Most of the country is stuck in the throes of winter anxiously awaiting Punxsutawney Phil’s pronouncement about when winter will end. Down on the Texas Gulf coast we know that no matter what Phil says warmer weather is here.
We’ve already had several days in the seventies. Our grass is greening up and it feels a lot like summer will be early. Seventies in January are a harbinger of a long, hot summer.
We recently had the outside of our house painted. Everything looks so new, so fresh. It feels like spring is here. I started to hang the birdhouses my grandfather made many, many moons ago.
Opa had a little casita workshop behind his garage where he built birdhouses from wood scraps in different shapes and sizes. He also made stick horses, rocking horses, and doll beds that could be flipped from cradle to steady bed. All labors of love.
The birdhouses hung along the porch of his workshop. I’d have after school tea with my grandmother and watch the birds fly in and make their picks from the options.
When my grandparents passed, their daughters split the birdhouses and eventually, four of the birdhouses ended up with me. The little houses have hung along our porch and welcomed little birds.
With the warmer days, I knew the birds would soon be looking for homes. I dug the little houses out of the barn to hang this year, but couldn’t do it.
After all these years (well over sixty), the houses looked too shabby. Paint was peeling. Metal roofs were rusting. Years of nesting material was stuff inside, even a wasp nest cone.
Yes, I should have been writing on the next Fitzpatrick series book, but the little birdies need fresh homes.
I gathered my supplies, staying as close to the original colors as I could. I sanded and tightened nails then painted for several days, allowing the paint to dry between coats.
One by one the refreshed birdhouses took their places on their hooks along our porch.
We hung the final birdhouse this morning. I think the birds will love the fresh options. And, I’m sure, my Opa’s smiling.