Ok, I am not superstitious at all, but in the past couple of weeks, we have had four birds fly into our house!!! Never happened before that. We’ve had them get on the back porch, because they know the dog food is out there, but never in the house. One of them flew straight in just when my husband opened the door and was walking out!! Somebody told him lots of old wives tales when he was growing up in the country, and he said that he always heard that a bird getting into your house means someone is going to die. Like I said, I’m not superstitious, however, I do wonder if it isn’t one more small instance of animals behaving strangely as we have been seeing in the world the past several years. The Scriptures tell us that they will lose their fear of humans. In Genesis 9, God proclaims that the fear of man and the terror of him will be on the beasts of the Earth. But during the Tribulation they will lose that fear and turn very aggressive toward humans and cause death. (Revelation 6:8).
Well, strange-acting birds aside, we are still getting that kitchen floor done, a little at a time. And I am reupholstering a mid-century modern chair that was my husband’s before we even met, that I always liked, but which had definitely seen better days as far as the vinyl. I have never done this before, and it’s been very gratifying. My mom used to reupholster things, and no one showed her how, she just figured it out. I can’t sew like she did back in those days, but I’m a pretty sharp-shooter with a staple gun. So I watched a video or two on You-tube, and figuring that the long-awaited day when we can afford to have a pro do it is never going to come, and nothing to lose, I said, “why not?” and stripped that baby down to the bones, paying attention to how the covering was done originally, and between that and the videos, I figured it out. Right now I am waiting for my metal tack strips to arrive that I ordered, because the paper ones just don’t give as sharp an edge to the seams. I was going to do them with the cardboard, but it’s looking pretty sharp thus far so I don’t want to start lowering the standard now.
I have so many moods and variations in my energy, I can push myself and get something like that done, but then I will pay for it for a few days in numb hands, pain, and fatigue. (Carpal Tunnel and Reynaulds syndrome are the problem for the hands).
The weather has been really nice here in VA the past few days, but the pollen is horrific! I went out and actually hosed down the front porch this morning, which is not as simple as it may sound, as it is enclosed. The screen badly needs re-done, but that doesn’t prevent the pollen anyway. The entire porch, benches, table, swing, all completely covered in the green stuff. Thankfully that should subside in another couple of weeks. But it’ll be coated again by the weekend. I used to get out there and do that cleaning every couple of days during that season, but can’t manage it anymore. I cringe every time I walk out there when it’s like that, but I just remind myself that it will stop eventually and then I can clean it up and it’ll stay nice for several weeks before I have to do it again.
We don’t sit out there as much as we used to when the kids were little. I mean, when people drive down the street shooting in your neighborhood, porch sitting takes on a certain level of risk. Daylight is no deterrent, either! We live in a portion of the town where the blocks are laid out in a grid and the houses from one street to the next look a lot alike, and with drug-dealers around, there have been times strangers knock on the door and find they meant to knock on the door another block over. I’ve always been afraid that someone would shoot at our house mistaking us for the drug dealers house, simply because we live on the corner and our house is brick like the other one on the next corner where the drugs are often sold.
You say, why don’t I call the police, right? I started a Neighborhood Watch here about five years back. There is so much turnover that it is very hard to keep one going, plus, the police in our town have some history of corruption as well as negligence. When I first went door to door, I found many of the neighbors had very little trust in the police. Not just the drug dealer houses, or other houses where cops were prone to visit frequently, either. The live and let live folks who go to work, keep their place up, are civil, also had little confidence in our police.
Like most things, there are good ones and bad ones in every precinct, but when you get involved with Neighborhood Watch in an effort to foster cooperation between law abiding citizens and cops, you also get the troublemakers showing up at the meetings, making sure they know what we are up to and who they have to be “concerned” with. I had some folks warn me that when you start trying to do something about drug trade taking place on your street, it is not unheard of to be “retaliated against”. But I wasn’t intimidated by that. What eventually led to me giving up running the Watch was the total attitude of “what are ya’ll going to do about this and what are ya’ll doing about that?” We live near a national historic cemetery. I had someone call me up as the watch leader, and ream me out about something having to do with the cemetery, and it took a lot of talking for me to make them understand I am not the law, I am not an employee of the city, I am not social services, I am just one of your neighbors volunteering and making an effort to make things better and safer around here. I grew up in this town, which started out as a factory “boom town” and remained pretty much blue-collar the fifty years I have lived here, but there are definitely distinct “parts of town” here as I suppose there is in most small towns. The whole “wrong side of the tracks” thing is not quite as distinct as it once probably was, but there are definitely areas that, if one of the residents makes a call to the city for an issue, you can be sure that someone will address that issue right away. They call that part of town “Mansion Hills”. Not mansions by the current standards, mind you, but I guess back in the days those homes were built, they were the doctors and the bankers and such. One time during a Neighborhood Watch meeting the police Lieutenant was doing his spiel to promote involvement on the part of the residents in our area, and someone voiced the issue of how lots of times when someone in our area calls the police, they take their sweet time getting here. The Lt. responded with: “they don’t have these kinds of issues in Mansion Hills. Do you know why? Even as the leader of the effort, I am sure I spoke for everyone when instead of falling in line and supporting where he was going with that statement (which was to say that it is because they have such a well-established Neighborhood Watch) but what I said was “Because it’s Mansion HILLS!!! In other words, higher priority. Besides which, I may have been the only person present who happened to know the Lieutenant lived in Mansion Hills himself!
After putting a lot of energy, time, and my own money into trying to get that Neighborhood Watch group to take root, I eventually realized that I live in a section of the town where 1) A lot of the properties have been bought out by a hand full of slum lords who, from what I further have learned, own almost all of the rental property in this town. So they pay a good chunk in taxes I guess, and the city turns a blind eye to the violations because of that. 2) People in this section, being mostly rentals, have no investment or motivation to keep the properties up, and 3) with many being “section 8” (here that means subsidized by city and state funds that guarantee the landlord gets paid even if the tenant doesn’t pay) there is a pervasive mentality of entitlement and expectation that someone else is supposed to do everything.
I can drive thirty-five minutes up to Richmond, and it’s like a whole other culture. Well, in some areas. They have their own versions of those same issues. In our neighborhood, people don’t speak when you pass them. I used to go introduce myself when new neighbors moved in. Most of them acted as if they were perplexed as to why I would do such a thing.
I mean, I know civility is a dying concept. But I grew up in this town and it wasn’t always like that here.
Anyway, that’s the view from my house.
I hope you all are having some nice Spring weather where you are. I’m still keeping up with what is going on in the world, just not blow-by-blow in “real time”. I think it is just a matter of time for those who are looking for that blessed hope.
I have experienced several instances lately of reminiscent thoughts going back to childhood. Not just memories, and not intentionally turning my mind to that, but unbidden. Like the birds, I wonder if that isn’t a sign of something. You know, just that instinctual knowledge in the spirit of someone who “loves His appearing”, longs for it, and very much looks forward to it. That it’s getting closer all the time, which we know it is just by the convergence of signs, but even on a personal level, for me, it just feels almost like when you walk through a house for the last time, that you have spent a lot of your life in, and are moving away from. It feels like that.
So. What do the birds know? Animals have instinct about changes and sense and know they are coming long before we do.
Just something that makes me stop and think!