Not so happy place

farm_flowersYou know what stinks?  When something happens to spoil how you feel about one of your happy places.  You may have caught on by now that one of my happy places is a local farm.  I started taking my daughter there last year when she was just a teeny toddler.  We’ve had nothing but good memories and she’s always excited to go.  This weekend, she and I had a rare opportunity to go, just the two of us again, to pick up our produce for the week.  She asked on the way if we could get an ice cream while we were there.  Heck yeah, we could!  Summer is too short and we need to seize every opportunity for ice cream.

Everything started out as expected.  It was a beautiful sunny afternoon with a hint of a breeze.  As I ordered our ice creams, she sat on the old wooden rocking horses on the porch.  We sat down to enjoy our ice cream (strawberry with rainbow sprinkles for her, coffee in a sugar cone for me), I snapped some pictures of the echinacea and catmint, and then I noticed that the chickens were making a bee line for us.

So, we’ve been to this farm enough times not to be surprised to see a random chicken strolling around.  They usually are poking around the perennials or meandering by the ice cream stand.  They’re always pretty calm and tame and nothing to worry about.  It was pretty clear to me that these chickens were starting to evolve.  Have you ever been to a petting zoo where you can feed the goats?  The second anyone approaches the feed machines, they descend like vultures, jumping, nipping and pushing.  At a recent trip to one such petting zoo area, I found myself body checking these animals just so my child could give a handful of feed to one of the baby goats.

Anyway, I’m sure you see where this is going.  Chickens charged my little girl for her sprinkles and she, being the sweet-hearted child that she is, went to push some sprinkles onto the ground for them, they jumped and pecked and bit her little finger.  The worst!  The bite was small enough.  But, of course, afterwards she was fearful of the chickens and didn’t want to finish her ice cream.  Happy place turned unhappy just like that.  For both of us.  Will we have to find a new happy place now?  To be continued.

The Farm

farmThere is a small farm near our house that never ceases to bring me both inspiration and peace the moment I open my car door and feel the breeze rolling across the open fields.  We started coming here years ago as CSA members and have been so happy to see the farm grown and prosper since then.  Now that we have little ones, it provides another dimension of happiness for me to be able to see my girls enjoy its simple pleasures so much.  We make at least one visit a week so that I can check out the latest produce and the girls can say “hi” to the chickens and goats.  Some days, we even splurge and get an ice cream cone.  Either way, there is no happier way to spend a morning or afternoon.