Monday, September 22, 2008

Speaking of Chickens...

At the end of our Cambria vacation last month, Bob and I spent the day in Atascadero at my sister Christy's house catching up with our nieces and nephew.

Mason had a newly developing shiner from a cheap shot at karate the night before:

Great nephew Hunter was busy being adorable with dad Matt:

We all sat down together for an amazingly delicious, hilarious family meal. As we enjoyed dessert, the after dinner conversation took a turn to the revelatory.

Mason confronted his sisters for telling him that ice plant was aloe vera. He had been humiliated a few days before when, while hiking the ranch in Cambria with us, he broke off a piece of ice plant and rubbed it on a scrape. His mom asked him why he was rubbing ice plant on himself.

"Ice plant??? This is aloe vera!!!"

"No, it's ice plant."


At this point in the conversation Bethany's eyes widened with shocked surprise. She yelped, "That's not aloe vera???" Both siblings turned to Heather who was looking sheepish at the end of the table. I'm not sure if she herself knew the ice plant wasn't aloe vera, but she remained silent on the subject.

Once the door of long term, spectacular deceptions was opened, the legends and their painful debunkings began to pour forth.

Bethany related the story of "The Chicken Farm". When they were little, Heather and Bethany were both given baby chicks to raise. Heather's grew up to be a hen, but Bethany's matured into a raucous rooster who delighted in crowing at 2:00am. The neighbors finally had enough of the night time serenades and complained bitterly to her parents. Her dad sat her down and told her that he was taking the young rooster to a chicken farm. He spun many a yarn of how delightful the place was with detailed descriptions of the many amenities enjoyed by the happy residents.

The story stood until a few months ago when her dad blurted out something about a "fictitious" chicken farm. Bethany was dumbstruck to learn that in actuality her rooster had been thrust into a pillow case and released at the side of one of the isolated roads on the way to the coast.

Talk about your myth busters!

We were on a myth busting roll. It was then that it occurred to Christy and me that our father had told a similar tale about our chicken Lily Rose. When we were little girls we visited the chicken ranch of the man who supplied eggs to our family bakery. We picked out a baby chick and took her home to raise. She was a faithful layer, but mean as the day is long. Our mother wearied of the vicious attacks whenever she tried to feed, water, or collect Lily's eggs ( did Mom end up with those tasks...). It was finally agreed that Dad would return Lily Rose to the egg supplier. Thereafter we heard many tales of how Chicken Lily was a great layer who provided many eggs to said supplier.


We had to know.

Bethany got on the phone to my parents. She questioned her grandfather at great length, but he faithfully confirmed that Lily really HAD gone to the chicken ranch to live out her days. Then Bethany asked for Gramma.

With Granmma on the line (Bethany had hoped Poppy was on the extension but he wasn't) and the rest of the family listening in for Gramma's confirmation of the chicken story, Bethany said, "Tim [her husband] is going to get an extra special present for his birthday in April. A baby!"

Tim and Bethany had been longing for a child for years and had been working hard to afford a baby AND their house payments. The time had finally arrived. We let out a collective gasp and broke into cheers of joy and excitement.

(Here's Tim and Bethany in her prophetic tee shirt):

We were then admonished NOT TO TELL ANYONE. Ahhhhhhhhh!!! Great news, a blog to spread it with, and I had to sit on it like an egg that needed incubating until now.

We are all thrilled beyond words.

Still thinking about the chickens, though...

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