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Lynna Clark: Home sweet home

Bluebirds are scoping out their new digs this morning. My friend Randy brought me a house on a pole last year with a plastic pipe around it so snakes can’t slither up. For days now the bluebird couple has patrolled the area by sitting in the crepe myrtle looking in every direction before entering their new place. Last year I had the pleasure of watching two families emerge from that house as they taught their babies how to fly. I was hoping some of them would remember their cute little starter home and return this year. It looks like they have. Thankfully they are not nearly as picky as us humans.

Is it just me or do you get sick of watching folks on television hunt for a house and turn up their noses because there’s not enough room for “entertaining?” Who are these people who entertain so often that they need a ton of space? God forbid that one would have to pull up a chair from the kitchen or sit on an ottoman. Put the kids on the floor for crying out loud or do like my mom-in-law always threatened. Bang another nail in the wall and hang the extra bodies there.

And what’s the deal with stainless steel appliances? I remember the day when my sister, God love her, had an avocado stove with a harvest gold hood, and a white refrigerator. I vaguely remember an almond colored dishwasher. Her countertops were bright sunshine yellow. Every kitchen drawer was skewed sideways and there was no rhyme or reason to finding anything. But her house was the place everyone loved to gather! Every Thanksgiving, Christmas, summertime cookout or birthday party she’d pipe up and invite, “Let’s have it at my house. No trouble!” She’d pull out the plastic tablecloths, set up little eating areas all over the house, and tell everyone to grab a plate. We’d start at one end of her galley kitchen and serve ourselves buffet style. The threat of being trampled was real, but no one ever went hungry.

For years and years my sweet mom-in-law has hosted in a similar fashion. I think there were around forty or so people at her house Christmas Eve. Everybody knows where she keeps the TV trays. The littlest kids eat at the coffee table or the fireplace hearth. Sure stuff gets spilled. That’s why she has the carpet cleaned AFTER Christmas instead of before. Maybe the difference between these dear ladies and the house hunters on television is that while some seek to entertain, others just open their doors and say, “Come on in and have a seat if you can find a place for at least half a butt cheek.” I’ve got a feeling that one of these entertaining styles is a lot more fun than the other.

I just checked the status of my bluebirds. They have moved on, probably checking out other options. Sure wish I had a way to tell them how valuable that plastic pipe will be when their babies hatch. But I’m sure they’ll figure it out. Any birdbrain knows that keeping the family together is way more important than showing off a perfect home.

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