It was today at the Abrahamsons'. Joe and I butchered the last five of our chickens.
When we did the first and second batches of butchering, I was conveniently busy with other things. The kids were home, so Joe put them to work helping him.
But now almost all our children are in Public Schools.
So today mom got to help.
(I learned that linguistic trick while playing cards with our good friends Alex and Carrie during Joe's seminary years. "I have to go first?" I'd ask. Alex would always reply, "No, Mary, you get to go first.")
So yes, I got to help butcher chickens.
I have written periodically in the past about my desire for self-sufficiency. And how the older I get, the harder it is to really want to bother. The grocery store is pretty convenient, isn't it? I don't really like to try new things anymore. And I am content and fulfilled already. I no longer need to prove how tough or strong or bold I am.
But today I learned something new. I am now tougher and stronger and bolder than I was this morning.
I got to hold the chopping block steady while my husband chopped off the fowl heads. (Yes, the pun is definitely intended.) By the time we did the last one I wasn't even shutting my eyes, though.
I got to pluck the feathers off the hanging birds.
After the first two birds were done, and we saw how much more quickly it went with mom helping as opposed to the kids, we decided to just forge ahead and finish the job in one sitting.
After that, I got to be more involved so Joe could carry on handling the plucked birds. (The gutting and cutting, etc that I am still not tough or strong or bold enough to want to do.)
I got to catch the flopping chicken bodies by the legs.
I got to dip them into the boiling water.
I got to dip them into the cold water.
I got to hang them by the foot from the noose.
And I got to pluck them.
Am I cool or what?
Oh, and by the way, when you set your beheaded chicken down and he starts a-flopping, make sure he is far enough from the house so he does not fall into a window well. Not a pretty sight. Guess what we get to do tomorrow?