For many years I wrote a parody of the “Holiday Newsletter”, mailed for fun to family and friends. After 2013/2014 years of grief and sadness, the humor didn’t seem appropriate and I stopped. In 2016, my sister-in-law included my 2007 letter in her card to us. John had been after me to write them again. So I took her cue as a sign. Here is a look back at 2007.

Dear family and friends,

We didn’t think the postage for a holiday letter was in our budget this year, but we save a bunch of money by switching to Geico.

John and I are becoming naturalized to our Georgia environment. We thought we could hold out, but Georgia is as invasive as kudzu. This is the most deceptive plant ever to grow. It creeps over, under, within and through everything in its path. There are fields of kudzu, forests of kudzu, lost car lots under kudzu and a living curtain in our back yard that will hide our chicken house by the end of summer.

All Georgians have one or more chicken houses. A typical chicken house is the length of two football fields and the width of a yardstick, more a chicken hall than house. They are in every state of repair and disrepair and it appears to be illegal to remove a chicken house from any property at any time. I believe statute 111, section 14, states: a chicken house, no longer able to house and properly shelter poultry, should be evaluated as facilities to house and protect Georgia’s red ant colonies, any piece of machinery larger than a carburetor or as perpetual garage sale facilities. Under penalty of law, said chicken house may NOT be demolished as long as the last single rafter does not touch the ground. In the event that a wall collapses, so as to prevent the last rafter from ever touching the ground, the building is to remain untouched in perpetuity. It may, however, be enshrined in kudzu as property value will not diminish, nor taxes either, for that matter.

Gainesville, Georgia [nearby] is the “Chicken capital of the world”. We know that because someone decorated their water tower, in the same vein as Atlanta, Illinois being the “Paul Bunyan holding a hotdog [no one thought of an ear of corn?] capital of the world”. The things we do for, or to, our communities!]

Back to chickens; we have never actually seen any living Georgia chickens in these houses. We kind of assume they may be snuck [Georgian term] into or out of the houses, under cover of darkness – a covert meat operation possibly. We do have poultry processing plants in the area, but again, we have only ever seen empty cages on the trucks. Our food, “poultry”, may be of suspicious origins; who can say. John and I are considering the possibility that the law drove the moonshiners from their still operations to chicken operations. He found remnants of four stills on the property at his new golf club. If he can locate the chicken house, we will know for sure.

Now we did NOT say we have never seen chickens in Georgia. We see WILD chickens all the time, crossing the road, sneaking through yards, scavenging gardens and flowerbeds. We think they are the freedom fighters of their species – escapees harboring plans for revenge. Who expects to see wild chickens? Wild possum, raccoons, coyotes, a bear maybe, but wild chickens? Only in Georgia!

Worst of all, we like seeing wild chickens in our backyard and kudzu covering our chicken house. If we put one single piece of upholstered furniture on our porch, they will tattoo “Georgian” across our foreheads and we will never be able to visit Illinois, as citizens, again.

We wish you a blessed and joyous Christmas season, good humor and love.

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