Why Is That Chicken Crossing the Road ?

Today it was important I overcome the obstacles holding me prisoner in the woods of South County and make a break for it. Marie, my eighty-seven year old neighbor (and biggest cheerleader for A Berkshire Tale) had broken her hip and was in a nursing home in town. I was worried and had  to see for myself that she was OK. Jane, a fellow gardener, beta reader and BFF, was celebrating her eighty-first birthday and we had planned to celebrate by going out to lunch. Now, I mention their ages because they are both very strong, independent women and are always reminding me how lucky I am to be so young. (I’m sixty-six, so what’s not to love about that?) It’s all about perspective.

The annal-retentive road crew who, along with their five backhoes, trucks, assorted and asundry heavy equipment,  had become enamored  with our little, country lane during the past week. They apparently had decided to spend the rest of their summer encamped by the oak tree at the end of the driveway. I meant to warn them about the poison ivy growing up the tree, but a madly gesticulating worker in an orange fluorescent vest kept pointing me in the opposite direction of the main road. I didn’t stop to chat and began the interminable detour into town.

Flying Horse
Flying Horse

Marie was overjoyed and hugged me for a good, long time. I was relieved  to see how well she was doing. We talked and laughed for a while. The nursing home was a new adventure for her. (Again, it’s all about perspective.) Every time a nurse or aide came in, she proudly announced that I was her next door neighbor; the author she had been telling them about. I confided to her that as soon as she was back on her feet again, I was hiring her as my agent. She loved that idea. Eventually, she rested her head on the pillow as I read  her favorite part of the  book – the ghost monster in the sky. I left her sleeping peacefully and went on my way to Jane’s.

We spent a comfortable lunch hour chatting on the open deck of a restaurant  perched high over Main Street. She opened her present; a book about famous authors and the gardens that inspired them. She asked me to write a note on the title page with today’s date. “Something to etch the day into my memory,” she said.  “Happy days with friends must be cherished and never taken for granted as we age,” she reminded me. I gave her a kiss and wished her a wonderful Birthday Year.

On our way home, I spied a red chicken running across the road ahead. “What on earth is that thing doing?” Jane asked. I slowed down. Another driver was idling in the other lane watching the chicken wildly pacing  a few feet from her car. Then, it began to go in circles. I looked up. The sky was still in place. The chicken just IMG_3737couldn’t seem to decide which way to go. I cautiously pulled over to the side of the road, parked the  car and took out my phone, switching it to camera. (I mean, a chicken crossing the road! I appreciated everything about the cliché.) But it wasn’t to be. The animal ran from me, seeking refuge under the woman’s car. She leaned on her horn. It stopped for only a moment but this gave me enough time to run interception. It bolted over to the sidewalk, then did an about-face as I blocked its path back to the road. The line of cars that had formed, crept by us, the drivers giving me a thankful wave. The chicken looked up at me and took off into the woods. I switched to phone mode as I walked back to the car where Jane was having a good chuckle. “Where did that chicken come from, I wonder?” she said as I fastened my seat belt. A more apt question would be, “Why was it crossing the road?” I observed. We both sat laughing, tears streaming down our cheeks. “Obviously, we’re easily amused,” I said once we had restrained ourselves.  “Obviously,” she agreed. (Days, hours, minutes with friends must be cherished and stored in our memories. I thought.) She invited me to stay for dinner, but I had to get back home. “Too bad,” she said. “I’m making one of your favorites.” She chuckled as she added, “Chicken pot pie.”


19 thoughts on “Why Is That Chicken Crossing the Road ?

  1. I’m so glad I stopped to read. What a wonderful story with a beautiful flow of words. My favourite “madly gesticulating worker in an orange fluorescent vest “.

    Living away from most of my dearest friends, I know all to well how precious that time together is. Your 87 old neighbour sounds like a great character.

    I look forward to reading more. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Elle. I was going to take some time off just to read blogs, but the writer in me pushed and clawed its way to the top of must-do’s. That’s what is so great about blogging, you get into the writing tempo. Now, if I could just finish my next ZuZu Book.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Loved your account of the day, Claremary. I, too, am from the Land of the Easily Amused. As you say; all about perspective, my dear. Hugs. Robin

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Robin, you would be proud of me. I did learn how to copy and post, so my first assignment made the blog two days late. AND I just posted your Beautiful YouTube Video on my Facebook Page. Wahoooooh, my learning curve has made a U turn! You said I could do it and you were right.Thank you. I’m so glad my nephew talked me into setting up a Twitter account even though I kicked and screamed. (I am an adult child, you know.) I love following you and Fia. Now, I just need some time to read her books. But, the covers are so beautiful to look at.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You know, CP, don’t know where I’ve been the last two years (well, I do really, “floating”), however I’ve just been revisiting and rereading stuff. Btw, I’m still proud of you. 🙂 You mentioned Fia. Hmm, Sofia Essen seems to have disappeared, at least in the virtual world, anyway. Interesting to note, I know a few folk, recently, who have turned their backs on the Internet Facebook existence, so tired were they of being a slave to “it all.” I wonder what she is doing, how she’s coping … Oh, we are all adult children, in time anyway. 🙂 Scribal Best to you.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Robyn,I miss her. I have all her books. We did have fun tweeting back and forth. Maybe we should both plan a trip to Greece to track her down? (And I will never, ever grow up! So, you’re a virtual baby compared to this old lady!) Love, CMS

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Claremary; responding to your Visit/Fia/Greece sometime” comment.
        Yeah, the whole “virtual world friendship” vs “amigos in the flesh” is an interesting contemporary phenomena. As we humans become more of a compartmentalized slave to our internet device of choice, some folk are having an elevated and possibly unrealistic view of “a friendship.” I have met up with folk I ongoingly musically virtually collaborated with and was more often than not, completely surprised. (Imagination vs Reality) For me, with an amount of free time upcoming to travel and be completely open to the next chapter in my life, I imagine that upon arriving in the vicinity of a virtual friends home town/country (while I might have been encouraged to visit/chat over a coffee), there is a small possibility that there may be a small but very large unsaid thought bubble “Oh My God, he’s actually here. In Town! I didn’t Actually mean to Actually have a coffee …”
        Anyhoo, I shall take the opportunity to “offer myself up to the Universe” when the Estate deal is over in the new year, and see what is presenting itself. I’m completely open. We shall see, and if Greece was up for grabs and Fia was still open to suggestion and nuance, then … let the chips fall where they may, my adult child. 🙂 Hugs to you and Charley. Robin

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Robyn, I imagine when you’re finally done with all of the Estate business you’ll be quite relieved. I am looking forward to seeing you when you travel to the East Coast. I think we’ll have lots to chat about and there are a few music venues I think you’d enjoy right here in South Kingstown. ’til then, my friend. CM

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Sounds like a wonderful day.
    Sorry to hear your neighbor broke her hip!
    She seems to be making the most of a long painful experience.

    Love the chicken story.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. She’s so happy to be out of the woods and around people who pay attention to her. I’m bringing her a surprise tomorrow and we’ll read from the book for awhile. She loves that. Just talked with Jack to set up time to visit with you all. Yay!


  4. Just wanted to tell you I am enjoying the blog/stories, but summertime activitiies with the grands is special and keeps us busy. 🙂 Keep up the good work!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Becky. As you can tell, I’ve gone off topic for a few weeks as I’m enrolled in an on-line Blogging 101 course. Now, instead of a post a week, it’s a post a day. My original followers must be wondering what’s going on. You and Bill have a great summer enjoying those grandchildren and hopefully, we will get together this winter. Big Hugs to everyone!


  5. I love your sense of humor and the way your personality comes through in your writing. The chicken in the road made me laugh and reminded me of an incident with a stunned bunny who would not get off the road a few months ago – I moved the bunny to the feeding station behind the house, I still see him from time to time.

    Liked by 2 people

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