And just like that, the mad spinning of the world has slowed for just a bit. The weight of that world, measured in ever-growing chicken feathers, lifted its crushing force from our shoulders and we took a deep breath for the first time in weeks.
And now we’ve entered the inevitable period that follows any ‘Drop-Everything-Put-Everything-Else-on-Hold-and-Get-This-DONE’ crisis mode: The Aftermath. The sun peeks through the mounds of dirty, unwashed clothing, the crusty residue of caked-on, dirty dishes, the run-rampant snarls in The Girl’s hair, and we reach for it as we slowly emerge. The bulk of the Poultry smell that permeated my house is gone, had left immediately on the wings of the culprits, but I’ll bet that cleaning out the bathtub and dispatching the soiled wood shavings to the compost pile will really bring this house back into the Presentable category. I’m still a bit too exhausted to tackle that project.
The turning point arrived with a quick perusal of Craigslist and a phone call. (You’d have a tough time convincing me that the answer to almost any problem is not Craigslist. But I digress.) We had closed last weekend as the third in a series of back-breaking work weekends, only briefly interrupted by a birthday party, which you’ll soon hear all about. Our goal was to evict the chicks by Sunday night, and we worked intensely, wringing out the very last drops of light from the too-short day, but didn’t get the door hung and didn’t get the last side enclosed. Monday morning, walking downstairs to the squalor in the bathtub, the impending crisis of population density, I grasped at straws, racking my brain for a way to get them out. Now. Enter Craigslist. Straw for sale. Small bales, ten of them. Can you deliver? Great. Done.
I scrambled to get the Boy down for his morning nap, affixed the hardware cloth to the bottom of the chick house, to keep future varmints from burrowing up for an all-you-can-eat chicken buffet. Rain was on the horizon, threatening to break any moment. I worked feverishly, let the Girl play unbridled in the chicken coop. The straw arrived, I arranged it into a protective racetrack enclosure, put down the mulch bedding, set up the heat light, the food, the water, and then got those chicks the hell out of my house. I used the box they had arrived in only one week prior, except it took two trips to transport them all, they had grown so much.
Nevermind that there was not yet a door, or a fully enclosed eastern wall; Captain Daddio would swoop in after work to join forces and together we would seal it up. I worked through the drizzling rain during the second naptime to cut and affix much of the remaining plywood to the eastern wall.
There is, of course, that little matter of siding and trim and finishing touches, which we’ll still be working hard to button up. Until then, the chicks shall share living quarters with the chop saw. And what about the greenhouse portion of the building? There are seeds to order, minor constructing to be done on the interior… the work is far from over, but moves now at a more leisurely pace. And we resume our regularly-scheduled programing.