Chasing the Darkness With a Big Ol’ Broom

So today I heard the Story of the Chicken.

I have a friend, an amazing young woman in her last year of college who shared it on Facebook, and that chicken is what I’ve thought about much of today.


Sweet chicken has no idea all the good in store for her. Photo courtesy of my talented photographer friend

Apparently this poor chicken fell off of a “chicken truck,” and my friend and her friends saw it.  When questioned about the fate of the chicken, she shared that the bus driver for their apartment area was going to come back and get the fallen bird.

The bus driver has a farm.

This chicken is on her way to be a pet.

Oh bless.  That makes my heart so happy!

I’ve thought about that poor chicken and how she must have figured, riding on that truck, that the worst had pretty much happened and her fate was sealed.  Then, as if things couldn’t get any worse, she falls off that truck.

Which wound up being a wonderful turning point in her life instead of the great tragedy it could have been.

Thanks to the kind soul of the bus driver.

I do this, do you?  I ride along thinking things are really bad and then something happens and I think OH NO COULD THIS GET ANY WORSE? and it turns out that, no actually, what I thought was going to be even worse is really quite wonderful.

Not always.  But enough times that I find myself having hope even in the hardest of situations, when it just makes no sense.

Sometimes we’re the chicken, y’all–in a real predicament.

But sometimes, we get the opportunity to be the bus driver.

And when we do, we should take it.  We really, really should.

The bus drivers of the world, the ones willing to take another in and give them comfort–they are the folks who are chasing the darkness into a corner with a big ol’ broom and making this world a much better place.

One little soul at a time.

Love to all.

Running Out of Stuff

I am out of eggs. And butter. Do you know what that means?

Besides the fact that I need me some chickens to babytalk to? And to pick up a cow on the way home?

I cannot make a pound cake.

That spells trouble around here.

Having the eggs and butter does not guarantee that I’ll make a pound cake.  But having everything I need to make one at any given time, that’s important to me.  I live in the South.  It’s what we do.  At any given moment, I might need a pound cake to take to Someone for Some Reason.  (It’s rare that one gets made and stays here for eating.  Ask my poor family.)  Thank goodness I had enough to make the one for my Neighborfriends who made their final move to their new home today.  But then that was it–I was completely out.  (And my Neighborfriend is the one whom I have borrowed eggs from, and canned tomatoes, and–oh dear, I am in trouble.)  Oh the shock to my system!  It is time to be getting myself to the store.  Post haste.

Mama made great pound cakes.  Daddy liked to have a thick slice for breakfast with a big helping of peanut butter spread across–you’ve got your eggs, your dairy, and your protein.  Win!  She even baked them in the summers, but only really early.  My Aunt reminded me of this today, and it made me laugh.  My Mama was “old school” about some things.  Even after we had central air conditioning, Mama refused to turn the oven on in the summer unless she absolutely had to.  She didn’t want to “heat up the house.”  So if she wanted to bake a pound cake, she’d put it in the oven before 7 a.m., and “well, if I’m going to heat up the house for one, I might as well bake two.”  And so she did.

And you know why Mama could make up her mind at 6 a.m. to mix up a pound cake? Or two?

Because she didn’t run out of things!

My Mama had a system that was just about beyond reproach.  She kept the sales papers for the week on the stool beside where she sat at the kitchen counter.   On the other counter, she kept a stack of calendar pages from her Mary Engelbreit Page A Day calendar.  She used these for all sorts of things, but especially for her grocery list.  And she didn’t play around at it like I do.  When she was almost (not completely, ahem) out of something, she wrote it down on her list.  She compared prices and, making them stay true to their word, had Wal-Mart price match for most things, saving herself numerous trips.  She had grocery shopping down to a science.  I wish I had asked her more questions and paid more attention.  But no.

I have gotten some better.  I do try to shop ahead.  Which often leads to three jars of Duke’s Light (the BEST!) mayonnaise in the pantry and no mustard to be found anywhere.  Sigh.  Or everything to make the Crunchy Corn Medley except the water chestnuts–hello, where do I think the crunchy is coming from?  Or the sour cream for the pound cake, but *sniff* no butter or eggs.  It’s kind of how I roll these days.

I thought maybe meal planning would help.  And it did, somewhat.  But Mama didn’t plan meals and then go shopping.  She shopped the sales and then planned what she would cook.  (Have I mentioned we were raised on sale…..with a coupon?)  And Wednesdays at Publix?  For the penny specials?  She was there.  And if it wasn’t something she could use, she found a good home for it–whether her church’s food pantry or the Backpack Buddies of Bare Bulb Coffee or the mission at Daybreak Shelter in Macon.  Nothing went to waste.  She was so good at buying meat on sale, packaging it so she could cook her meals later and then freezing it.   Her organization was something to be envied.  Oh, and earlier today? When I was lamenting my extinct gallon zip-loc bags, so I could freeze my sad bananas to make banana bread another day?  Never would have happened at Mama’s.  Pretty sure there’s some extras up in the top of her cabinet now.

Oh dear, I'm really not sure.  I'd better go check.  *sigh* I'm really not very good at this.

Oh dear, I don’t know.  I’d better go check. *sigh* I’m really not very good at this.

So I’m off now to make my grocery list.  I’ve pulled the sales papers and picked a spot to keep my list AND a pen.  (I do NOT need an excuse not to write it down immediately.)  I’m going to try to do this Mama style.  So I won’t run out of such things as butter and eggs again.

But if you see me on the side of the road trying to load a cow in my van, just keep driving.  You’ll know then that my efforts to shop ahead didn’t work out, and I need to keep the source around all the time.  Well that and the fact that I really want to babytalk me some chickens.  And hold baby goats in my lap…..and let my littles ride a donkey….. *sigh*  I like to dream big.  Head in the clouds.  No wonder I run out of stuff.

Oh you are a sweet baby, aren't you, little Sweet Pea?  Yes you are.  Oh my.

Oh you are a sweet baby, aren’t you, little Sweet Pea? Yes you are.  Oh my.  It’s already started.  And this is just a chick we met at the Fair last fall.