My mother's friend, Joy, has a way with pictures that truly are worth a thousand words. That's why Joy's letter encouraged me when my emotions are very, very tired.
My relatives that stayed with us for 3 1/2 weeks have now left to return to their home in Northern Ireland. While I loved every minute of their visit, their leaving has left me with a multitude of conflicting emotions---sadness of times long past, milestones reached that will never come again.
As an immigrant, my relationship with my entire extended family has centered around few get-togethers that are usually only 2 to 3 weeks in length, separated by decades, and bookended by tearful hellos and goodbyes at airports gates.
Of course none of this is helped by fact that next week my husband and I will begin our semi-annual road trip to the prairies to take our youngest son back to college, and the next time we see him, it'll be Christmas.
Where has the time of my life gone?
Dear Christine: MY HOUSE GUESTS by Joy Andreasson
My house guests, or better known as My Squatters spent over a week bringing all sorts of things and dragging them through the tiny hole of a front door and making everything just right.
I imagined them talking to each other saying things like "is this okay?" or "what do you think of that?"
Things quieted down and I assumed the "female of the house" was laying the eggs and sitting on them. Then all of a sudden the monumental task of feeding the babies was on. The diligence of these two sparrows was amazing.
All day long they kept bringing beakfulls of little green caterpillars and you could hear the little ones squawking as soon as they came near the hole.
It brought to mind God's love and his diligence in always taking care of us, in the same way these sparrows cared for their babies. Awesome.
The down side of all this, but also such an example of how wonderful nature is, was that every time they brought the caterpillars they would go in the nest and come back out with the "poop" and deposit it on our patio. After the birds were long gone, your Uncle James got the bird house down for me, and I was quite amazed how clean it was inside. It didn't smell too great, but there was no sign of any debris like egg shells or a mess.
They started building the nest sometime just before July 12th and on August 13th, I realized there were no birds. Thought they should have at the very least done a fly by and said thank you, but we haven't seen a bird around at all since that date.
This last picture is the little bird sitting forlornly waiting for next year.
Selections from Ecclesiastes chosen by Christine: "For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest. A time to kill and a time to heal. A time to tear down and a time to build up. A time to cry and a time to laugh . . . Remember your Creator now while you are young, before the silver cord of life snaps and the golden bowl is broken."