On the little farm in Mount Carmel we had a few chickens so that we would have fresh eggs.
Every morning one of the little chores that we would have to do before we went to school was gathering the eggs that had been laid by the chickens the night before.
We had a little chicken house about 100 feet down the hill from the back of the house. Every morning one of us would take a little straw basket down to the hen house and gather up the eggs. Usually there would be five or six eggs. Sometimes more. Sometimes less.
One morning I was getting ready to go to school and I was pretty excited because I had some brand new blue jeans.
New blue jeans were a bit of an event around our house. We didn’t always have enough money to buy new clothes and it really meant something when you got a new pair of blue jeans. I still remember those jeans. They were so dark and blue and had copper rivets at some of the stress points. I was real proud of those jeans and pretty excited to have them. I was so excited that I forgot to take the egg basket with me when I went to get the eggs.
When I got down to the hen house I had a real problem because there was a bumper crop of eggs that morning and I didn’t have the egg basket. I got all the eggs out and there were nine of them. I could get two eggs in each hand so I realized that meant two or three trips up and down the hill even if I got the basket.
Then I noticed the nice big pockets in my blue jeans. Ahhhhh. Problem solved.
I started stuffing the eggs in the pockets of my new jeans. Nine eggs? No problem.
I started walking up to the house pretty pleased with myself that I had solved my problem without having to make extra trips. What I didn’t count on was the steps leading up to the back porch. I went trotting up those back steps and I heard “pop pop pop” around my thighs. I immediately realized I had broken some of the eggs and big tears started coming to my eyes.
I walked into the kitchen and presented myself to my Mom who wasn’t upset at all about the eggs. She tried to make me feel better as she stripped those jeans off of me and started cleaning up the eggs. She said she would wash the jeans for me and I could wear them the next day. I was devastated. I went back to the room I shared with my brother, picked out some of my old britches and put them on and went off to school.
I wore my new jeans the next day but they weren’t quite as nice and new as they were the day before. I learned a valuable lesson that day about the consequences of trying to save a few steps.