Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Let Me Count The Ways...

   Los Olivos Chickens                                                            Photo credit:  Nancy Shobe

Over the last three weeks, I've had no less than ten or so close friends or relatives say to me, "I never imagined that you'd be into chickens."

"Never did I imagine either," I replied.

It's true. I grew up a suburbia girl--deeply concerned about the clothes I was wearing, the trendy styling of my well-coiffed hair, and learning about all things urban. (I confess; I was also a cheerleader.) Chickens weren't even a part of my lexicon unless it was cordon bleu. I always envisioned myself one day living in New York City, attending off Broadway shows, dining in tuxedoed restaurants and "doing lunch" at white-clothed cafes. Even though I grew up in Michigan (which some folks think is all rural, but it's not), THIS girl was going BIG TIME.

Big Time didn't end up being the Big Apple, but it did end up being the Windy City...and then the City of Angels where I landed my second job at the Music Center of Los Angeles. I met Mary Martin, danced with Gino Conforti, had the door opened for me by Tommy Tune and snuck backstage to watch the rehearsals of the Academy Awards.  This girl was now officially Big Time.

Never did I imagine.

Perhaps it was that red and white checked collared shirt that I'd wear on occasion while in high school. I'm not sure why I was attracted to it. It was a kind of Hee Haw style or perhaps Marianne from Gilligan's Island. I'd take the two ends of the shirt, tie them into a knot at my waist, slip on a pair of slender capris, poke some big hoop earrings through my ears, and head out for a casual evening.  I didn't realize what I looked like until my date with the convertible Corvette came to pick me up one evening to drive me down to Detroit's riverfront. He told me, in an offhanded and non-confrontational way, that I was dressed like a bag of Purina Cat Chow. Talk about instantly taking the country out of the girl! I was more determined than ever...

Never did I imagine.

I do have fond memories of being in the country as a young girl. Like the times I went to my relatives, The Fox's, who took me for tractor/hay rides and the times I traveled to my girlfriend's family's Up North cabin and went trail riding around the lake. I was drawn to the quiet, country life, but it seemed so foreign to me, and so... well, so dirty...and unkempt and filled with animal odors. I always thought horses were kind of interesting, though. In fact, I groomed my friend, Karen's, horses for her equestrian shows. I combed their manes and blackened their hooves with paint. But, chickens? Heck, I didn't even grow up with a dog or a cat.

Never did I imagine.

I AM into chickens. My daughter swears that I have a unsolvable case of empty nest. Perhaps she's right. But, what I noticed over the years as my life grew calmer, my hair longer, and my personality stronger, is that Vogue Urban wasn't really my style. I was more an environmentally-friendly, food-growing, blue jeans and flip flop loving Hippie Chick.

Where high-heeled nights with thin eyeliner used to be the hours I dreamed of and waited for, I am now more drawn to dawn when I can throw my hair up into a clip, slip on a well-worn pair of Levis, and head up the hill to the chicken coop. There's something about the early dawn, light glistening off my beloved chickens' feathers, that begins my day in a state of grace.

Never did I imagine.

1 comment:

  1. Just love this piece, Nancy. Heartwarming and sweetly revealing. Thank you, srh