We’ve all seen that T-shirt, right?
The one where they play a trick on your mind, leading you to think about one thing and then you see the stick-figure man bending over to pick up a baby chicken. I have to admit, it’s sorta cute.
Lately, there’s been a lot of talk about peeps (baby chickens) at my house. When I was a pip-squeak, I remember “picking up” peeps at my grandparent’s farm. Spring always meant that we would go to the local feed store and the peeps would be awaiting us in boxes … loud little “peep, peep, peeps” could be heard from the enclosure. My brother and I would watch my grandmother (Ruby Moxley) fix their coop with a heat lamp, feed and water. It was fun to hear them “pitter-patter” under the large lamp, scurrying about, checking out their new home.
At times we would sneak into the coop and scoop up some of the birds. My brother Daryl on one side of the coop and I on the other, ready to grab one that stuck out from under the lamp. We were careful to hold them gently, admiring their fuzziness. I remember wrapping them in my shirt, they’d get so lazy from the warmth and almost fall asleep.
Ah, those were the days! The much more innocent and simple life of a child. On occasion, just like any animal, we would learn the “everything has a life and an end” lesson. Sad, but true, one or two wouldn’t “make it” … and like the gentle sole my grandfather (Maloy Moxley) was, he’d dig a small hole in the earth and kneel next to his grandchildren and we’d have a funeral for the lost peep. Seems silly, but looking back, he must have been proud of us to learn these lessons.
My grandmother (MeMaw) loved her chickens. Don’t get me wrong, they had a purpose just like any animal on the farm and she played that role through to the end. She enjoyed watching the chickens strut through the yard, pecking away at the dirt. She would chuckle over how one would see something like a bug move in the distance … one hen would run after it, and the others would follow in a giant heap of feathers, cackling as if they were going to miss something important! She always kept a rooster, who consistently seemed to be dubbed as “Roy.” He would crow and flap his mighty wings for his lady folk. “MeMaw” would catch them scratching away at her flowers and she would chase them away with her broom.
One of the chores we were allowed to help with was to collect the eggs from the hen house. Sometimes there would be an old hen sitting on her eggs, being stingy about giving them up. One of us would stick our hand in the nest to retrieve them and she would peck us out of the coop. My grandmother wouldn’t tolerate that nonsense, she was fearless … she’d grab the hen and send her flapping outside to greet the day! Ha!
I miss those days.
I think Easter reminds me of them the most. Spring days on the farm, new life rising from the earth. Their farm seemed timeless, untouched from the outside world. My grandmother’s brown eggs would make the prettiest dyed colors. After lunch, we would clear the table for the small teacups she filled with colors. Excitement grew as the adults hid the eggs outside in trees, bushes and fence posts. My siblings and cousins would race to fill our baskets with the eggs we had found.
I enjoyed those days, and hold them close in my heart.
I am happy my son can make memories with his own grandparents, too. Recently, he and his “MeMaw” went to the feed co-op and saw the baby peeps for “chick days.” As you can imagine, he was quite interested in the sights!
Later that week, we took a trip to the livestock auction … another first for the little man. Lot’s to see and hear … animals and people ever so busy.
I hope you get to make some memories with family and friends this Easter holiday. Enjoy today’s card design as I think it will remind you of those fuzzy little peeps.
Well, since it’s Easter … let’s end this show with a little Dolly Parton and her famous song, “He’s Alive” … Happy Easter!