Well, butchering chickens is sort of like most other jobs you don’t want to do but do them anyway — both obligation and necessity reign over preference and desire. Butchering chickens is instructive — both to butchers and to consumers. The butchers see the incredible handiwork of the LORD, the “fruit” of much labour and the conquest satisfies that deep-seated hunter-gatherer disposition and is great consolation to the provider of the family. The consumers? Well, they just consume. But they do dishes, too. So, butchering and consuming is a win-win situation.
We have yet to eat one of our “meat birds.” But each time I go out to the freezer to retrieve some item, I see them all neatly cleaned up — filling one of the freezer shelves and some deep sense of satisfaction washes over me. Satisfaction that there is: a.) meat in the freezer; b.) evidence of a successful family endeavor; c.) proof that if we can do it, anyone can do it! and d.) a sweet reminder of warm summer days when the sun was shining, the birds were clucking and the water was flowing. Well… maybe when Wes got the last water bill he didn’t really feel the love of all that water running (and running) like I felt it at the time.
Speaking of freezers and water… it’s been nearly two years since the 2006 Snohomish River flood. Two years since Timothy and I went to the hardware store in town to buy paint for the stairwall and hallway. Yes… the day before the flood we were painting — and they thought we were crazy at the hardware store when we told them our plan for the day! Yes, we told them we had rolled up the carpets, put everything we could on blocks and tables and then decided to paint. Little did we know that day that the very next day we’d barbecue steaks (that’s where the freezer part of today’s blog entry comes in).
You see, we had just filled the freezer with beef and I decided if the River was that high and there was potential of losing the whole freezer and. all. that. meat. then we’d better have a barbecue… and so… we did. I do a lot of crazy stuff when I’m nervous… I laugh… I work hard… I become very resourceful.
We could hear the rushing River… we listened to news reports… watched the water… packed more stuff in the van. And lit the barbecue grill. O, and I made potatoes, too. I’m pretty sure, if memory serves me right (and even if it doesn’t) that those were the best steaks we’ve ever had.
I remember going upstairs to Wes’s office and on the way I looked out Timothy’s bedroom window and in the bright moonlight I saw the beautiful reflection of the moon on the water — wait. What? the moon is being reflected down — in — the– field — outside — the — window ? – ? – ? Uh-oh… *time to go!* And we did. We all grabbed our jackets & bags (and some grabbed what remained of their dinner) and we hopped in the van and left. When we got to the strangely deserted intersection, the policeman waved us on after first asking us where we came from (sort of incredulously, like: are you the only people who *didn’t* get the memo that the flood was coming?!?) and if anyone else was left in our home. Uh, I nervously said, I don’t think so… or something silly like that.
So… getting back to the chickens… if there’s a flood next month and the whole scene plays over again, I think they’ll probably be like those steaks — the best ever, except, for once, we’ll rightly say: Mmm, mmm… tastes just like chicken!