Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Life Is Really Interesting

There are times when things just kind of get you starting thinking and I guess that is what makes life interesting.

As a child I was raised on a parcel of land that was just outside the Seattle city limits when my parents first purchased it.  Being in the county there weren't many restrictions as to what you could do with your property so my parents kept chickens, we had a dog, several fruit trees, grape vines and annual vegetable gardens.  It was a long lot with the house near the street and a shop and garage just behind the house that had mom's fruit locker attached to it.  There was an enclosed patio with lattice work (not the sheet stuff) and a fence just behind it with a gate leading to the remainder of the property.  Mom planted a Weeping Willow tree behind the house which soon took over what we called our back yard.

Through the gate and up the sidewalk there was a huge area with a downward slope towards the house.  On the right side of the walk at the far side and running parallel with the neighbors fence was a row of grape vines.  Between the vines and the side walk was garden area where mom and dad grew vegetables a few seasons of my young life.  On the right side of the walk was a peach, plum and I think an apple tree.  About two thirds of the way up the hill was a side walk to the left next to a small tool shed that led to a deep, concrete lined hole for all the compose.  Further up the walk was the chicken house with an outdoor pen and standing tall just in front of them was a large pear tree.

It was an idilic sense not unlike the fine piece of art below by Winslow Homer.  We always had fresh produce, eggs and chickens.  Mom was in charge of taking care of obtaining a chicken for our dinners. The chickens weren't considered pets but they were well taken care of with plenty of space to roam.  Mom and Dad cared for them from the time they were chicks seeing to their every need.  Of course there came the day with a decision to eat one.  I still can remember the first time I saw my Mom take the life of one of our chickens.  I won't go into to detail and I only bring this whole subject up as background for the "rest of the story".  I am not a prude.  This combined with living on a wheat farm gave me the knowledge that there is more involved in getting food to the table than just going to the store and buying it.

Painting by Winslow Homer swiped from
The sun was rising in the east as I made my way through traffic to work on Monday morning.  As I traveled down one of our long I 5 hills a truck passed me and I couldn't help but feel sorry for the passengers.  As you can see it is a truck load of cages with chickens huddling to stay warm as the wind from the fast moving vehicle tears through their cages.  

I lived on farms for a long time and while we slaughter to eat we never mistreated our animals.  I can see why animal activists are upset with the way these animals are treated.  It is enough to make you strongly consider not eating chicken again.  But I expect I will once again put on the blinders and proceed with life.

Tuesday evening I left work to head home and there were several accidents along the I 405 corridor so I decided to take a longer way home by heading east to Highway 18 and crossing to Federal Way.  It is a nice ride on a nice day and when I left Bellevue the sun was shining and white clouds were drifting along in front of a beautiful blue back drop.

Not fifteen minutes and fifteen miles later at the summit of Tiger Mountain the sky turned black and mother nature let loose with a deluge.  Ahhhhh yes, living in the Pacific Northwest.

Hope everyone is having a pleasant time.   I am off today and I will be doing another dinner for my lovely wife.  

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