The phone is ringing...it's 6:26 am. I look and see a number I don't know...and then I remember, it's the post office. Yesterday I told them any time after 5:30 am was an okay time to call me. I rouse myself out of bed, one that's been taken over in the past 10 minutes by eight kicking and hitting restless arms and legs and simultaneously vacated by a larger set of arms and legs. It's time to rise and shine everyone must get dressed quickly we have to go on a little journey to the post office before the postmistress gets a headache.
We all get into the car somewhat dressed and clean, ready to start the day. C. has decided on a pair of pink polar fleece pants with a short sleeved red dress over the top. I let it slide...she looks cute and it fits her quirky little personality. W. asks if Jack Frost has come to visit yet. He has not, but he will be here before long. We drive with a few yawns and whines of "Please turn up the heat..." and "I'm so hungry I could eat a bear without salt." (A quote from Little House that W. has grown to love.) I reassure that our package is very hungry too and we can all eat breakfast together. We watch as the school bus we have been following turns down a friend's road...W. comments that his pal must be going to school.
Finally, we arrive at the post office. The lobby doors are open 24 hours so people can get to their P.O. boxes and there is a wooden door that the postmistress told us to bang on loudly. We do. She comes with peeping box in hand and chats about what is in the package and asked the kids if they are responsible. W. decides to hold the box as we leave. He tries to move a corner of the box aside to peek in, but cannot.
We arrive at home and unload. Now the sun is up and it is becoming warmer. We fill up a mason jar with warm water and a touch of sugar. I pick each body out of the box, dip its beak in and put it upon straw under a heat bulb and reflector...it is fall, and the time of year we get our chicks.
I know it's an odd time, most think Easter and spring chickens, but we prefer the fall. That way, they will start to lay in the early spring when we have been deprived of freshly laid eggs. We order early since many hatcheries don't sell in the fall, and then share in the surprise as we receive that phone call..."We put them in the mail this morning...you should be getting them tomorrow..."
5 Red Stars and 5 Easter Eggers arrived today in the mail...small but strong. Two of the Easter Eggers are especially beautiful, one is chocolate brown and the other is silver grey.
W. enjoys the Red Stars...the quintessential yellow ball of fluff.
Our older birds are not laying as well as they used to. They will become the old ladies living at our chicken retirement home and we will slowly introduce the new girls to them. More on that subject when we get there.