Mike’s former workroom was in the back of the office. And although he would retire to that room from time to time, it was way too close to his desk and the telephone. He found it tough to dedicate hours, uninterrupted hours, to his creations.
His at-home work shop and porch continue to get quite the work out. Friends, with guitars and without, drop by throughout the day, sometimes into the evening, to sit and visit. And, if you’ve been following the blog, you know that our furniture inventory has grown.
Right now, Mike is in the middle of building an arts-and-crafts sideboard that will hug the wall near our new table at the cottage. I will post pictures soon. Besides his craftsmanship, it will feature glass inserts from Kokomo’s Opalescent Glass factory; also a local artist is glazing her specially made tiles for the backsplash.
We were perched on the porch this weekend, doing nothing more than chatting and watching the leaves as they drift down from our trees. We are enjoying a glorious fall and in our neighborhood; many mature trees shake in the breeze and then drop their color to the ground.
I’m not sure how long we sat but it was more than a few minutes. We particularly enjoy looking at two trees, trees that our children helped us plant 20 years ago. We named one Allyson and the other Zach. Right now, Al is almost cleared of leaves. As usual, Zach will hold onto his until deep into the winter.
We watched walkers as they traipsed up and down the block. We waved to neighbors, on foot and in cars, as they passed.
Mike thinks he may have come up with the perfect birdfeeder placement. It swings from a tree branch, clearly 15 feet from any solid surface. “It’s squirrel proof,” he claims.
We’ll see. We have tough rodents in this ‘hood.
We have tried many birdfeeders over the years, many that claimed to be squirrel-proof.
There was the small feeder that snuggled next to a window by the kitchen. We thought we’d enjoy watching the birds close up. It took less than a day for the squirrels to find it, empty it and kick it to the ground.
We tried one that claimed to be squirrel-proof. It featured a hard plastic screen with holes only big enough for a beak. It took the squirrels a day to gnaw through the screen, spill the seeds, and then kick that feeder to the ground.
We also tried to feed the squirrels along with the birds. We purchased seed the “squirrels don’t like” and then plopped a full cob of corn on a nail to a tree. We were led to believe that the squirrels would dine on the corn and go on their way. Not our squirrels. They demolished the corn cobs and then moved on to the seed, finding it a culinary curiousity, well worth their effort.
So, here we have our new try. Mike says that he can’t see how any squirrel can get to the feeder.
Anyway, as we sat and chatted, Mike mused that back when he was working, he never had time to just sit and enjoy the season. He never took the time to soak in the beauty of nature at this time of the year.
He also was out of the loop on our various squirrel-fooling tries that failed.
Just last week, our neighbors invited us over. Their son, who plays college basketball, was hosting the team for a get-together. I passed but Mike hopped over the fence. He stayed for more than two hours.
And then, “You know, a year ago, I wouldn’t have gone. A year ago, I wouldn’t have been invited.”
We’ve had this reflection in various shades. Mike worked hard and long to provide for his family. He rarely took time to enjoy the life his family enjoyed. And, when he reflects on this, he will muse that he missed so much.
Maybe. Maybe not.But, is it not gracious of our God to give him this chance to enjoy life? And, another autumn.