Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thanksgiving. Awoke with the first light, the sun rising over the Cascades. I lay in bed and tried to recall the last time my mother made a pie. When was it? Which decade? Probably some time in the late 1970's. When did she last cook a Thanksgiving meal? My older siblings took over, at some point, in a rented apartment or a first home, our family group getting bigger and bigger until we began to split off into our own smaller groups. In these later years I spent the day at my in-law's home, a beloved house whose back deck perches still above Thornton Creek. I miss these days most — the scents, my mother-in-law's Southern hospitality ("don't you bring a thing, Miss T.!). I've inherited her sterling tableware, with which I set my small table this morning for my sons and me. The long-handled spoon whose sole purpose is for reaching into the turkey and pulling out the stuffing.

Addition/subtraction: families. Births/deaths. Our numbers swell and recede, swell and recede.

We're eating early this year — both sons keep very early work schedules. No need for candles with this brilliant sunlight. And no long tables set out the length of the living room. We've dwindled to this small family, with two cats on scrap patrol. Three chickens in the yard pecking for bugs. One turkey, two pies. Enough — more than enough —of everything.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Saturday Fragments

Stapled poultry wire, slashed skin on the sharp edges.
Damn the blood, no band-aids, chickens on the run.
Gathered them back in, one under each arm,
shooing the third hen with my feet as if I knew how to play soccer.
Why do they always head for the one corner of the yard that isn't fenced?

Unwound bird netting, tangled it up, sorted it out.
Stood on a ladder and pulled it taut.
More staples. Gloves. No more blood.
Chickens secure.
Eggs gathered.
Leaves and bits of straw raked up.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

November Light

The light fades earlier now; sometimes the sun breaks through the ragged grey-silk clouds just at sunset. The windows of our workspace face west, and nearly every day I leap up at this burst of light in an otherwise wet and brooding afternoon, witnessing the colors I've wrestled with for hours, now emblazoned across the sky. My co-workers are used to this daily outburst, and oblige my entreaty to see for themselves.

And of course it's gone just as quickly as it appeared — ephemeral light!

I don't think I'll ever tire of this.

Later: the trudge through the dark to home.
No crows to keep me company.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Fowl Things

I went out to feed my chickens this morning, and coming back in I glanced at my reflection in the door glass, and had to laugh:
--red nightgown
--blue fleece jacket
--brown leather outback hat
--blue yoga pants, 15 years old, with holes
--pink fluffy socks
--brown clogs.

Not winning any awards here in fashion, and happy for it.

Anyway, who would've thought that I'd become so fond of three chickens? It's happened. I talk to them. I fuss over them. They follow me around the yard (making a scratched-up mess of the garden) and they bicker amongst themselves, argue with me, peck for bugs. Altogether a pretty cozy scene, all things considered. Fluffy pink socks and all.

And eggs! Usually three per day! I keep an eleven watt bulb lit from 5am - 9pm every day, so they're fooled, so far, into summer hours.

Maybe my urban days are waning. Time will tell.