to have something in her belly. She relents. We get our food, get settled at our table, and the time is 11:30am.
Then, just when I didn't think it could get any worse, my darling son picks up his sandwich , and mine at the same time (only he doesn't realize that he has mine as well, and it drops onto the floor). I do not have much patience left. I grit my teeth and ask him to be more careful. I am bummed, I want to cry. Not because of the sandwich but because of everything. He says, "Mommy, did your mom ever get mad at you just for dropping a sandwich on the floor?" I apologize for being impatient. I tell him I am not angry with him but that I am just overwhelmed. He is forgiving. I walk to the counter to order another sandwich. The manager is there. He gives me a free one. I am thankful.
I did not have to pay for two sandwiches.
At the end of a post like this, we all need an image of something beautiful!