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  • Saturday was an unusual evening. I had the evening all to myself. No kids, no boyfriend, no work to catch up on. Usually there’s much to do and to little time to do it. I thought it would be a good time to catch up with chores.

    Jennyanydots and Skimbleshanks Sugarlump, who may turn out to be a rooster... just too hard to say yet, have made their way into our tribe. Seduced by the allure of scrumptious eggs, I bought into the whole backyard urban farmer thing. They aren’t big enough for an official coup yet. They still need the warmth from a heat lamp and a clean box of pine shavings.

    While cleaning out their box on that particular Saturday evening, I thought I would let them stretch their legs and new wing feathers a bit. As I added more bedding, I make shifted a little backyard playpen for them. After tending to all the cleaning, I pulled up a lawn chair and sat and just watched them preen themselves and each other in silence. I’ve lived at least half a life, but never sat and watched birds of any sort this closely before. The scent of heady honeysuckle wafted from the hedge. Lighting bugs electrified the sky. As the sun pulled itself into tomorrow, Jennyanydots and Skimbleshanks found a spot and began to nuzzle one another. They peacefully rested their beaks in their wing feathers and closed their eyes until music from my neighbor began to blare.

    My 20-something neighbors have been building a deck. And this particular Saturday night was the evening they were obviously christening it by hosting a backyard barbecue. I don’t want to be that nosey neighbor, but I couldn’t help but listen to the party. Above the sound of beanbags being thrown in an exciting lamp post lit game of corntoss, I thought about how much my life has changed since I was my neighbor’s age. Gone are the wild parties and tail chasing quests for fleeting happiness.

    Now, I’m just a crazy bird lady. I am content to sit and just watch my chickens on a Saturday night. Content, which is just a little left of happy, means I am satisfied. I'm in front of what needs to be behind me and hopeful for what lies ahead.

    Above the sound of laughter and the pop of beer cans, I tuned into the sweet cackles of these growing birds in my backyard. I had to smile in my weird birdness, comfortable, unfashionable shoeness and fortyishness just how damn content I am.
    My smile widened when Creedence began blaring from the speakers next door.

    “Hey, Tonight,
    Gonna be tonight,
    Don't you know I'm flyin'
    Tonight, tonight.
    Tonight, tonight”

    I really think from the bob of their heads and the shake of their tail even my chickens caught the groove.
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