Monday, April 25, 2011

Egg Sunday

      It is Easter Sunday and, like the Easter Bunny, we are delivering eggs. Ours are dyed various natural shades of brown, and they are so large it is often hard to close the top on the carton. The chickens who donated them range all over our property eating bugs and grass, so the yolks are bright yellow and dense with a rich flavor that can’t be found on a store shelf.      Scott started this egg business soon after his grandma died. She loved chickens and he loved her, so it was a natural way for him to remember her. He has over 50 chickens which means we collect over 20 dozen eggs a week which are delivered to customers on Sunday afternoons. When Scott is home he drives up and down the valley making the deliveries, and his 30 minute route often takes him over two hours because everyone wants to visit with him. Sometimes he even comes home with plastic bags full of cookies or slices of cake pressed on him by his baking customers. When he’s away, Joe and I keep the business going for him. Joe does the bulk of the work, but I help out when I can and lately I’ve been riding along with him on the egg run. Today is a beautiful sunny day, with the green promises of spring in every field.
     We drive north. Our first stop is a home where the husband and wife, who have finished raising their own two children, are fostering three teenage boys. What a difference they’ve made in those boys’ lives. Three boys eat a lot of eggs so we leave them with two dozen. Then we turn south and bump down the half mile driveway to a farm house tucked off the road. There are goats and pigs stretched out in the sun next to the barn and cows grazing on dandelion-speckled fields. We rumble over one cattle guard and the farmer’s youngest son, who is fifteen, runs out to open the other gate for us. He takes the eggs to his mom who is cooking dinner and returns with change. I smell fried chicken when he opens the door.
     Five miles further south, we stop at a house where there are four children under the age of twelve. The two littlest girls run out to hug me and take the eggs before leading me to the kitchen where their mom waits with a check. Then they lead me back out to the truck and demand more hugs before we pull out. At the next white farmhouse, a half a mile further on, we leave eggs on the kitchen table. No one is home, but the door is unlocked and the table has empty cartons for us to recycle, plus money for the eggs we’re leaving. We are collecting quite a stack of used cartons on the front seat of the truck. At every house we pick up last week’s empties which we’ll refill next week.
     Finally we reach the village where we stop several more times. At one house there’s a man recovering from surgery. He is happy to have company so we chat for a while. At another, The Three Beauties have bicycled down to visit their grandmother. They laugh about burning off a big Easter lunch and then wave and hop on their bikes for the uphill ride back home.
     Our egg run is done, and we load hay and bottle feed a lamb.  Then we have a genuine Easter egg hunt, climbing around the barn to gather eggs out of the hay mow where the hens have hidden them.  After washing and sorting them, we head home.  More eggs wait for us there.

1 comment:

  1. What darling chicken art! And a lovely story of life as those of us in the city romanticize it...trustful, basic, friendly. Of course, hunting those eggs every week is work, but what a wonderful community they create!


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