Thursday, February 17, 2011

What Do I Do With My Empty Nest?

Why, fill it with chicks, of course!

Every pet I've had in the last 30 years was Kelly's fault.  At least, that is what I always say.  In actual truth, she is merely my co-conspirator in pet acquisition.  (I suppose she had nothing to do with Suzy Q...the Boston Terrier, except she DID mention that old dogs get a second wind when you get a new puppy!  Not true, by the way!  Old dogs do not like puppies interrupting their naps and their space!)

We had many pets over the years; which in itself is funny, since our home has always been neat and organized.  Throughout our homeschooling years we raised hamsters, mice, guinea pigs, lots of rabbits, bantam chickens, a pygmy goat, pigeons, parakeets, cockatiels, ducks, fish, turtles, tortoises, lizards, cats and dogs... I drew the line on rats and nixed the pot bellied pig idea.

Vanessa in the rabbit corner at about 11 yrs
No, we didn't have them all at once, but I remember having rabbits in one corner of the yard, chickens in another, a goat in a third, and pigeons in the fourth.  In one particular corner (the one where we had a rabbitry) our third daughter was married last summer.

Here is the same corner last summer, when she was married "under the stars.
                                                                           But  I digress.

This post is about filling my empty nest.  You see, being a mom of four girls and a host for all their pets and friends was a delight.  I knew how to do that.  But now that they are all grown and gone...I'm not sure what to do.  It feels like "the corners of my life"  need filling. All the girls know that I've been flailing around in search of what I'm supposed to do next.  So what did they do?

 Rachel got me blogging,

Emily got me setting goals and office hours. 

Vanessa showed me, by example, that I could do something big and new if I put effort into it.
What did Kelly do?

She talked me into filling the rabbit corner with chickens!
 Okay, so I did say," I want some chickens," when she got hers.  That became possible -- thanks to her husband for building my new coup, and for making it so I could stand up inside it.
Two of my granddaughters in the coup with me.


Left to right: Coconut, a Rhode Island Red,
Banana Chip, a Buff Orpington, and Cashew, a Red Sex-Link
at three weeks.
Today, Banana Chip discovered her first perch.
As with all the other pets, Jim resisted.  But bless his heart he let me have my way.

The moral of the story?

Cherished and guided by my rooster and our chicks,  life as an empty-nester isn't so empty after all!

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  1. Love it! What a perfect tie in!
    That little Cashew was after bugs from the very start! And don't forget a foster mother to my Lynette!

  2. So you say:
    I - gave you an introspective outlet
    Emily - reminded you of diligence & structure
    Vanessa - showed you to dream big
    Kelly - brought you practical joy

    Funny, cause those are all the things you gave us as kids...I guess it's our chance to give it all back!

  3. Oh Becky, I missed seeing this post... probably due to the fact that Cassie was born on Feb 17th. I love it, both for the way you're figuring out your empty nest with the help of your grown chicks, and for the fact that you've got chickens!! So fun! I loved having ours. It'll be fun comparing the 'attitudes' of the different breeds. What a great idea. Enjoy those wonderful brown eggs!

  4. I know this is an old post Becky, but I'm new here!! ;) That is my story too!!! I cried forever when I realized that my nest would be empty, homeschooling would end and I didn't have a "purpose". Caring for critters is very therapeutic and has given back more than I've given.

  5. God is amazing and wonderful -- filling our homes, our cups and our hearts with love and purpose.

  6. Just hopping around your blog a little bit - way after this was posted. It almost made me cry, the way you have put words to the reality I face (empty nest, filling it with chickens and other such things). I never put 2 and 2 together like you did, with the 'training' I got having helped my kids acquire pets and all (enjoying the pets far more than they did, lol) was good training. It's true about the journey to this place I find myself now as an "empty nester" needing to keep that place filled. Hubby said no to being a foster, left only the obvious alternative to expand into animals!
    By the way, I get teased incessantly for being obsessed with the chickens... DO YOU?

  7. I think that the nurturing instinct translates back and forth from people to animals quite effortlessly for some of us. The great thing about the lives we impact is that they give us so much more than we give them. I find this holds true for children and chickens. He he, yes! I get teased from every direction. Thanks, Laureli, for stopping over and leaving a comment; it is always a delight to meet people like you. ~Blessings~


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