I stepped out the back door on my way to the hen house and shivered as the cold winter wind hit me. Just back from sunny Florida, I had yet to adjust to the frigid Missouri air. I hurried down the steps and into the coop, anxious to check the flock. As I turned the latch and peeked inside, they rushed to me, clucking and squawking as they came. "Ladies and gentleman, I'm back", I announced as I grabbed a scoop of feed and poured it into the feeder. And just like that, I was forgotten. The lure of fresh scratch won them over and they scurried to the feeder. I turned my attention to the nest box and what did I see? Among the colorful eggs nestled together in the straw-lined nest was a beautiful creamy white egg. "Yippee!", I hollered. "The Lavender Ladies are laying!" When I left for Florida my Lavender Orpingtons were teenagers, but while I was away, they turned into young ladies. Finally I could begin stage two of my Lavender Plan--to incubate and hatch the chicks so I could have lavender chickens roaming throughout the lavender patch. I gathered up my bounty and turned to my handsome Lavender rooster who was perched on the roost, surveying his flock. "Keep up the good work" I said, and headed for the door. I smiled as his musical response echoed behind me--it was without a doubt, the most smug "cock-a-doodle-doo" I've ever heard.
I've always been fascinated with this old building that sits silently on the corner in our sleepy little town. It was built just after the previous turn of the century, when the new railroad came roaring through town. The first floor was a general store, and upstairs was the masonic lodge. After the store closed in the mid 1900's, the building was used as a civic center, then an apartment building. It eventually fell into disrepair. I've worried about this building for a while. The years haven't been kind to it, but when I look at it I see something more than its' battered and broken shell. I see my great-grandmother in her long skirts swishing through the door, carrying her basket of eggs to trade for a new sewing needle. Or my great-great grandpa driving his team and wagon down the side alley, ready to load up his winter supplies. I see the life that once bustled around this building, and though it seems now to sit quietly, I think it wants to live again. And thanks to my husband, it will. He bought this building for me, and we are now in the midst of restoration. It may take some time to get it done, but eventually we will breathe new life into what is now my old building.