Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Turning that Chore you Despise into an Act of Joy.


Lessons from my Grandmother,
or how I learned to love wild birds.

My love of wild birds came from the same source as my love of horses and dogs: My grandmother.

Grandmother introduced me to wild birds during one of my extended visits with her. Much of my formative years were spent with my grandparents, as my parents were working hard to build a life.

 On one of my visits, Grandmother told me, she hated ironing. Ironing in the 1950s and 1960s was very important for a business man like my grandfather who sometimes had to wear two or three freshly cleaned and starched shirts in a day.  So in order to endure the torture of her chores she set up a bird feeding station at the window in her laundry room where she could watch her wild birds as she worked.
Linda L Martin Birds on Etsy

She knew each bird and all of their offspring by recognition and followed them and nurtured them for all of her life in that house. She taught me their names and what they like to eat.  And  she showed  me that every single time there was something that was unpleasant to accomplish that there was a way to make it more than bearable and even  a joy.

It was a lesson not lost on me. When my grandmother came to live with us in her late 80s I suddenly found myself not only caregiver for my grandmother but also chief dish and bottle washer for the entire family. It was a thankless job.  When I was a child my dad had tried to convince me that I was good at washing dishes.  I knew even then , washing dishes was not something I ever wanted to be good at. I hated  it  even more  by the time I was in my 30s. 
Linda L Martin's Birds on Etsy

So, I took  my inspiration from my grandmother.  She taught me That when the labor of love is a despised labor , make it an adventure. I set up a bird feeder outside the kitchen window so the hours of dish washing and cooking would go faster.  I am sure no one remembers that I did that every day for years on end. But I remember. And I am thankful to my grandmother that she taught me to love wild birds.
Birds on Ebay

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