Sometimes you have big dreams. My big dream was (and let’s be real still is) to be a famous Hollywood director and writer. A writer of a really deep and dark indie movie, followed by a tear jerker documentary. Staying up all night in L.A. in a tiny apartment creating brilliant work until I became a huge success. Followed by a speech at the academy awards, where I would wear a forest green dress with emerald earrings and thank Charlie Chaplin, Stan Laurel, Clint Eastwood and Judd Apatow for their inspiration and genius in film.
My small dream was having chickens…..happy and bright-eyed chickens. To wear cute aprons and throw cracked corn on the ground as my pretty hens followed me around the yard.
This dream has come true.
It’s been a true joy and adventure .
But like all dreams, fantasy is sometimes quite different from reality. There has been heartbreak, blood, sweat, and tears. That might seem a bit dramatic but its the truth. Shoveling chicken poop and scrubbing down a coop with white vinegar in the summer is not glamorous, even when you have a flowery apron on. Not to mention building a chicken coop from scratch out of an old tree house is really hard work. Then I lost my favorite, Rhonda, to some type of attack from some type of animal. It’s a bit murky. But Stanley found her bones under a large boxwood bush in our yard, long after she went missing. He was quite happy when he did. Stanley is our white Miniature Schnauzer.
But our chicken coop is a source of pride from our efforts. My husband was the engineer and designer and he, my son and myself built it together. I’ve learned so much in caring for chickens and have really loved the process. It’s given me a real sense of accomplishment. It’s brought me so much laughter just sitting watching them and all their funny and quirky ways. It has gotten me off the couch many times in the evening to be outside in the mud and sun. I know each one of my “girls” by their feathers and they all have distinct personalities.
I now know what it’s like to crack a freshly laid, brown egg into a frying pan and watch it sizzle. To eat that fried egg on a piece of buttered toast is pure heaven on a Saturday morning.
Small dreams are important. Small dreams like a coop, happy chickens, flowered aprons and speckled eggs are what make life interesting. Trying something new but something that’s been done for hundreds of years connects you to the past and teaches you lessons. It may just be a backyard hobby, but it’s magic some days. It’s chicken magic.