Why did the chicken cross the road? To get to the other side or to catch a ride?
Have you ever had a moment you wish you could do over? I had such an incident recently. Not five minutes after leaving my driveway, a sudden loud THUMP issued forth from my passenger front wheel and really startled me! I had been watching the road for trucks, tractors and deer since harvesttime was progressing, and I am always on the lookout. However, I wasn't looking for chickens.
Yes, a chicken jumped out of the grass strip and hit my car. It hit right at the front right tire like a baseball bat! I saw it flip out behind my car in the rearview mirror and land in the roadside. When I reached my distant destination, I examined the car and found, to my utter surprise, a dent in the fender and a wad of reddish chicken feathers (not bloody, just the red variety of the Rhode Island breed of the fowl) wedged tightly into the hinge of the door. When I attempted to remove them, I realized the feathers were stuck fast, and opening the door would have exacerbated the damage to the fender. So the feathers stayed in place. It was hilarious to see the looks of other drivers when they spotted my feathered fender. I took photos for evidence but needn't have bothered as not a single feather fell out during my trip that day!
The following day I had a member of the local constabulary come to take a look. He, too, took photos for evidence and very thoughtfully offered to approach the owners of the Attack Chicken regarding their responsibility for my damages. I realize how ridiculous this sounds, but you really cannot imagine that one chicken, whose carcass could not be found anywhere, could inflict such reckless damage! The owners of the Attack Chicken came over that afternoon to view the scene and readily agreed that, yes, indeed, those sure looked like chicken feathers to them, too. They also have peacocks roaming at large, so I am grateful that I did not collide with one of those much-larger birds.
Those of us who live in the country adhere to certain codes. We don't rake leaves. We don't water our lawns. We wave at anyone who passes us, whether we recognize them or not because we probably do know them, even if we don't know the vehicle they are in. When we have livestock or pets or faulty machines which cause damage, we know that we are liable. We do what city dwellers do: We call the insurance agent.
After I received the estimate of the repair job for my car, I phoned the (still somewhat skeptical) owners and dropped the bombshell in their ear. The estimated cost was staggering for such an accident! The owners said I should wait until I heard from their agent to repair my car, but since I couldn't open the passenger side door, I wanted to have the repair made quickly. When you drive a two-door vehicle, it's good to have two you can actually open.
Contacting the agent personally revealed that he is a customer of the business I once co-owned, and he knows my son well. He promised to expedite the matter but requested that I show him the damage. He, too, scratched his head and whistled, amazed that one bird could make such a mess. He also told me that the Attack Chicken was indeed a rooster, who lived through the experience and was strutting around the barnyard, still able to crow about his exploits on the road of life.
Enjoy Christmas with those you love and heighten your resolve for the coming New Year. Oh! What fun we'll have knitting in 2010!
Yours in yarn,
editor, Creative Knitting magazine
As a very determined 4-year-old, I convinced my mother to teach me to knit. I recall clearly my eureka moment at the age of 12, when flicking the yarn the way Mother did made sense to me, and I have been knitting ever since. The home arts of sewing, baking and cooking have always held my interest. After years of co-owning an agribusiness (grain warehouses), I began teaching knitting independently. This led to becoming the editor of Creative Knitting magazine. Perhaps my mother is the only person who was not surprised at this turn of events; she always knew I could achieve more than I had tried. I have grown sons and several grandchildren nearby and knit for them only when asked.
I continue to teach knitting in an informal manner, gathering groups of people together who become friends. The classes are less structured than the norm, with each person working at her own pace on her own project. It's unusual for two knitters to be making the same project; each learns from the successes of others, and we have a great time. I am blessed to be doing what I love!
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