Recently at my moms 81st birthday party many of her ten kids took a moment to remember funny stories from our families past. It was fun to hear stories from the perspective of my parents and siblings, we had lots of great laughs. One of the stories I remember very well took place when I was a young teenager.
Our family was returning home from a rare family vacation to Southern Utah when we saw the clouds form and the pouring rain begin to flood the streets. Two months prior, my dad purchased 50 baby chicks that our family was raising so we would have meat on the table for the coming year.
The closer we got to home the more concerned we were for our half grown chicks. The chickens were bred for their meat not for their brains so we knew these birds would be in trouble. Sure enough, when we arrived home the chicken coup was flooded. Most of the chicks were near death, laying in the water, even though they could have climbed onto their roosting perch that would have kept them dry and safe.
We took all the chicks out of the wet, murky, chicken coup and laid them on the lawn in our back yard. My mom had a brilliant idea. She said “why don’t we spray the chicks off with the water hose to clean them up, dry them off with a towel, and then put the chicks in the oven on warm” We all snickered at the plan but thought it would work.
My brother Mel was funny. He was talking to the chicks as they were getting put in the oven, He said “we will see you back here in a few months, don’t get to comfortable in there.” We all laughed, making this overwhelming task of saving the lives of these chickens a lot more memorable. Not one of the chickens died during their rescue. We enjoyed many yummy dinners from the chickens that almost met their doom much earlier then planned.
I look back on my life on our small farm with fondness. This is were I learned the value of hard work. The days I spent planting, weeding, and harvesting our garden, feeding, and cleaning up after our animals have become priceless memories.