Red Berries for the Thrush

A Robin jumped from branch to branch in the hedgerow to welcome us home recently. Brendan leaves food out every morning for the birds. The Robin is a regular visitor.

Last week, cold winds blew in over The British Isles bringing snow overwhelming homes and roads. Red alert warnings have been given to warn people to stay at home.

Someone told me that a Tesco Extra near where she lives was sold out of food before the freeze. People were making sure they had food to keep them over the cold spell. Birds need extra food too during cold weather. New birds came to our bird table recently, blackbirds, wagtails, chaffinch and sparrow. There is a wildlife display as we have our breakfast inside.

A tree down the garden had many red berries on it. I noticed a flurry of activity around it. I looked closer. A number of song thrushes were feeding greedily on the berries. They flew back and forth from the forest nearby. One bird sat on a branch and kept watch. If any other birds come to the tree it drove them away. Some blackbirds tried to get the bounty. A fight broke out till the intruders flew off.

The snow has melted. The thrush are staying in the forest. The shelves in Tesco will be filled again. Life will return to normal. The danger has past. Our regular visitor, the Robin will sit on a branch in the hedgerow waiting for the door to open.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/branch/

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Present Time Still Standing

The present cold, dull day makes one want to stay close to home comforts. My AGA cooker is one of my home comforts. For the last few days it was not working properly and I was feeling the cold. The engineer checked it over on Friday night. The problem was a blocked filter stopping the oil flowing to power the cooker.

I had been meditating on the scripture about five wise virgins who had their lamps filled with oil. I wrote a blog on the subject. I was experiencing at first hand what it was like not to have the oil flowing. I was very cold as a result. I was waiting patiently to see if the Aga was working again. I was overjoyed to see it was working better than it had been for a long time and my kitchen was warm again.  I cooked pancakes for breakfast, made wheaten bread in the oven and cooked soup, all before ten am.

In the early morning the sun light up the sky and sea to a pale blue. Light and warmth were returning. Is the winter over?

My husband and I went for a walk along the shore. We walked through the variety of boats safe on dry land for the winter. A rich man’s yacht, a black upturned curragh, an unfinished wooden skiff and some fiber glass small boats sheltered there. We went to our favorite spot to collect sea glass. Oh, the welcome warmth on our backs as we bent down searching.

Later we sat at the quay sharing some fish and chips. Other creatures were enjoying the welcome sunny morning. Brent geese fed in the water and gulls soared overhead. Two gulls landed on the pier a little distance off. I took a photo of them. A friend distracted me for a while. She was out enjoying the morning as well.

When I looked at the gulls again, I noticed the bigger one was standing on one leg. I commented to my husband. A moment later the gull stretched the missing leg out behind. He limped a few steps forward and sat down. His partner looked on attentively. He must have been in pain. We prayed that the gull’s leg would be healed and restored.

Yesterday was a joyful day. I wanted to fit in so much while the sun shone. The joy of yesterday overflowed into today. The cold and dullness at the present time has not dented my sense of wellbeing.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/present/

Family Friday Woollen Blankets are Comforting

When I moved to my present home a friend noticed the curtains in my bedroom, left behind by the previous owner.  She gasped, “What beautiful curtains.  That material is sixty pounds per meter to buy.”  Then I thought, “Yes it is a good idea to have woollen curtains.  It keeps the cold air out.  Wool is a good insulating material.”

When I visited my children at their Scottish universities I would buy a tartan woollen blanket each time.  I now have a collection of blankets in all colours, blue, red, purple and grey.  I use one as a throw over a duvet on a winter’s night.  It prevents heat lose through the night.  They come in useful for ground cover on a picnic or warmth for a baby playing on the floor.  I use one over my settee.  It is useful when one needs to stretch out and put one’s feet up for forty winks in the afternoon.  Even the dog got to have one.

I always tried to visit my children, each one, when they were at university.  One son shared a flat with five other lads in Glasgow.  When I arrived the students were sitting around a play station.  They were concentrating on the game.  The kitchen sink was full of dishes and the garbage tin full of cans and empty bottles.   My son showed me to his room that he had prepared for me to stay.  The situation did not phase me.  I stepped over bodies to get to the room and rested for a while after my journey.  I was so glad to be alive to visit him, after my healing from cancer.  Things that would have annoyed me before, didn’t bother me.  I could have been in the grave and never have seen my boys on the earth again.  What did a few dirty dishes matter.

When I got up later everyone had gone.  It seemed these boys came alive at night and kept a low profile by day.  My son took me out for a meal and we spent a short time together before I moved on by train to Aberdeen to see another son.  He gave up his bed for me.  He showed me around the university and introduced me to some of his friends.  I was relaxed enjoying my visit with him, being alive.

I traveled down to London after Aberdeen.  I shuddered when my son showed me his bedroom.  It was freezing.  The window was single glazed, the curtains were flimsy and the duvet light.  The young mustn’t feel the cold.  I went out and bought my son a woolen blanket.  At least it will give a bit of comfort and warmth.  Only mothers see the need.  The blankets have become an inheritance for my children.  This son still has the woollen blanket I gave him.  He has brought it to his new home in Canada. 

I bought a tartan blanket for another son when he was at Oxford Brooke’s.  He used it for picnics on the lawns of Oxford universities as well as a covering on his bed.  He still has it and it is still in use for his two boys when he takes his family on picnics.  I was talking to him recently.  He was staying in my home while we were away.  He appreciated the woollen blankets I had beside the sofa.  He enjoyed a few siestas with a woollen blanket pulled up over him.  

A thought dropped into his mind, “I wonder could I make a wrap around out of a woollen blanket.”  There is a special warmth that comes from a woollen garment.  He was delighted later that day to find a pure woollen dressing gown in a thrift store for a few pounds.  He will have no fear of the cold winter evenings.

I suppose it is a mother’s instinct to make sure her children are comfortable.  When my children were babies I always made sure they were tucked up warmly in bed.  They slept better that way.  The scriptures make reference to this in Isaiah 66, where God promises to comfort us.
As a mother comforts her child, so I’ll comfort you. (‭Isaiah‬ ‭66‬:‭12-13‬ MSG)