The egg, chicken and other memories
My Uncle Leon, a younger brother to my mom, lived north of Tulsa in Collinsville.
A Veteran, he had a nice place with a pool table and big garage. There were intercoms in each room and a fireplace. I always enjoyed staying the night on occasion.
Any time I stayed, he always kept track of the food I ate and Pepsi Colas I drank and listed a monetary value to the items. A bottle of Pepsi might be 50 cents and a side of green beans might be 25 cents.
I was in elementary school at the time and I don’t recall paying him back. Out back of his house was a large chicken house for lying hens.
My cousin Eddie and I went out there to gather eggs one Saturday morning. Leon, who was in a wheelchair, was there with us. Eddie was having a hard time gathering eggs and Uncle Leon was getting after his son. So, I volunteered to stick my hand under a hen and gather the fresh eggs.
The old hen pecked me and I jumped back as Uncle Leon laughed.
I don’t remember what happened next, only that the effort might have been worth a reduction in my food bill.
Anyway, when my parents moved to their farm south of Tulsa near Bixby, Okla., in the early 1980s, they wasted no time in adding a farm lot of critters.
My mom bought a used mobile home from her nephew in southeast Missouri and had it brought to Tulsa sight unseen.
I had worked for my Uncle J.W., another of my mom’s brothers, setting up mobile homes back in the day. So, my mom and I decided to block the mobile home ourselves.
My Uncle J.W. was quite good at setting up mobile homes. He could level a mobile home with one tier of concrete blocks. The rest of the block tiers were added to stabilize the home.
Somehow by God’s mercy, we got the mobile home level and set up. My mom planned to build a chicken house and ended up putting the cart before the chicken.
She bought a bevy of baby chicks and with no chicken house. So, she built a wire mesh in the mobile home bathroom and put the baby chicks in there.
Both my parents grew up in the sticks, so they compromised and did what they had to do to get by. I don’t remember thinking much about it back then.
We built a chicken house and I helped put a roof on it. It was little crooked, but it worked for many years. And after they got rid of the chickens, the house became a storage shed.
My mom raised fresh eggs and used them in the many cakes she baked for her customers. She made beautiful cakes for years, including birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, etc. She had a bevy a Wilton character cake pans. My favorite was the guitar pan.
The mobile home had a gas stove, so Mom would lay the eggshells on the stove and turn on the burner. After browning the eggshells, she would feed them back to the chickens.
The browning of the eggshell kept the laying hens from eating their own chickens. It is one of those scientific things I can’t explain.
A few years ago, some of my family and I went to a George Strait concert in Des Moines. After the show, we decided to stop at McDonalds for some cold refreshments.
We were all relaxed and talking about the show as we waited in a line of cars. Somehow we got to talking about chickens.
When all of sudden I said, “My mom kept chickens in the bathroom.”
That set everyone in uproar as it was totally unexpected and a wonderful memory.
When it comes to eggs, I can’t stand a burnt egg. My mom could fry a smooth over easy egg with no burnt edges. She always told me that folks have the griddle too hot.
I can’t fry an egg to save myself. So, I scramble them and that is just fine.
Some folks like a burnt egg. I’m not one of them. I can’t stand an egg McMuffin from McDonalds. I could use the egg to scrape paint of the side of my house.
I think I’m going to fix a scrambled egg sandwich with mayo and cheese.
Have a great week and always remember that “Good Things are Happening,” every day and always.
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