HDR Photography of the Real Michigan

What’s With Me and the Chickens?

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These little chickens wouldn’t let me get very close.

You know, I do have a disproportionate number of posts about chickens.  I get such a kick out of the way they strut around like they are the boss of the world and then run away… like chickens when you get too close. These little stinkers were doing just that with me when I took this picture in the farmlands of Ada. Just after I took this, they skittled off through that doorway.

My mother’s parents were farmers. I have  fond memories of being around their animals, walking through fields (and watching for snakes, it was Missouri after all), picking tomatoes and catching grasshoppers with my three brothers and cousins. In the evening my grandfather would load us all into his pickup and we’d tour the fields, check on the cows and then come home and listen to him play the fiddle. I’ve mentioned this before but it bears repeating, he only had one arm, if you look him up on YouTube, he’s Leonard Smith, the one armed fiddler. My grandmother was his rock and she was one of the kindest people I’ve ever met in my life. I’m lucky they were around until well into my adulthood.

Having a grandfather with one arm who could do anything on his own, except tie his shoe, taught me to be independent and to try a little harder. One time, I was at a national fiddling contest with him where he was a competitor. He hadn’t been up to play yet and a dude came up to him on the side with an arm and said “could you help out a man with a disability?” as he held out a cup begging. I don’t remember what this guy’s disability was, but I do remember thinking that I was so very proud of my grandpa for making the most of his life and getting past this huge challenge he had to cope with. It also made me incredibly grateful for the simple things in my life.

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  • Pat Gundry says:

    Actually, he could tie his shoes, with one hand. But he couldn’t roll up his sleeve or sharpen a pencil with the old fashioned sharpeners that required the user to hold the pencil with one hand and turn the crank with the other. My mother and I would roll up his sleeve for him, which led my little brother to think that all females did that for all males and was insulted when we told him to roll his up for himself. Ann’s Mom, Leonard Smith’s daughter.

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