Finally! I have been trying to write about events in our life that make me smile. I mean literally stop what I am doing and smile from my heart. Yesterday the third thing happened, so now I can write about it. For some reason, I needed to have three examples of where our smiles come from on the farm.
The first thing – it happens several times per week. The chickens (broilers) must be moved between pens. I went out to check with Jerry about something; he didn’t see me. He and Jon were bent over trying to convince the chickens to go in the direction of their new pen. Because they don’t want to stress the chickens, they open the doors of both the old and new pens to allow the chickens to walk from one pen to another. As you can imagine this could take all day and more likely many weeks to wait for the the chickens to decide they like the new pen. We don’t have that kind of time, because we use the aisle to do all our chores. So here the guys are bent over (chickens are pretty low to the ground), side be side, rattling empty plastic bags the shavings (bedding) comes in behind groups of birds. These big strong men, who are use to throwing bales of hay and lugging buckets of feed and water, being so gentle to and ignoring their own discomfort for the comfort of the chickens warmed my heart and made me break out in a huge grin.
The second thing that happened was on a day my granddaughter was visiting. Every time she comes to visit, I have her help Jerry or me with something. She always drags her feet because she would rather be visiting the chicks or reading or doing art. Sometimes she helps Jerry wash and box eggs. Sometimes she helps me package up chicken. I love working with her because even though she is ready to quit long before any adult, she always jumps into any task with both feet – and hands – and heart. Well, she is getting taller so I had her wash dishes in the processing room. Just before she plunged her hands in the water, she looked at me with a broad smile and said, “I think I got the best job ever, because I just love suds!” Her joy was infectious.
The third thing just happened yesterday – like I said. Daylight savings time. We didn’t pay attention, and left the house for the farmers markets over 1/2 hour late. Already stressed we turn onto the main road by our house/farm, and I start talking aloud about how could we have missed the time change. Jerry replies by saying, “Is that elk?” I search for the elusive animal that we have been hoping to find around our place for the last 30 + years we have lived here. One time – probably 20 years ago I reported that I saw elk way off in the distance at the same location on the grassy plain, but was convinced that I mistook deer for elk. I was willing to believe that because I am not a long time game “ofcionado” like my husband. I look out in the field and then finally scan the road closer to us. Yes, it is elk – at least two on our side of the road and one on the other. All are off the road, but one is trying to cross to our side. We are silent as we pass them due to being awestruck and afraid the animal could dart towards the truck any moment. As soon as the magnificence and the fear are gone, Jerry lets out a huge, “WAHOO!” That’s all I need to feel that joy in my heart again that cannot help but come out in a gigantic smile.
May we all find where at least three of our heartfelt smiles come from.