Really? You want … chickens?!

This weekend, we passed the first anniversary of our first Sunday at Woodland, our interview weekend.

Previous to that memorable time, we met the search team on webcam. Dear friends all today, they were (mostly) strangers then. And, it was really something when we connected to see a roomful of people in the church’s welcome area, a place now familiar to us.

“Why could you see yourselves bringing your family to Woodland and Westboro?” the team asked us, naturally.

“Well,” we said. “We’d like to serve in a place where we could have … chickens.”

Not to make light of the process that was thorough and good, but “chickens” must have been the answer they were looking for. One lady in the foreground of our webcam screen seemed especially taken with our response. “Really? You want chickens? … We can get you chickens!”

That was Wendy Budimlija (Ba-dim-u-la). And now, one year later, Wendy (and Randy) have delivered. We have chickens!

It started with the henhouse that had to be repaired. We closed ourselves inside on a bright day, and marked the daylight. A board slapped here and another slapped there was enough to darken the innards of the place. We discovered fence nails, and a bit of chicken wire served to re-enforce any weakness, real or imagined. Randy came over to inspect my carpentry. “It’s a chicken house,” he said. “You’ve done fine.” I needed the encouragement. If I’m a mink or a weasel, I can still get in, but we’ll make the varmints prove they’re serious.

Wendy and Randy returned again to bring a heating lamp, bedding, chick feed and food and water dispensers. Then, a gift from the Budimlijas: the chicks arrived at the Rib Lake Post Office! We drove the seven miles, all in a dither, and picked up the peeping packet. Twenty minutes later, we opened our box on the lush, green lawn, right in front of our very own chicken house. We gave them their first drink. Two Barred Rocks, two Silver-Laced Wyandottes, two Red Stars, an Americana (that’s the “Easter Egger” that lays the green eggs) and one Buff Orpington.

Since then, our “girls” have become young ladies. And, they’ve gone free range. Since they remind the kids of fancy women shopping together in a fancy department store, they’ve given the ladies mature names—Matilda Mae (Tilly), Missy, Hazel, Stella, Mabel and Sable (the Red Stars), Gertrude (Trudy) and then Pepper, whom we suspect to be a rooster.

If we’d seen ourselves a year ago!

Woodland and Wendy have made good. It was a search process to remember. And, “Chickens” was the right answer.


5 thoughts on “Really? You want … chickens?!”

  1. This is such a great story! We wish we could meet the “girls”, soon to be ladies.

    There are few things more delightful than that box of “peeping tings” As we were from Kentucky and the rural community, you have opened the reservoir of memories that can only come in the way you have described in appropriate Technicolor.

    Our breeds were Plymouth Rocks, Rhode Island Reds, Dominique (called domineckers in KY), White Leghorns and Rhode Island Whites. One not-so-good recollection is cleaning the hen house in the summer heat. That will clear your sinuses!

    To those of the Woodland flock we congratulate you on your choice in the Regier “breed”. We miss them in Godly-sorrowed recollections, but rejoice in your church’s wisdom and taste for the best. Work with them and seek the Lord in His work there.

    Love in the Family,

    Dan and Jean Castleberry

    Robins IA

    1. Glad to restore (mostly) good memories, Dan. The Plymouth Rocks are also known as Barred Rocks, to my understanding. One of them might be a rooster! … Notice I had trouble finding the spiritual application in this piece. It could be that, sometimes, it is just great, redeemed fun living in God’s world …(:

      1. Remembering things is an exercise of the mind and heart. Both are storehouses of the good things HE has provided. Associated with this exchange I visited scenes that reminded me of the fabulous blessing in my life and the people HE put there for me. Of course not even nearly all times were such a blessing, but the chicken-history is … for the greater part!

        Oh yes, there was a big, mean Rhode Island rooster in the chicken yard. He helped me overcome the excessive control of fear.

  2. Must comment — SOOoooo glad you had the “right answer”!!!!… to those interviewing days and questions. What a blessing you and your family are to us “Woodlanders” (a name that you’ve given your congregation of folks)

    1. I must give credit, actually, to your Larry for the “Woodlander” label. As our gatekeeper of culture, he let it slip once, and that was all it took for Woodland folk to have a name!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *