Visit

Four days away from my house and I expected it to be bitter and resentful. I expected to fumble with the lock, open the door, and have the walls say “why have you forsaken me?”. Yet this place that I have created has all the best characteristics of myself, warm and exuberant, a little overwhelming as it hit me with everything I love at the same time.
“Would you like a cup of sweet and spicy orange tea out of an oversized mug from a friend moved away but never forgotten? Let’s see what is on NPR, and sink into a leather chair far more comfortable than you could ever afford, and pull out a map, and plan tomorrow’s tromp through the woods.”
I stand at the threshold of coming here less and less. I am fine with the freedom of time and money that gives me. Yet when I am here, it feels like the contents of my soul incarnate, chicken imagery watching over me from every corner.
I flip-flop between how much poultry should be on display for visitors, and at this particular moment, I pull out a little more. I set the table with hand-sewn feather napkins, a wedding gift from a friend. I keep another piece of chicken pottery above the microwave, intended for dips but I like cracking my eggs against its sturdy sides. I finally find a place for framed fiber art from Bangladesh, a lady chicken tender and her flock. A college roommate sewed me a chicken potholder, not thick enough she feared, but I use it any way.
When I leave, laundry basket after laundry basket carried back out to the car, chicken pot pie properly prepared in a fully-equipped kitchen, the chickens keep watch over the house and welcome weary travelers who have arrived in this far-flung corner of the universe.

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One thought on “Visit

  1. I shopped today and bought tea though I am a coffee-only person for the last fifteen years or so. And fresh lemon. I can offer you my best hospitality when you visit me but alas – apart from Large Grade A Brown Eggs in the fridge I do not have even one chicken any where in sight. No pictures of chickens and certainly no actual hens.

    Brown eggs are the best, every native New Englander knows that just as surely as they know the precise number of Hail Marys to accompany penance for any given venial sin or how much cordwood it will take to get through a winter. I have about forty rosaries to recite before I even get to the break-even point on the “I have sinned and am going to Hell” spectrum. It’s good that spring is on the way.

    The real question was whether the cellar was dry. Lots of folks I know try to get through an entire winter without going to see the cellar floor and if there is water pooling about. Now, an open and functioning French Drain will usually do the trick of sending it all to God-knows-where, but wouldn’t you agree it brings a sort of comfort to close the cellar door after you have checked it?

    To say nothing about bears.

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