The Birdhouse

This is not just an ordinary birdhouse. 

This was a birdhouse that was handmade by my paternal grandfather for me.

It is at least 43 years old.


slabs2While my grandfather was still alive he made a set of these birdhouses for his children and grandchildren.  He made them by hand from left over lumber “slabs”. 

(Slabs are the rounded sides, along with other parts of a log, not usable as lumber.)  

A few years ago, while cleaning his garage, my dad dug up the birdhouses my grandfather had made for my sister and myself.  My dad stored them away many years ago, safe-keeping them for us as adults.  When I was given mine, I decided to keep mine inside as a decorative item vs putting it outside in the elements. 

It sits in a prominent place above the cabinets in our kitchen.

My grandpa was the subject of a previous post here on The Life of a Father of Five titled Grandpa’s Tackle Box
There, you can read a little bit more about him.  

A couple of days ago the Mother of Five and I decided it was high time we conducted a “deep clean” of our kitchen.  One of the tasks we undertake when we “deep clean” the kitchen is the removal of all our “tchotchke” and “bric-a-brac” that decorates and adorns the tops of our kitchen cabinets.  We have several silk plants, a couple of decorative plates, some “country theme” figurines, and some antiques / family heirlooms.  One of the heirloom items that lives above our kitchen cabinets is my birdhouse.

When we pulled my birdhouse down from above the cabinet, I could not help but notice how “lackluster” it had become.  It was looking very dull, covered with dust and general kitchen “grime”, and had lost it’s radiance.  I was feeling disappointed with how my birdhouse was beginning to look, so I took a little bit of time from the “deep clean” to really bring my birdhouse “back to life”.  When I was finished I was shocked by the reminder of the beauty of my birdhouse – and the feeling of connection with my grandfather it gave me again. 

My grandfather (the one who built this birdhouse) passed away when I was very young (5 years old).  My memories of him are limited and any connection I have to him are deeply meaningful to me (again, I will reference back to “Grandpa’s Tackle Box” above.

This birdhouse tops my list. 

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