I’ve known for quite some time that I was going to have to replace the old bird house. The wood is rotting. The roof is leaky. The floor is weather-beaten to the point that the whole house pitches precariously to the left. Still … I couldn’t bear the thought of taking it down.
I received this lovingly handcrafted bird house as a birthday gift several years ago. When I bought my country home, seven years ago, I put it up in the front yard, thinking it would make a wonderful decoration. Little did I know the joy the house would bring me as it sat on its post year after year, lending shelter to countless families of blue birds. Replacing it was going to take something mighty special.
Last Sunday I happened off the beaten path to Wallace, NY where I came across a shop called Cross My Heart. I really didn’t have time to stop. I was on my way to Bath, where I was supposed to meet someone at 4:00. From Wallace, that would be a ten minute drive and it was already 3:45. But when I saw the charming display of bird houses out front, I simply couldn’t resist. Five minutes, I told myself. Just a peek and then I’ll be on my way. Sometimes you find the most wonderful treasures in the most unlikely places, and with Cross My Heart, that was definitely the case. My five minutes were up before I even made it through the front door!
The sign out front says 100 Bird houses and that is surely an understatement. The shop is chock-full of handmade birdhouses of every kind. There were houses for wrens and for blue birds, for chickadees and for purple martins. Some were large homes, and some, apartment sized. Some were hand painted with quilt pieces, and some adorned with whimsical antiques, such as door knobs and old fashioned faucets. But all are hand crafted, and all made with love by the owner, Diane Rivers. One thing is for certain, no bird is left behind at Cross My Heart!
Diane greeted me with a smile when I walked in. As I browsed, we chatted about birdhouses and shared our birding experiences and I discovered a kindred spirit in this lovely, knowledgeable lady. With so many choices and so little time, I left empty handed. That time. But today I returned and selected a treasure of my own. The card attached to it said: “I do like this horrible ugly tongue-in-groove that was a door stored in the upstairs of K. Teters’ barn, Bath, NY. The roof is from a 200 year-old barn in Atlanta, NY.”
This fall, when the last of the blue bird babies have flown away, I will finally take down the old house and replace it with the new one, which is not only a blue bird house, but a piece of local history. It will be a place where new families are nurtured, and new memories made. And that’s something I can definitely feel good about!