Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Regarding Henry


{Henry the Rooster}

Today! Do you ever have one of those days where every plan and detail of your schedule just goes completely off-the-rail?

I was planning my day around taking the kids to one of the outdoor museums to photograph them after Justin got off work. These were our plans for today.

Until I got an email for my Craigslist ad late this morning. Finally! After a visit to the livestock swap--at which we could NOT get anyone to take our FREE rooster, but we somehow came home with two baby bunnies--and a few days of our Craigslist ad getting no bites... at last! A reply!

Our rooster is adorable, a cochin bantam white unfrazzled frizzle rooster. (He's like a mini-chicken.) I took a risk buying him from the straight run bin at the Elizabeth feed store. I figured I had a 50/50 shot of it being female. I named it Henrietta. He turned out to be a Henry and not a Hen.


I enthusiastically replied to the email, and a few back-and-forths later and we were set up to meet half way between Denver and Fort Collins at 6:30 p.m. So scratch the photo shoot, but it was worth it to get Henry to a new, good home. See, he's been cock-a-doodle-dooing at 5:30 a.m. sharp for the past couple weeks. And we're not supposed to have roosters in Denver. I've been fretting over the thought of the neighbors calling animal control on us.

We've even been considering culling him. {Which we're also not supposed to do in Denver.} But he's so darn CUTE!

It would take us about 50 minutes to get to I-25 and highway 7, but it'd be worth it to get Henry to a good home.

At 5 p.m., we found ourselves hiding in the basement from the tornado warning and HEAVY downpour. I texted the Rooster Lady that we might be late. Then again, I texted her that we'd be on time as we piled into the Volvo via the garage, despite the lightning and flash flooding. Justin dropped the car key between the seats and had to work for 10 minutes to get it out. I loaded snacks and a new DVD {The 10th Kingdom} into the player and finally we were on our way, northbound, despite the flash flood.

We drove with the wipers full speed for most of the trip. But we made good time despite the weather and had arrived at our meeting point--the Petsmart off highway 7--a whole 15 minutes early.

So it was lovely when she was a half hour late.

She apologized profusely. She was a nice woman, her son was with her. They seemed excited about the rooster. She told us they had six female one-week-old chicks but she really wanted a rooster. I was so glad it worked out! We handed her Henry-in-a-Box and a ziploc of chicken feed and drove off. Whew! That was done.

We arrived back home at 8 p.m. to find the power was out. Great. How do we make dinner now? I went nextdoor to talk to our super sweet neighbor--a middle aged woman who takes care of her adult disabled daughter 24/7. She's also a retired cop, we're very fond of her. Turns out the whole block was out of power. {140 homes total, according to the Google.}

I told her that we'd just finally got rid of the rooster! I apologized if he'd been waking her up in the morning. Instead of relief, our neighbor was disappointed. Turns out she grew up on the farm, and she said she loved hearing the rooster at 5:30 a.m. each morning. I'm not making this up! She told me more than once she wished we hadn't gotten rid of him. I told her how Denver doesn't permit us to have roosters, and I figured as a retired cop she'd care about that ordinance. But she didn't. She's cool like that.

With the power out and nothing to make for dinner without a stove or a microwave, we piled back into the car and drove to Little Caesars, thinking we'd pick up one of those ready-to-go $5 cheese pizzas, feed the kids, then get them in bed. We hate Little Caesars Pizza. It's the worst. But we didn't care.

Except everyone else in our neighborhood had the same idea, and there was a line out the door {which has GOT to be a first for Little Caesars #amiright}, so Justin called in an order to Famous Pizza, which was actually good pizza. We ate it at home by candlelight.

That's about when I got this text:




I still. Literally. Can't even. With this. Right now.

I can't. Even.

Who does that??? I'm not her mother, so I didn't text back anything I wanted to, like:

"WHY would you buy livestock off Craigslist without asking your spouse* if they were cool with that?! Do you even have a coop? It has barely been more than an hour and the rooster already has you in TEARS?!"

*So I totally bought two baby bunnies last week at the livestock swap without asking my spouse. #hypocrite But to be fair, we had already talked about getting the girls hamsters and bunnies trump hamsters, and also I know my husband and he was just glad I didn't come home with a goat. He was practically thanking me for getting bunnies. Back to the story...

At this point, I want to scream. But I also feel bad for her.

I'm also a little worried because:

1. She's crying about a chicken.
2. I'm worried her husband is the angry sort.
3. Justin and I both suddenly remembered the giant purple bruise on her arm. I mean, imaginations can run wild.

So yes, I text back, of course we'll take the doggone rooster back.

What?

TONIGHT?!


I look at the clock, it's 8:50. She says her husband can meet us at 9:45 at I-25 and 104th this time. Someplace public and well lit, please, I replied. Petsmart parking lot again. A different Petsmart, at least, a good 20 minutes closer to us.

Great. One of us needs to go drive up to north Denver and pick up our rooster nobody wants. At night. During storms.

Obviously I'm not going to go alone to meet a stranger with a chicken at nearly 10 p.m. in an unknown part of town. I'm a woman. We don't do things like that. We send our husbands to do them, and believe me, Sander offered.

But our power is still out. So the idea of being at home alone with the kids. In the dark. In the quiet. With a flashlight and a squirrelly little dog. With my anxiety problems. During a thunderstorm...

So, we all pile back into the Volvo. I start The 10th Kingdom again. And off we are, driving down I-25 at 9 p.m. with our wipers on full speed.

All I wanted to do today was take cute photos of my kids in a pretty park. I was going to come home, edit my photos over a glass of wine, post them here on my blog as my official first-post-since-bloggers-block began. It was going to be great. But no.

We get there early. Again. He gets there late. Of course.

The Petsmart parking lot is completely empty and dark, except for the security guard car, which passes us a few times. I wondered if I'd eventually end up explaining to some parking lot security guard how we were at a Petsmart at 10 p.m. because we were meeting a stranger to exchange a chicken. In the rain. This is the day I had.

I'm going to keep my thoughts, feelings, and observations about Mr. Rooster Lady Husband to myself. Mrs. Rooster Lady felt horrible, texted me a LOT, and promised to send us a Paypal payment for gas. I don't even care, I still do feel badly for her.

When we pulled onto our street at 10:45 p.m. we were relieved to find that the power had been restored to our block. The kids crawled into bed eagerly, we put Henry back into the coop. Poor guy.

Our neighbor is in for a surprise at 5:30 a.m..


{Eating pizza in the dark.} 

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