Brendan and I are visiting with our son Aaron and family. Marta, our daughter in law has just had a new baby boy! A new baby causes a big adjustment in any family. Mum isn’t just as available as before to see to the other children or see to her housework. She is busy feeding her baby and coping with the after shock of giving birth. All the change in the family helps the other children grow up. Another step to maturity. Help is needed to wash clothes, dishes, shopping and cooking. Aaron and Marta will get through this phase. We can encourage them because we have survived child rearing to tell the tale.
Another fulfillment of the promise from Psalm 128 v 6, “You shall see your children’s children.”
To help after dinner Brendan and I washed the dishes. This brought back memories of the small kitchen in our first home. There was no room for two people to stand at the sink. The kitchen was the coldest part of the house. I didn’t want to stay there too long after dinner. No making wishes over dishes in the sink!
Brendan did some improvement to shelves and cupboards. Dishwashers were not common in any household then. My wish over dishes was to have a dishwasher. I bought a second hand machine for fifty pounds! It was a good buy at the time. The children cheered. No more standing in the cold kitchen washing dishes by hand.
We have always lived in older houses. The kitchen always needed updated in each one. Modern houses come with inbuilt washing machines, cookers, sinks and work tops. The big bedrooms and big living rooms in the older houses compensated for the small kitchens. The dishwasher has continued to be an important item in my kitchen. It serves a great purpose for any housewife.
It is the eleventh of February today. I am recording the activity of birds in my garden. I live along the Strangford Lough in Northern Ireland. The warm morning has invited all kinds of birds to flit about in the garden. A wren stays low along the hedge. A robin jumps about among the plant pots.
The busiest birds I see are starlings. There are three pairs flying back and forth. Each pair had found a nook in the old wall adjoining my garden. One bird flys in with a small twig in his mouth. He didn’t exit for five minutes. He must be building his nest, preparing for young. I am excited to discover birds building their nests in my garden and so early in the spring. I will look forward to catching the starlings’ progress each morning.
It is relaxing to sit quiet and patient keeping an eye on the nest sites. My breakfast dishes need washed, benches need cleared, floor needs brushed. I want to make some phone calls. E mails need checked. All can wait.
I am bird watching from the comfort of my kitchen. I don’t have to go for a drive to a special bird watching sight, or get wrapped up in warm clothes to face the elements. Watching the birds is taking my mind off all immediate troubles. There are many things that could cause me to worry or fret. Instead I am looking at birds.
Jesus said “Look at the birds.”
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matthew 6:25-26, 33-34 NIV)
A pair of doves rested on a bare branch. One flew off with a low moan. The other followed. I hope they return.
Later in the morning one single bird was singing from the treetop in my garden. I think it was a Great tit. He was announcing loud and clear. “This is my domain. He was attracting his mate to join him.” I will be looking to see where his nest is.