How To Wait

I met this toad earlier today in my garden.

“What ‘cha doing just sitting there, Buddy?” I asked.

He said nothing.

He just sat there.

And waited.

For what I don’t know.

“What are you waiting for, Little Dude?” I asked him.


He seemed happy enough to just sit there.

I wish I could learn to wait like that toad.

Wait, wait, wait.

He was still there when I headed inside for a cup of tea.

“See ya later, Alligator…”

I’ve never been a good “waiter.” I’m a results-oriented person. I like it when things are DONE.

But moving to a farm (which I waited 10 years or so for, btw) has taught me some waiting skills. I’m learning to wait in joyful anticipation, rather than frantically.

You see, on a farm you have no choice.

You have no control over the period of time you are going to wait.

It’s totally out of your hands.

Say, like the time you must wait for a seed to sprout.

Or harvest to come.

Or your horse to fall in love with you.

Or your barn renovation to be complete.

Or the first frost in autumn.

Or the earth to warm up in spring.

Or the time to take care of it. (whatever “it” it is today)

Or the rain to fall.

Or the rain to stop falling.

(Our friends planted tobacco this year, but the rain didn’t stop falling. Their crop is ruined. Crop-failure. They mowed it over the other day. Just think about waiting and waiting and working and working and then nothing. I admire their attitude so much. It’s like: What can we do? There’s next year. Oh well. It happens. God will take care of us; He always does. Faith and waiting seem to go hand and hand on many farms.)

Or an egg to appear.

Yep, on our farm I’ve been waiting for our first egg.

I received my chickens in the US Post Office on Monday, April 22nd as day-old chicks.

It was a special day at our farm.

We LOVE LOVE LOVE our chickens. They are pets to us. I enjoy caring for them and feeding them.

One of the first things my daughter does when she gets home from school is to go to visit them. She sits and talks to them, picks them up, entertains them.

And so we wait for eggs.

I put up some nest boxes up in their house weeks and weeks ago. Padded them with some of my horses’ hay.

I even bought Oyster Shell to feed the girls when they start laying.

And, oh yes, I’ve been saving my egg cartons.

Neighbors and friends have started to ask me. “Any eggs yet?”

Nope, no eggs yet. But I’m ready!

And then, yesterday, the first day of Autumn, I heard such a commotion in the chicken run. I went outside to see what was going on, concerned that there was something wrong.

There wasn’t any danger that I could find.

Later, I went out to feed them and lo and behold, there in the middle nest box was the most precious egg ever.  It was tiny and beautiful.

I had heard from other chicken owners that there is often commotion in the pen when a hen lays her first egg. It is so.

I ran in the house to get Hubs and my daughter. The date was September 22nd, exactly five months after they came to live on our farm. Exactly.

Just earlier that day Hubs had donated one of his golf balls to the egg cause. One of our friends had told him that we should put a golf ball in the nest box so that the chickens will know where to lay their eggs. He had just dug through our stuff in the garage to find his dusty golf bag (no time to play golf when you live on a farm!).

He held up the egg and the golf ball. The golf ball is bigger.

Well, I know EXACTLY WHO laid that egg. Out of the 16 chickens, 1 came running in the house while I was at the nest box. It was Phoebe, the Phoenix.

She jumped into the nest box.


I knew what she was looking for.

“Gal, I took it.”

Phoebe is a beautiful chicken.

She is one of the smallest birds I have, which is interesting since she is the FIRST to lay.

“Good things come in small packages.”

Isn’t she beautiful?

The male Phoenix chickens are the ones with the tail feathers that are incredibly long. This is a Japanese breed that is often seen in Japanese artwork, tapestries.So I don’t have to wait any more. I have an egg. I have an egg.

Now, everyone has asked me if I am going to eat that egg.

The answer is no.

I intend to learn how to blow out the contents of the egg and save this egg forever.

Because that’s the kind of farmer I am. A nutty one. Not much of one, I guess.

Eat our first egg? Never!

And now we are waiting to see if this guy is a rooster. He sure acts like one.
Not that I KNOW how a rooster acts, but he acts like the roosters in the cartoons. (“I say, I say, son….”)Which is the source of my knowledge for many, many things.

This is when he or she was a chick. We thought he was masculine even back then.

We’ve always called him or her “Mr. Koshie,” in joyful anticipation of the day he crows.

However, I have to say, we have been proven wrong on two others we thought were roosters. One we named “Grandpa” and the other we named “Roo.” They are definite hens. We changed “Roo” to “Rue,” but “Grandpa” is still “Grandpa.”

She was named after the Grandpa on the from the Munsters, whom she favored at the time.

On to another waiting thing. It’s garlic planting time! I put out some the other day. And. Now. I. Wait.For Spring!

maryjanesfarm still has some garlic in stock!

Patience is a virtue, they say.Talk to me.


Until next time, Friends, savor the flavor of life!Lots of love, The City Farmgirl, Rebekah

  1. Denise says:

    Loved this :/)farm life is hard completely rewarding. Though I haven’t had the pleasure of trying farm life out for myself as yet. Love your attitude to life

  2. For my chickens, every day is a new day. They STILL squawk when they lay an egg. I have seven Jersey calves coming, starting in February. It takes FOREVER, 9 months to be exact. Can’t say, "can’t wait," ’cause I have no choice. "Will wait, will wait, will wait."

  3. Diana Henretty says:

    Oh my, your blog "just hit the spot" for me again this morning, we too are waiting. Waiting to meet our #5 grandson, soon to arrive any day now, carried by a precious surrogate mama who offered so unselfishly herself these past 9 months.
    Waiting to see our two oldest adopted grandsons again, waiting to celebrate the holidays with 5 grandsons in one year’s time.
    Waiting for the Ozark leaves to change, for life to slow down, wintery snows to come again, waiting to sit by the fire and quilt.
    Waiting… teaches us how to count our blessings while standing still!
    Waiting, Wondering, and Watching for good things from the Ozarks with hugs, Diana

  4. Joan says:

    CONGRATULATIONS the 1st egg!!!! I know what you mean about saving the 1st, I saved more like the 1st 2 dozen from my son’s families chickens and I blew them. Very carefully poke a large needle in each end, use needle to stir/break the yoke and then pressure blow into one hole, with a dish under the other end to catch the egg. I have heard that someone sells and egg blower but for the life of me I haven’t found it. After the egg is out, slowly dribble it full of water and a drop of soap and shake, covering the holes, then uncover the holes and shake out water, more water to rinse, stand shell up in a small container so water can drain and air can go through. This may sound like a lot to do but oh so much of a reward. I happen to have a small wire chicken that I display the shells in, also the chickens that share with me lay colored eggs but your white will be beautiful too. Have fun. Thanks for the ‘day at the farm’. God Bless

  5. Linda Petersen says:

    Hi Rebekah! Congratulations:0) It’s so exciting when the first egg appears. Like the "firsts" of everything good in life! My flock numbers four Buff Orpingtons & my husband & I love them like pets too. We walk outside & they come running & crouch down to be petted. They have a cute coop & run & of course they free range the yard during the day. I saved the first egg too~~~marked the day on the calendar(Aug. 13th)& blew it out to save in a sweet little nest. Took pictures also next to an egg from the store~~~huge difference! I found out that the first eggs are small in the beginning & now we have an abundance of eggs to share the wealth. Have a wonderful week~~~XO!
    Linda, Chino Valley, AZ.

  6. Denise S says:

    Love your column! You made me laugh out loud several times reading this one. Congrats on your first egg, I’d be just as proud of it too! 🙂

  7. Rebekah! You "crack" me up!! Could not resist the pun. You are the kind of farmer I would be. Naming my chickens and wait so expectantly. I love your references they make me chuckle. I’m happy for your dream come true farm. I’ve been a MJF subscriber since 2008. Hugs, Allison in Nirth Texas

  8. TeriGrace says:

    Love your Chicken Story! I love chickens too! My first chickens were a small batch of exotics someone had left behind when they moved. I was so excited. Got my uncle and cousins to help be build a rather sad enclosure in an old machine shed. Hauled in straw bales, rounded up feeders, etc….. There was 1 rooster and 5 hens. But there was never more than 1 egg a day. And then I realized….. that it was
    5 roosters and 1 hen. It’s hard to tell with those exotics. But the crowing is a dead give-away. Have fun! And enjoy all the double ‘yokers’.

  9. Amanda says:

    Congrats on the first egg!! When we had chickens that was an "egg-citing" time for us,too! Then once we got past that, we waited in anticipation for a double yolker. My husband was the lucky recipient twice this week with the eggs we get from the local orchard. We miss "the girls"! Anyway, I want to leave you with these quotes:
    The farmer has to be an optimist or he (or she) wouldn’t still be a farmer.
    Farmers never have good years. Only some years that are less bad than others.
    I hope you have many omelets to come!!

  10. caroljname says:


    I’m way late to this party, but I want to tell you something about eggs. You don’t have to blow out the insides. You can just leave them and the insides will eventually disintegrate. Just don’t ever crack one open: peeEuw! My mom has some quail eggs that she has had since I was about 10 and I’m 55 now. I always enjoy your blog and your column in the magazine. Happy Thanksgiving!


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