Friday, September 21, 2007

Chicken Leaves Nest

Here's a picture Dinah drew with the mouse, when I got my first computer around 1997. Emma was a fine chicken... Dinah was around seven.

Today was the day when the chicken left the nest.

I woke up this morning at 1:30 but didn't have to get out of bed till 3:30 am, so thrashed about, thinking of the day ahead. Tia and the goats and Dinah were headed for U.C. Davis today. We'd had a hard confrontational evening last night, just the thing before a major separation, (NOT), and I fell asleep crying.

Dinah and I took separate cars out to the stable at 4:30, but not before she went outside to say goodbye to the chickens, including Elle the rooster in the garage... how dear is that? She's always loved her chickens.

We got to the gated community where the horses live, (I know that sounds odd!), and the guard wouldn't let Dinah through the gate, because her new car didn't have a proper sticker, so she had to call me to drive back down and do some talking and show i.d., never easy for me since I go by my maiden name, and my formal name is Sarah. Then we waited in the dark for the trailer rig to appear, driven by Peggy and her bud Tita.

It was very cold; the weather had changed suddenly. A big storm was predicted, and Tia is prone to colic, which can be life threatening and is sometimes triggered by weather changes. Or any kind of change. And here she was about to go on an 8 hour journey.

Molly was quiet in the back seat. Even though it was her birthday.

Dinah brought Tia upstairs. She was wild, spinning around, neighing, and shaking uncontrollably, which was very scary to see. Horses don't usually act like that, but then it was the middle of the night, sort of.

Her goat buddies were right behind her. Peggy said to get some food for Tia right away, and once Tia started eating, she stopped shaking. She was really scared. Nicole the goat stole a banana I'd brought for Tia, ate the peel and spit out the fruit. Tia loaded up in the trailer, and fat goat Nicole went in too.

But her wicked sister, Margarethe, suddenly had a sense of "TRICK!" and tried to bolt away. When we surrounded her she had a moment of goat panic which is creepy to watch. She got very still and her eyes were sort of closing. Then she climbed in the trailer too. Peggy got out and the door was closed. Peggy has a closed circuit camera set up in the trailer so we could see from the cab video that Tia and goats weren't freaking out yet. The two women headed out on their eight hour journey. Peggy has always had this classic Chatsworth woman look, but as we said goodbye at 6 am I wondered if she had Indian blood (aka Native A.) The way she held her head and took it all in, checked all the details, knew what to do for Tia. Peggy has a big heart. The truck cab smelled of cigarettes and junk food.

Dinah and I walked to our cars, hugged, sobbed, said goodbye. Off she drove in her new blue car. This was: child off to college, end of line for child raising... a fall off the cliff time for me.

IT ALL WENT WELL! Dinah got to Davis two hours before Peggy. Tia seemed happy when she got off the trailer, the new stall is twice as big as in the gated community. She's eating, not looking weird, which is the first sign of colic. The goats kept ramming Dinah in the knees. Dinah sounded VERY happy. (not about the goats' behavior, but because everybody got there okay.)

So I'll get used to this I'm sure.

Sunday it's off to see Mom at the Quaker retirement place, Medford, New Jersey.


Katy said...

A wonderful posting. Thank you for writing it, thinking it.

Namowal said...

I'm glad to hear Dinah (and her animal pals) made the 8-hour trip without a hitch and are happy with their new digs.
Like I (and others) have said before, that has to be difficult to see her move away.

Sally said...

6:37 exhausted, thanks all.zzzzzzz

sg said...

So glad to hear all arrived safely. So sorry about the sadness of separation. Are you planning a ritual to mark the end of an era and the beginning of the next phase of your life?

I hesitate to say this, but I have a 52-year-old sibling who never left home, and from that vantage point there is something to be said for separation. It's great that Dinah is so strong and able to go off on her own.

linda said...

Sally, when I read this yesterday it was so exhausting (just to read it) that I couldn't comment. How HARD. I've never felt strong enough to have kids. The emotions I would have for them, and that they would have for me would kill me. But how great you must have felt when she called (I know that there are incredibly bright emotions right beside the darker ones...) Actually, if I could have been guaranteed I would have had a kid like Dinah, I would probably have had 17. (SG has a good point. Dinah's happy and healthy and loves you like crazy, it's obvious.) The picture of Emma shines out.

Sally said...

I'm struggling, coming around.

I pictured a cone, first facing backwards, then flipping over to face forwards, and tried to explain to Dinah that her life is about to do the same thing. Horse and goats still fine. Boyfriend heart broken. Off to retirement village to see my mother. Thanks all.

Greta said...

There is really no preparing for some moments life brings. Your words moved me too. You are brave to write about it and to share it with whomever is reading. As someone who is a few years ahead in this department, it is the beginning of a different kind of relationship that is actually quite lovely.

5 days later said...

I don't think visiting your mom is any excuse for ignoring your blog go for so long.

n said...

I agree with 5 days. It's not fair for you to desert your readers.

outraged said...

What 5 Days says is true. It's almost 6 days. This is an outrage!

Blog Administrator said...

It has been brought to my attention that you have neglected your blog for almost seven days. If the situation is not remedied within 24 hours, we have no choice but to turn your blog over to a temp (at present, our administrative assistant Anita). She will rewrite parts that don't suit her, and will post photos of creatures she doesn't care for.

Curly said...

Holy Smokes, guys, cool it! Everybody knows there's no wi-fi in New Jersey.