Chick Can’t Do Secrets: The Tree

Keeping secrets from my husband is not just a bad idea. It’s impossible for me.

A decade ago we moved to a rural area. I wanted a fragrant and live Christmas tree. He said to wait until he returned home from a business trip. (He didn’t think I could get it home alone.) Like anyone who tried to start our fireplace alone and ended up meeting our neighbor. (Meeting him because he spotted the smoke spewing from the second floor windows of our house and responded! This same neighbor, who subsequently put the fire out for me…burned his eyebrows & arm!) I decided I could surely get a tree home alone.

Stopping at the local produce stand, I chose a beautiful tall tree. The big bubble glass lights were twinkling. the Christmas music was blaring. The boys loading it laughed loudly but said they’d strap it to my beetle bug. While raining and cold, I happily waved and pulled out onto the rural road. As soon as I gained any speed, that tree shot off the top of my car like fingers struggling to secure an oiled pig!

Reluctantly, I pulled over for a quick cry. In my rain sweat windows I saw the boys laughing hysterically; but the scene wasn’t over yet. I stepped out of my car to drag the tree back to the side of the road…but not until after a semi-truck came along and ran over it…transforming my beautiful tree to “road kill”.

Returning to the produce stand, they could barely contain themselves with laughter and tears. I was crying too, but I was simply embarrassed. The owner said,”How ’bout I deliver it to your home?” Gladly, I accepted but only if he could do it before my husband’s truck was in the driveway. (I wanted the hubs to know I could do this without him!) He offered to bring it in the house but I declined stating that would be more than I could of handled “alone”.

For many years, this “adventure” remained a secret from him, until his mom said,”What about the tree that year?”

We don’t do secrets anymore. (At least, that’s waft he thinks.)


Chick Gets More than she Gives

Five years ago while living in Virginia, I was asked to go to Pennsylvania to paint in calligraphy on the wall for a baby that was to be born.  It was a blessing for me to be able to paint this baby’s name.  You see, the parent’s had been married for twenty five years.  She was an unexpected but highly anticipated little miracle.  They called her “Siena”.

Paint, I need paint.  I brought some but not the right colors, which reminds me of a Halloween party I had at my house years ago.  All of the neighbors were invited.  We live in a rural area, so we decided to do a bonfire and wiener roast with s’mores and hot apple cider!  I got paint and pumpkins for the kids to paint.  (I didn’t want the mess of pumpkin guts or the risk of someone getting hurt with a knife.  And, I bought coat hangers to put the wieners on to roast in the fire.  I was excited. 

Because I had overalls, I decided to as a hillbilly.  I wore my overalls and blacked out a tooth, wore cowboy boots and had a headband that included a little felt cowboy hat and yarn braids!  I was ready.  I was a bit goofy, but I was ready.  The neighbors arrived and I was the only one dressed in costume.  FIRST STRIKE.  We painted the pumpkins and the kids loved every moment of it.  It was a hit!  They laughed and had a gift to take with them.  STRIKE TWO happened when I got the phone call from one of the parents stating the paint…was not waterproof.  Then it was time for the bonfire.  I handed Bill the coat hangers I had untangled.  With that dazed look, he explained that we couldn’t use plastic coat hangers to cook wieners in a fire.  (There we go again, Bill was right.)  STRIKE, well you know the answer to that.  I love children, but I don’t have any.  Can you tell?

 Aaaaaand, once again, I digress.

Where was I?  Oh, right….Pennsylvania.  Once there, we found the colors that were needed.  It was a simple job for me.  I painted little sparrows and the baby’s name was “Siena”.  As I was almost completed with the process, I realized that I painted the name as “SieNNa”!  It was only supposed to be one “n”!  Needing to cover the additional “n”, I needed supplies.  Calmly, I approached the owners and asked if they had any of that sweet …light…baby… pink paint.  You know, the color the walls were painted?  Of course they didn’t.  We then made a trip to the home improvement store to get more paint and sand paper to get rid of that pesky “N”!  What should have taken only a few hours turned to about an eight hour process.  May I add that it was beautiful?   I wanted it to be special.  It was just as I had imagined it, without the additional four or five hours!

Now, five years later, I understand that Siena, with one “n”, talks to the name on the wall as if she knows me.  Her momma says that “Summer is her BFF”.  (Summer is my first name, in case you don’t know me.)  What an unexpected gift of a new little friend…who I’ve still never met!   So today, I’m excited to send her “The Mermaid City” by Judy Norwood Enter and Illustrated by…ME!  I decided to sign it and carefully, with one “n” and “with love from her BFF, Summer”!  I wish I could be there to see her face!

By the way, no children or animals were harmed in the decoration of the pumpkins!  For now, I’ll stick to my dogs and chickens.  And, stay tuned for more about caring for chickens….It’s not for sissies! 

And, no matter what…decide to bless someone, give service from your heart today… and you will be blessed. Think of little Siena, with one “n”.  My tiny BFF has blessed me beyond measure.  Decide to complain less and bless more.  Make a conscious decision each morning to do that each day.  It will change your life.  It has continued to change mine.