Birds of a feather

When life hands you melanoma, add chickens. Well, at least that’s we did this week. We’ve talked about “homesteading” for a while. For us city slickers, homesteading has mostly meant shopping the organic food aisle in the supermarket and going to farmer’s markets when we have the time (or are able to get out of the house before noon on Saturday morning). Sure, we’ve talked about growing some of our own vegetables and even in our more fanciful moments raising our own chickens for the eggs, but it has always ended in just talk. Well, this week we did it. We went to Tractor Supply and picked out six Buff Orpington chicks and took them home. We don’t have a coop or a run or even a plan at this point, but right now they’re “brooding” in a dog crate in the basement. We have several weeks before we have to have their outdoor home established and ready for occupancy. Who knew that there was so much to learn about chickens and chicken farming? It has been an education already and we’re just at the very beginning.

I’m looking at this as an opportunity to do something neither of us have done before and to embrace nature and to embrace life. Yep, life. We have six more lives in our lives now. Neither of us knows what will happen as far as my health goes. Right now I am feeling good and ready to tackle this project. It could be that at some point I might not be feeling so spunky, and we might regret this responsibility that we’ve taken on, but we can’t worry about that now. Now, we’re embracing life, six new lives to be precise. Or at least as many of the six that turn out to be hens. We’re not 100% guaranteed that the cute baby chicks that we took home from the store are all hens. Some of them may be roosters. We’re not quite ready to embrace roosters, although we don’t know what we’ll do with the chicks that turn out to be cock-a-doodle-doers.

Here are the six new members of our household. They’re temporarily in a storage bin while their cage is being cleaned.

In other news this week, Lynn and I attended a support group for melanoma patients and their partners at Yale. We’ve been meaning to go to this group before but one thing or another always got in the way. It was great to finally get to the meeting, and to meet and talk with people who have been through and are still going through what we’re going through. Some of them, like us, are recently diagnosed, but one gentlemen has been fighting melanoma for well over ten years. It was great talking with them because, as Lynn said, “they get it.”

Birds of a feather, indeed.

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