Rain has been falling since before daybreak. The first thing I heard this morning was the wind tinkling our wind chimes, and rain falling on the tin roof.
I started the coffee and then put on my fleece vest to go down to fetch the morning papers. The thirty year old Christmas tree we planted in our yard had a rain-tear hanging from one of its needles. I took a mental picture and then walked on.
Afterwards I went out to feed the chickens. They're always standing at the fence looking toward the house like anxious passengers waiting for a late train.
As I poured cracked corn in their feeders, one of the chickens pecked at the indigo colored stone in my college class ring.
I've worn the ring for years, but it's been a long time since I've really looked at it. It's a beautiful ring and it holds special meaning to me. You see, it took me a while to get my degrees.
I went to college out of high school, but then life got complicated. I had to get a job to buy a car, and then I was drafted into the Army. I knew I wanted, and needed an education, but it would have to wait.
After I did my time in the service, I did go to school on and off through the years. I got my two-year associates degree, then I went on for my Bachelor's and finally got my Master's degree a mere 29 years later.
When I graduated, Jilda and a bunch of my friends went together and bought my class ring which cost about as much as a new Toyota. We had a celebration and I choked up when I tried to say thank you.
All of this flooded through my mind as I stood in the rain tending chickens. I am constantly amazed by what triggers memory. I'm also reminded that life is a gift and I don't ever want to forget that.
I'm thankful that our little hen reminded me.