Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Two steps forward, one back

I did something today I haven't done in probably two years - and thought, quite honestly, that I'd never have to do again. I bought eggs at the supermarket. Brand-name eggs from a poultry operation that isn't local, but does claim to be humane and organic. I know these labels are treated vaguely in the law, totally unenforced, are manipulated by an open door at one end of the standard long hen prison, a patch of grass - are, at the end of the day, just this side of meaningless.

But, I needed eggs. Or, more precisely, I wanted eggs. And my hens are 100% on strike until it warms up. Most of them won't even venture out of their now extremely ripe coop. They peep and chirp and squeal; they fly in my face and try to dive into the giant trash can where their feed is stored. They hate the feel of snow on their feet, are pretty much coming to hate each other and are just all-around cranky as hell and not one bit interested in sharing anything of any value, like an egg.

So, I stood in front of the egg case, which of course, this being our beloved Thriftway, means in front of 25 different egg selections. And most people must surely behold this refrigerated shrine to Choice a wondrous or at least precious thing. But, I was just sad. I have plenty of projects under construction and even more abandoned or yet-started dreams, but eggs are my success story. Our farm offers up the best, very best, eggs there are. So buying eggs is a special kind of failure for me. Because I know that it's not just me buying eggs - by the time I buy eggs, there's a lot of other folks in the neighborhood who've been walking and driving by...and seeing none, go to the store and buy eggs. That makes me sad.

Sometimes I wish I had a driveway sign for all these nuanced occasions. Today, it would say "We'll be back!"

On the other hand, just three years, one day, and 8 hours after we moved in, we (Mark) are (is) putting the handles on our kitchen cabinets! It would be frankly tough to overstate the thrill of this occasion. Handles, schmandles you might be saying, but these particular handles were chosen through tortuous decision-making nearly four years ago, have taken up exquisitely-precious shelf and drawer space, and, truly, are the jewelry that sparkle up a kitchen. Not to mention that they also make opening drawers and doors easier. I am not giddy on this front yet, however, because we could only get through about 60% today...and anyone with a home knows the danger this portends.

And, in the midst of this unprecedented winter chill, another small victory. I may have bought eggs today, but I did not buy lemons. At last, my spidery lemon tree has kicked into gear for real, offering up luscious sweet Meyer lemons and throwing a show of flowers so thick and brilliant, I can finally hope for my own supply of winter citrus, ready for the picking whenever food or drink commands.

Two steps forward, one step back.


Shea's Mom said...

Nice post. But, maybe we should get your chix set up with a nice little light supply and fool the little buggers into kicking forth their bounty? Even in weather like this.

There is no going back from farm fresh eggs, as you know.

And, congrats on the lemons. Just in time for Hot Toddys!

Love ya,

mark said...

Oh, we have a light. They're on strike 'til warmer weather. Got 2 today tho!

Stay warm!

Stevo said...

Hi Mark, Diedre and Dylan,

Merry Christmas to you all, hope you had a great celebration.
21 degrees C here in Melbourne, cold for this time of year.
We had a grat Xmas with the family at our place. Thanks for the call.

Love to you all and Happy New Year!