"Language, as well as the faculty of speech, was the immediate gift of God." ~ Noah Webster

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

That Which Remains

I killed it. I don’t know how. But it had to have been me. I really didn’t notice that it wasn’t doing well, until one spring I saw one lonely golden flower dangling from the left side of the tree. My Golden Chain was my favorite tree in the yard, and I killed it.

The previous owners of our home – Mr. and Mrs. Z. - would probably be turning in their graves if they knew! I also destroyed her strawberry patch. When we first moved in to our new home, I had a couple of good years with the strawberries. Eventually though, they started producing less and less until one year they were simply gone. I tried planting wild flowers there, and that was kind of nice toward the end of summer, but it took so long for them to bloom each year, that I finally got tired of how “messy” it looked there in that patch before I had flowers there to brighten my yard. This year I used my mower to mow away all that mess.
Daddy Meadowlark

Then there’s the birds! Mr. and Mrs. Z. loved birds and had a little bird haven here. I have found that I love them too, and have tried my best to support and protect them. We have dogs, though. So, it was only a season or two, before the mourning doves that came to the front yard feeder each morning, no longer came.

The meadowlarks and bluebirds are my favorites; mainly because they remind me of my childhood, but also of course, because they are both so beautiful. The thing is: we have horses, so we hay our fields. I try my best to encourage my husband to spray the fields early in the spring before the meadowlarks have nested. And I am always hopeful that the little families are gone by the time we cut and bail in July. But we do need to work the land, so this one is out of my control. I can only leave this situation and those much appreciated warblers to God. 

Mr. Blue Bird
Mr. Z. had placed a blue bird box in a strategic place in the pasture. It gave us the best view of the blue birds when they came to nest each spring. Unfortunately, when it was time for the little blue birds to learn to fly, they flew directly into our fenced yard where the dogs are. I had the awesome opportunity to rescue the little fledglings one year, which will be for another post some day. But as it happens, the horse put an end to that box, by using the pole for a scratching post. He eventually knocked it down. Fortunately no birds were nesting at that time. The activity around the new horse barn and the new horse kept the blue birds from ever coming back.

The blue birds are my absolute favorite birds, so of course we put up other boxes for them. But the location for viewing isn’t quite as good.

Then there are the cats….Oh my! Someone saw it in their “good judgment” to drop off a couple of cats at our place. The cat I had for 19 years had died and I was never going to have a cat again. I always marvel that people think that they know best for you and would do something like that. Yes! I think it was someone I know. Not only could I not afford to keep these two felines immunized, but they just didn’t belong in the bird sanctuary that the previous owners had created. Of course, we would learn to love them, but that doesn’t mean we want them, can take care of them, or are glad they came. It has been a nightmare. But because we now already had two cats, when a friend asked, we gladly took another to help their family when they moved out of state. It was very important what this family was going to be doing, and the kids needed to know their cat was in a good home. This was our choice; and I could not have been happier to be able to help this family in some small way; but the other two cats? I still shake my head over that little situation.

Needless to say, the cats have brought some change. I remember the look on Mrs. Z’s face when we were about to buy their place and I told her I had a cat - the old one that was 19. “Oh, but she is really old, de-clawed, and stays in the house all the time,” I reassured her. I felt so bad she was worried for her birds.

Anyway, I often lament the changes that we brought to our new place. I loved it the way it was, too. And I really wanted to be a good steward of this home. But I love it even more now. It has become our home, and God could not have picked out a better place for us. That is a whole other blog post coming, too.

One day, after loosing our Golden Chain - ours and the Z’s - I was feeling discouraged about the changes we have made to this place. I was talking to family members, about all the changes that I have mentioned above, kind of forgetting temporarily about everything good that remains. My brother-in-law stopped to encourage me. “Yeah, but Jan,” he said, “This is your place, now. These changes reflect your life and the changes have been made to fit your needs. You have a garden that the other people didn’t have, and dogs that you love, and horses. This is your place now,” he lovingly lectured. His comments really warmed my heart!

So as I write, all is peaceful and still, except for the sound of the falling rain outside my open screen door…which by the way, we added…because I love old fashioned screen doors. I look out my window to see a western blue bird scrimmaging with a swallow around the birdhouse on the deck. A little late for that type of activity, and I wonder what is up with that situation…plus, the bluebirds have never nested in that house before. Curious. Our horse is in his barn, with just his head sticking out in order that he might avoid a morning shower to wash his dirty coat which he seems to love to keep. My lab is asleep on the porch and the beagle asleep at my feet and yep - my brother is right!  I can’t think how many times this brother has encouraged me; probably to him, most often unknowingly. I love him to pieces! And I love our home, even though the cats need to be fed this morning and challenge my affections daily.  Yep!  I loved our home right from the start and I love even more, all that remains.
Yeah, I know! She's beautiful.

1 comment:

  1. I like that. I sometimes find myself "grieving" over the way things used to be, in different areas of my life... but ya know, we don't stand still... we don't stop growing... life goes on... and it's full of change... and that's the way it's meant to be. I try to enjoy all "seasons"!