The Chicken Coop
Did you watch Oprah's show today? I watched the introduction and decided not to watch it. I know that conditions on the farms where chickens are mass produced are unnatural and cruel to the animals. But I had too much on my mind to tolerate it.
The photo above is one from my aunt's collection. It may have been my grandparent's coop or it may have been a neighbors. Either way, it was a typical sight around homes before the chicken growers took over the job. We had one when I was a child. We also had a hog pen with a couple of old hogs that my parents raised and butchered. I was only 4 years old, so I wasn't allowed near them. We had a nasty tempered rooster that flogged me if I went into the yard without one of my parents or my brother nearby to shoo him away.
I think we lived there about a year or so. It was a small farm near Peebles, Ohio. Not many people have ever heard of Peebles. I think I have met one. In spite of the ornery old rooster, I liked living there better than anywhere we ever lived. Mom gave me a brood of banny chicks to raise and I loved that. But it wasn't long after that my dad had a job offer in Chillicothe and we had to move. Mom sold my little chicks and I cried. I didn't want to give them up, but I had no choice.
I look back now and I wonder if maybe we've missed it all together. By that I mean that in becoming reliant on modern jobs, modern food production, and modern conveniences, we have made ourselves unable to survive any other way. My great grandparents and one set of grandparents were nearly self sufficient. They raised animals for meat and gardens for food. My Granny sold hogs and butter for extra money. Grandpa Mark worked the farm and off and on for Ashland Oil tending gas wells that lay in the area still. A good mule, a cow, some chickens and a large garden went a long, long way in sustaining their lives. They didn't have television or internet but they did go to bed each night tired enough to sleep and satisfied with their lives.
When my dad applied to the University of Kentucky after high school, he was asked if he had magazines or newspapers in their home while growing up. When he told them no, they told him to forget it, he would never make it through college. He proved them wrong. That's the kind of stock I come from.
We are facing the biggest challenge of our lives right now. We are likely to lose our home. In these kinds of situations people usually choose either "fight or flight". I choose to fight. Hubby tends to choose flight. I don't know if he will rise up and fight, but I hope he will. This is a battle I cannot win by myself.
Something else my family gave me... I believe in the power of prayer.