Childhood Memories: Chicken Chasing

A batch of eggs from
Mom's chickens!
My conversations with my friend from Chicagoland always provide interesting inspirations for blogging. Her perspective is so different!
Today, I had a flashback to my childhood.
I needed to run an errand at lunch, and I asked my friend if she’d like to tag along for kicks and giggles. She said she did, and so off we went. A young girl had a lemonade stand set up on the corner along our way, and we both commented on how that was neat of her to attempt entrepreneurship at such a young age, but also that unless you’ve got a really hopping market (like being the only concession stand at an event of some kind) that she was probably barely (if even) breaking even. 

My friend commented that she’d always wanted to try having her own lemonade stand, but that her neighborhood wasn’t exactly a great place to do so. Instead, she joined the Girl Scouts for the sole purpose of gaining business experience from soliciting door to door. She laughed that maybe that wasn’t the best reason, but I argued that it was a perfectly good one.
Coincidentally, the errand I needed to run was for my mother. Her hobby is raising chickens, and she sells the eggs as well. This is the first time since I was 8 or 9 that we were able to have chickens again, and she’s enjoyed it a lot. My errand was to take two dozen eggs to a lady at the bank.

Cadillac, one of our hens, right
 after she hatched earlier this spring.
Back when my mom had her first flock of chickens, helping take care of them was our (my brothers and I) responsibility. We hatched them out from an incubator ourselves. You had to turn the eggs once a day, like mother chickens do. We carefully put an X and an O on each side of every egg, so we could be sure to turn them evenly. They were so cute and fluffy when they hatched out!

As homeschooled children, rather than playing football or baseball or taking ballet, we participated in junior rodeo. This worked out well for us because the flexibility of our school schedule allowed us to practice riding at least once a day.
In order to help pay for our entry fees, Mom let us peddle the eggs we gathered from our chickens. Much like selling Girl Scout cookies, we went door to door in downtown North Platte during our bi-monthly grocery run (we lived 100 miles from North Platte, which was the nearest WalMart).
Can you just imagine? Some cute little pigtailed girl and her cowboy hat clad little brother showing up on your front porch, asking if you’d like to buy some nice fresh eggs? It was hard to say no!
We were pretty proud of ourselves, having taken care of those chickens, gathered all the eggs ourselves, carefully washed them and put them into cartons, and then transported them all the way to North Platte! People could tell, too.

Upon learning of my engagement to Cowboy, the first thing my grandmother did was send me a copy of Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace; Revisited. I laughed, but the book has been an interesting read. He talks in one chapter about how to teach your kids how to handle their money. He makes the point that they’re much more apt to be careful with what you give them if they had to earn it. Much like my brother and I, we were proud of the work we’d done and proud to earn something for it. We then used the money to compete, which is something else we worked really hard at being good at.
As a result, we’ve always been really hard-working kids. A willingness to work hard has brought me a lot of success in college, and allowed my brother to excel at boot camp this past summer. Both endeavors are things that will hopefully take us further in life. Mom always said that success is often 1% talent and 99% hard work...which I think is something her dad used to tell her. Hmm... I see a positive pattern here. 

I’ve interacted with several of my peers in college that have clearly always had things handed to them. They only pull the silver spoon out of their mouths long enough to get snot-slinging drunk at a party. They’re awful to work with on group projects and are hard to interact with because their interests and background are so different than mine. But that attitude isn’t doing them any favors. They’re entitled and demanding and are generally unhappy. They're the epitome of the people that Thomas Edison referred to when he said "Opportunity is missed by many because it is often dressed in overalls and looks like hard work."

As a result, I’m continually thankful that my parents taught me to work and to act like an adult, rather than a spoiled brat. I have much better relationships with my professors, my employers, and my non-spoiled peers.
Do your kids a favor, and don’t hand them things. Make them work for it. They’ll thank you later.

~ Danger Out

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