4/28/49 - Three Fluffy Chicks for Dianne from Uncle Virgil BY-WAYS - 4/28/49 - Three Fluffy Chicks for Dianne from Uncle Virgil - April 14, 1949

That "1949" seems superfluous - and maybe looks as if I regard this as an important document. Not so; not so. But my typing teacher taught me to give the year without fail. Sometimes it turns out to be vastly important. Nothing "important" happened today, except the advent of three dear baby chicks. Virgil, Jr., bought them for his niece, Dianne. Little balls of yellow fluff, they chirped their way straight to our hearts. Inside the carton we fixed a cracker box, open at one end, soft padding sewed to its roof, to emulate a mother hen. They had to be "taught" to drink, but they ate and ate, and went to bed like good little chicks twittering in their warm content.

Friday - My! Those babies are developing lung power. I had kept them in the kitchen, near the floor register, but fearing that Dr. Phillips might think us a new version of the Irish, who "kept the pigs in the parlor," I took them down to the furnace room. They yapped their protest vociferously. Spoiled little darlings, they want company.

Saturday - those chicks have sprouted wing feathers! I wanted them to be brand new for Dianne, but Virge was afraid they'd all be gone by Saturday. These wee chicks carry me back to my childhood on the farm, when Aunt Caroline let me have a whole setting of my very own - every spring - "to love and to cherish 'til death do us part." I lost interest when they lost their down, and maybe they went hungry or thirsty until Aunt Caroline discovered my delinquency - and took over. But I have always loved the cheerfulness of chickens. They are so grateful for a new supply of feed. They look on the bright side of life. Now, take some daily routine of ours. We consider it just that. But, when a hen lays an egg - every day for maybe three hundred days, she makes it an EVENT - something to cackle about. The rooster hops to the highest perch, and proclaims to the whole world that another beautiful day is about to dawn, and it's time to get up and enjoy it. A chorus of singing hens may not make the Metropolitan, but the music gives you a real lift. Well, here it is, Saturday night. Dr. P., and my spouse laughed at me because I tucked the chicks under my chin (with a safeguard) and clucked like an old hen. Ah, they loved it! Dr. P. burlesqued my mothering, and the wee orphans snuggled under his coat. They need a mother!

Easter Sunday - Estelle, Tommy and Dianne met our family (Dad, Virge and Chuck) at our church for the Bell Class breakfast at 7:15. This was followed by a most impressive play, "The Empty Tomb." I took Dianne up front, so that she could see everything, including her grandpa, who was a Pharisee. But the big black beards, the strange robes, and the stentorian tones of the soldiers and Pharisees frightened her. She hid her face in my bosom.

At Easter we always have duplicate services - at 9 and 11. The church members are asked to go to the early service - to give the once-a-year patrons a chance - and a seat - in the 11 o'clock service. Of course the music was beautiful - soul-lifting. The Hallelujah chorus from Handel's "Messiah," "In Joseph's Lovely Garden," and an Easter hymn of praise by Dickenson, whose title escape us all. (what DID I do with the church calendar?) As usual Dr. Phillips preached one of his matchless sermons. "The Three Gardens" depicts Man, the Sinner (in the Garden of Eden), Man, the Savior (in Gethsemane) and Man, the Victor (in Joseph's garden). Christ is the Son of God, yet He was a man - the Son of man. He died that we might LIVE.

To the boys' and my dismay Dianne was afraid of the baby chicks; she wouldn't touch them. The fond parents looked ruefully at the gift, trying to be appreciative, but wondering how they could take care of one mamma dog, two puppies, one kitty, and three chicks. We saw that the gift was overwhelming, so we relieved them of further responsibility. We kept the chicks two more days. I honestly hated to give them up. Such a nice thing happened Easter afternoon. (It is now Friday, the 22nd). We had not been able to get Mother Taylor's Easter flower on Saturday. When I drove Chuck down to the bus station early Sunday afternoon I stopped in later at a florist shop that always carries gardenias. A hard-boiled looking young man came over and I selected a gardenia. He started to pin it on my coat. "Oh, no, this is for Mother. It isn't much, but she is blind, and she loves the odor of gardenias." "You say she's blind? Tell you what we'll do. You can pay for hers, and here's another as a gift," and he pinned it on my coat collar. I changed the wording a little in presenting them to Mother. She was touched - and delighted. Two days later I noticed she kept one in her bedroom, perfuming the whole upstairs, and one in the kitchen, where she is queen.

Good-bye for now,

Florence B. Taylor

Next - 5/19/49 - A Squirrel in the Attic
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