Sunday, December 4, 2011

Lessons learned as a kid.


Tonight I am bone-tired. I've got blisters on the palms of my hands. My knuckles are bruised and scraped and I am sure that tomorrow my back will be as stiff as the boards I pounded all day long.  Today I built a chicken coop - not just any chicken coop but the Fort Knox of chicken coops.  A friend of a friend gave me 3 hens who had just begun laying and since all 20 or so hens of mine have put the egg-laying on hiatus for the winter, I drove over the mountain and through the woods to pick them up Saturday.  I didn't want to mix these new chickens (Peter, Paul, and Mary) with my other chickens mainly because I wanted to be able to locate at least a few eggs a day.  All of my other chickens free-range and where they lay their eggs depends on the time of year and the weather. 

So Saturday's quick slapping-together of a coop was just temporary.  In fact, Peter and Paul escaped and roosted with the other chickens in another coop leaving Mary all by herself - and  Mary was not very happy about it.

So yesterday after church, I headed out back to make an escape-proof, windproof, sturdy coop.  And because I didn't want to reinvent the wheel, I decided that it would a more effective use of my time to fortify and modify the temporary coop.

Now one thing about me, is that not only am I money-poor, I am just plain cheap.  Another thing about me is that I was a stellar cabin builder when I was a kid.  My best friend and our siblings had cabins all over the woods and the back field in a variety of stages of design.  We made treehouses out of wood we found in our dads' scrap piles or wood that we found in the forest.  We made cabins hidden in the high grasses of the field regardless of the fact that we would sneeze continuously and wheeze and that our eyes were so red and itchy that we could barely see.  We had less sophisticated forts that were simply outlined with fallen timber in the pines in the neighborhood on which a house is now built.  In making our cabins, treehouses, and forts, we used whatever we could find and we weren't too proud to scrounge through the dumps that used to be all over the place back then.


 
So in the spirit of my childhood, I grabbed a screwdriver, a hammer, a handful of nails, a box of deck screws and any decent piece of lumber I could find.  I sawed and pounded, nailed and clipped screen and ended up with a chicken coop that could withstand a hurricane! As a finishing touch, I unearthed some old pieces of tin that I believe came from a long ago neighbor's produce stand.  And with that, the coop was complete. 

Now some eyes may look at my little coop and think what a pile of junk, what an eyesore - in fact, I think that's where my husband was going when he said 'we'd fix it up next weekend'.  But when I look at this heavy duty, invasion-proof, escape-proof, warm, dry chicken coop, I only see Peter, Paul, and Mary quietly purring on their nests.  I see an absolutely breathtaking array of old, aged wood along with just as old rusted tin.  I see a little bit of the history of a long ago Sprucetown and know that my creation will be home for chickens for many, many years to come!

Rusted tin and old wood.  Is there anything more beautiful?

1 comment:

Snowbrush said...

I enjoyed your "coop" saga.

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