Best Laid Plans of Birds and Women

Suddenly, my dryer was slow.  Yes, it’s 18 years old, but it’s a Maytag and should have another decade of life in it.  I knew what this meant and I dreaded the investigation.  When I was about four years old, my cat climbed into the dryer vent from outside, seeking a warm place to nap.  She got stuck and was discovered a couple of weeks later.  Though my mother tried to keep me from seeing the carnage as my father cleaned up the mess, I managed to sneak a peek.  I was scarred for life.

My laundry room is on the second floor, so the possibilities are far more limited.  Nonetheless, the idea of sticking my hand in that tube freaked me out.  I avoided it for about a month.  After seeing yet another pointlessly high gas bill, I forced myself to deal with the blockage.  I was relieved to find a bird’s nest with three tiny, spotted eggs.  We had a very cold spring this year and many late snow storms.  The birds must have thought this was a brilliant solution for their new family.  Unfortunately, one marathon day of laundry must have made them abandon their eggs.

This is a reconstruction of what I pulled out of my dryer vent.

This is a reconstruction of what I pulled out of my dryer vent.

I felt bad for the birds and the pretty little eggs they left behind. It triggered memories for me of the things I’ve left behind. It’s been a while since I’ve written anything here, and when I came to write about the birds, I looked at my previous posts.  Like the sparrows, I have had to abandon things I’ve wanted and loved, too.

My life has changed quite a bit in the year since my last post.  I got an amazing job, but it went away.  I sold my old house in a charming town and moved to a newer house in a more convenient but ordinary location.  One daughter went away to college, the other daughter moved back in with me 100% of the time.  I wrote a book.

The rhythm of change reminds me of the ocean tide which brings things to shore, and a moment later, washes them back to sea. It is a process that has been in motion since the beginning of time. Things come, they spend a moment in the sun, and are washed back into the abyss.

This doesn’t make me sad, at least in regard to my own life. I have come to feel the rhythm of gain and love and loss like my own breathing. New things come, old things go, and I rarely get the chance to pick and choose. As I grow and learn and love, I become less attached and more willing to simply accept the tides of life and what they bring and take away.

Most of the things that come are fun and happy and sometimes scary. There are things that are a big, fat drag and I would like them to go away forever. Some will, some won’t, some will go for a while and come back when it is even less convenient. Such is the nature of life.

Tomorrow I will by a screen for the vent and maybe a bird house or two.  I want next year to be better for my little friends that sing to me so sweetly every morning.

My book, Dating, Sex, & Jesus is now available at   Please “like” the Dating, Sex, & Jesus Facebook page at: for fun and interesting content and book excerpts in your feed. Thanks!


About howhardcoulditbe

While this started as a chronicle of my many (sometimes ill-conceived) "Do It Yourself" projects, it has morphed into a journal of my 9-year journey as a single Christian woman striving to live by God's design.
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4 Responses to Best Laid Plans of Birds and Women

  1. It is true. It is hard to remember that we can’t expect to hold onto everything that we choose, forever. There have been occasions in my life when I recognized that the moments that I was living were special, AND temporary, and would likely never be repeated again. In the midst of my highest joy, I felt a certain sadness for the certain loss that I knew had to come. And it did come, and that time has passed. As you suggest, life is better when we can accept that things continue to change all around us, no matter what. We need to try to LEARN to embrace it rather than fight it. Thanks Cathleen.

  2. lmdesanto says:

    I really hope you continue blogging… Your posts really resonate with me as a divorced, working, single mom. Thanks so much for a wonderful read!

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