Chickens and Other Objects of Desire

Growing up, I wanted to be a mom, a teacher, a writer, an artist, and Laura Ingalls Wilder. In my current job, I am a writer, I’m an artist in my free time, and I’m looking forward to the mom/teacher role commencing any time in the next 4-9 weeks. Being Laura Ingalls Wilder is tougher, especially considering that she’s dead and I’m not and this is 2005 not the 1800s.

I tried to convince my dad once that we should become Amish, because that lifestyle seemed close to being a pioneer. He explained the theological roadblocks to that idea, so I had to drop it.

When I got married and moved to Indiana, I thought I was getting a little closer to the dream. We did get a little house, and it does sit in a subdivision that used to be a farm that probably used to be the prairie. Admittedly, it’s a stretch. I still have a deep and abiding desire to own chickens. And maybe a goat. Unfortunately, our neighborhood covenant agreement expressly forbids chickens and goats, while inexplicably allowing those tacky magic wishing ball lawn ornaments. Foiled again.

One of these days, I’d like to get a little farm. Not a real one that you have to run like a business, but enough acres to prevent my next door neighbors from staring at us while we sit on our couch, and with enough space for a big garden and a little barn for my chickens and goat. My husband, who is not gifted in the agricultural arts, does not share my vision at the moment. He’s a practical, suburban type who appreciates conveniences like street lights and city water. Maybe one of these days he’ll come around. In the meantime, I have put my plans to trade in our Honda Civic for a covered wagon on hold.

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