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Friday, October 29, 2010

Chickens

Yes, you read that right, we got chickens. Here are a few pictures:




(That's Anna feeding them.)



You'd better be happy with those two pictures because it took me over two hours to upload them. (I'm not joking.) The internet is very slow.


I had more of our new garden and everything, but that will have to wait because my patience for today has ran out. :D But I have been writing a story, one with my grandma and one on my own. It's really long already, and I don't think anybody will take the time to read it, unless they are super nice. :D If you do happen to read it, let me know what you like about it and what you don't. 


Maggie Dixon leaned over the railing. "There ya go, boy," she said, patting her Morgan horse, Buster, on the nose as she feed him a carrot. Buster nudged her as if he wanted more. Maggie tossed her blond curls behind her back and giggled. "That's all for now, greedy horse. I'll try to get you something later." With that Maggie lowered herself down from the ladder, picked up her skirts, and dashed off for the little two-roomed shack she shared with her Mother and brother. Maggie wiped sweat from her forehead and looked up into the sky. When will summer ever end? She muttered. Then Maggie remembered last winter and shivered. Last winter was the first winter Mother, James, and Maggie had been without Papa, who had died less than a year ago from the fever. That winter had been terrible. John couldn't go into town to work, and the stored supplies from the garden had ran out quickly. Maggie shook away those thoughts and opened the door to the home. Mother gave her a weary smile, and went into the kitchen. 


"Maggie?"


Maggie turned and looked up at her brother, who was three years older than her.


"Sis, I hate to say this, but-"


"Not yet, James," Mother cut him off.


Maggie looked confused. "What? What's going on? Do we have to move? Oh Mother, I don't want to move to town to work! It's so much nicer in the country."


Mother looked at James, "Go ahead and tell her. I was going to wait and sell my wedding quilt, but we might as well tell her now."


James ran his hand through his dark hair and said, "Maggie, we're low on money. Mother's sold almost everything, and I'm working as hard as I can. But we still are going to need more to get it through winter. Maggie, I'm going to have to sell your horse."

The hot tears came to Maggie's eyes in only a moment and the pain that she felt in her throat overwhelmed her to the point that she couldn't say anything to her brother's stinging words.  Thoughts rushed at her like lightning across the night sky.  "My Buster!  My friend and . . .gone.  Why am I going through this?  This loss which feels even worse than Papa dying."  That thought gave her the ability to speak as it shocked her to realize that her horse might have meant more to her than her own father.

"But what could it hurt to keep him?  He can have my share of meals.  He is my only friend out here in the country.  He won't be able to be happy with others that he doesn't know.  You are both against me and oh, oh"  And the tears began to fall down her face.

"See, Mother, I told you she wouldn't understand and she'd just cry and beg and then you will give in."

"James," said Mother.  And then Maggie realized that her mother was as hurt as she was but in a different way.  In that glance at her mother's face, Maggie, and James, too, that the weight she felt for her small family was more than either of them, more than the two of them together.

"I'm sorry, Maggie," croaked James as he tried to hide his emotions.  "We all want what is best but it's either Mom's wedding quilt or Buster.  That is what must be decided now."

"Well, we don't have to decide right now.  We can have a good nights rest and decide tomorrow.  Let's ask God what we should do.  I still believe He wants what is best for us and this time will pass and we will be more like His Son."  She began to weep, deep sobs that made her body shake.  "I, I'm, saying the words but I don't feel it.  Help me to believe that whatever comes our way is in your will, Father.  This is more than I can bear and I can't live seeing my children suffer.  You promise that the 'poor in spirit are blessed', we are poor in more than just that way.  Help us to trust you and put these things aside that trouble us so much.  And help us to find our way, with the quilt, with the horse and well, everything.   In Jesus Name, Amen."

Now James, being a boy and taking on the role of "man of the house," went off to sleep, glad that the time for tears was over.  He had tried in every way he knew to keep from showing that he was scared and to stand tall whenever anyone asked how they were doing and just say, "good, good."  But again, he was not being torn from his best buddy and he was tired from the day of working so sleep came quickly, warmly and deeply.

There was a peacefulness to Mother's night.  She was quietly surprised at how silent and softly rest came to her.  . . "Maybe it was our prayer. . "  and this was her last thought before sleep.
 

But Maggie would toss and fight with the covers on her bed til after 3 am.  And then the morning would come fast and the night would be only a memory which left her fatigued and sore, sad and confused. 

*          *          *          *          *          *                             

James splashed the icy water on his face. He reached for the towel but stopped as he looked out the window. Maggie had her head leaning on Buster's nose. She had tears running down her face. It would break her heart to leave her horse, He thought. James looked up at the lever-action rifle above the door. Papa had promised James he could have it when he turned sixteen, which was almost a year away. But he could sell it so they'd have enough money. James walked to the door and took the rifle down. He had always wanted to be able to hunt with it, and now that would never happen. He looked back at his mother still sleeping on the straw mat she shared with Maggie. James glanced again at his sister, and saw she was still with Buster. He slipped on his boots and quietly started walking the five miles to town.

*          *          *          *          *          *                    

Maggie quietly opened the door. Mother was still sleeping, which was very unusual, she was always up with the rest of them before dawn. Maggie shrugged and told herself that she could run away with Buster all the better if Mother was asleep. But where was James? He doesn't care about me, Maggie thought, all he cares about it that old rifle that always sits above the door. Maggie glanced up at the shelf the rifle was usually on, but it was empty. What? Maggie's mouth fell open in astonishment. James knew he wasn't allowed to hunt with the gun until he was sixteen. He probably sneaked away with it while I was outside with Buster! That rotten boy, With these stubborn thoughts Maggie took a loaf of bread Mother had sat out for breakfastreached into the cupboard for an apple, and wrapped the food in a cloth. She then walked outside with a small canteen and pumped up water from the water pump outside into the canteen. With one last look at the house, Maggie went over to Buster, and saddled up. 

*          *          *          *          *          *                              

Mother yawned. Suddenly her heart leaped. The sun is already up! She thought. Mother stood up and walked to the wash basin, wondering where everyone was. James never lets me sleep in, he's always wanting me to make breakfast before he goes off to work at Mr. Stones farm. Oh, but I laid the bread out last night. He must of just eaten some of it. Mother glanced at the wooden table. The bread was gone.That certainly isn't like James, to take all the bread for himself. James and Maggie wouldn't have eaten a whole loaf of bread for breakfast. Where are my children any way? Mother walked to the door. 

"Maggie! James!" She called. No one answered.

*          *          *          *          *          *                          

"Buster, this was terrible idea. Wherever am I going to go?" Maggie looked up at the mountains, wondering how she was ever going to cross them alone. "I didn't know Washington State's mountains were so huge." She marveled out loud. Maggie reached for the canteen and held it up to her dry lips. She took one gulp of the icy water and it was gone. Maggie's dress was drenched with sweat, and she wanted a cold bath in the wooden tub. Maggie decided to pray.

God, I'm really sorry that I ran off like this. My family loves me and they care about me. Buster is important, but if it's your will for me to give him up I will. And please God, if you can though let me keep him. Please help my family to forgive me, and please help Mother not to worry and please don't let James get too mad at me. 

James had decided to go against his father's will, and on his own to sell the gun he was so looking forward to using.  He remembered the days as a young boy that his dad had taught him how to clean and load the gun, how to make sure that it was hung above the doorway without ammunition.  James had been permitted to take aim and fire but only when his father was with him.  And to only shoot at an old stump the first time.  Then his father had an idea to hang some old pieces of barn wood from a tree so that they swung in the breeze.  "That way you'll learn how to hit a "moving" target!" he had said.
"Chief, (dad's pet nickname for James) the time is coming when your life will not look as it does now.  With responsibility comes a joy in knowing that you can provide for your family, protect them and share with others from the work you will do.  I know I have depended upon you to work since you were small, but we needed the share that you could do out here."  James remembered what his father said but at the time he was only 11 and it didn't make much sense to him.  He went on,
"This gun can do more than kill for food or hides.  It can teach you part of what it means to be a man, to take your boyhood and shape you for deeper things by knowing there are things you can do, must do, will do no matter how difficult.  We are nearly to the point when you will be trusted to handle life on your own.  You can do it when the time comes."
His father didn't know, or maybe he did, how soon this would be true.
James walked until he saw a man swinging at a stack of hay with a rake.  At first, it seemed like the man was waving and talking to the hay as he first swiped the hay and then poked it.  Then James saw the source of the man's frustration.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
The afternoon sun was hot and Buster was tired and in need of food and water. 
"We should find some water.  My canteen is out, Buddy, and while you can eat all the grass you want from the side of the trail, I need to find some thing more than just bread before morning."
Maggie realized that she was not going to be able to cross those mountains on her own before morning.  Even if they walked all night, with a few breaks for sleeping, it she would have to find shelter in case of rain and a way to have food.  It might even take a few days for them to cross.
"Maybe we will stick to the main road for now, go across the bridge by that old mill and see what we can find.  Surely there has to be a place for us to get water and rest."
As she said this, a figure appeared in the distance.  But from this span she couldn't tell if they were walking away from her or toward her.  It suddenly occurred to Maggie that someone might be looking for her and her heart leapt with hope and fear at the same time.  

Like it? If you want to write one with me, email me @ ismikendra (at) gmail (dot) com



Announcements:

I will no longer be doing tags. (Only if I'm bored or really think one is interesting.) I've gotten SO many and I'm overwhelmed with them all. :D Sorry if you've already tagged me. I will still be doing awards though, since I don't get those as much.

Mom and I went to the doctor last night, here is the little 'story': (I know, you're sick of stories, sorry)

We got a taxi and took the hour drive to Alexandria. First we went to the lab to drop off a stool sample (you don't even want to know what that is). The taxi driver told us that the hospital was just a few blocks away, so we started walking, but got confused so we asked a lady walking around where it was. 

"Oh," she said (in Arabic), "Hospital? Oh yes, it's there." She pointed down the road. We went where she told us to go but still couldn't find it.

So we asked a guy at a ducan (small shop). He told us to cross the main road and then go left. We did what he said, and
still couldn't find it.

 So we asked a police man. He told us he didn't know. By this time I was feeling sick and very tired.

We walked down further and asked another man. He said it was too far and we needed a taxi.

We decided to keep looking, and we asked another police man, who said he didn't know.

Finally we went back to the lab and the lady at the front desk told us it was just next door. And it
was. Whew.


 But that wasn't the end of our troubles. We were going to the hospital for an ultrasound, but didn't realize that you couldn't eat for six hours before you went in. So....yeah. All that for nothing.


 But we did get a yummy chicken sandwich and the results from the stool sample. Which said nothing was wrong. Mom got me some medicine still and it's supposed to make the parrisite go away. 


And you know what? God has a purpose for everything doesn't He? But prayers would still be appreciated. :-) 


Oh, and our friends from Sudan the Backferds are staying! :D I might get pictures later. 


For now, bye!

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5 comments:

  1. I'm still praying for you to feel 100% better soon :)
    And WOW I want a chicken!
    Emily

    ReplyDelete
  2. Those chickens are so cute! You are so blessed to have chickens. :D

    I really like the story... I read it all, and I don't think it needs any improvement... except you need to post more of it. :)

    I'll be praying for you. I hope you feel better soon.

    Abby :D

    By the way, can you speak Arabic?

    ReplyDelete
  3. is there more to the story?? lol

    ReplyDelete
  4. Ahh, loving the chicken pictures. So cute! :-)

    I don't do tags. Nope. Never. Not happening. I think that they are just a tad too time consuming, but maybe that's just me. You never know.

    I am new to your blog and following you. I would love if you stopped by my blog and followed me.


    Blessings,
    Maggie
    www.foreverfindingmybliss.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete

thanks for sharing your thoughts -- comments make my day!