Sunday, September 24, 2017

The Sparrow Finds Her Nest

Two years ago, Paul began building me a writing cabin.

Not long after, you may recall, someone from the county raised a huge fuss about this. Paul ended up hacking his way through a large forest of regulations, permits, inspections, and requirements. You'd have thought it was a high-rise office building with all the complicated engineers' diagrams we needed and the details they picked apart.

Recently, Paul recounted the whole process to a guy from church who went home and told his wife, "I think I'd have given up."

Well, Paul is not the giving up sort.

I'm guessing this is why our marriage has lasted 34 years.

Last October, we got the permit.

He built the floor and frame of the cabin in a storage building at the warehouse. When the weather got cold, he switched to working on our bedroom and completely remodeled it.

And I waited for my cabin. I planned how to decorate and arrange it. And I chose a name: The Sparrow Nest.

Between the road and the warehouse is the "new" bridge, which is about 15 years old, a fine solid concrete and metal structure. It has four holes in it, and some of us have a custom of dropping a rock down one of the holes when we walk across.

I started whispering a wish and a prayer for my cabin every time I walked across and dropped a piece of gravel down a hole.

The months went by and Paul was even busier than normal. Church things demanded his attention, he needed to help transition the school to new leadership, his warehouse manager was moving on, and the most reliable sacker stepped on a nail and ended up in the hospital.

So he decided to commit himself to a deadline and hire help with the building.

My sister Margaret lives in South Carolina. Her oldest son, Austin, builds mini-barns for a living.  He consented to come work on the cabin for most of August, even though he was needed at his job at home.
My dad and Austin
Things happened fast after Austin arrived. They put in the insulation and wiring and ceiling and beams for the loft.

They put the metal roof on and the siding on the outside, both of which came from the old shed that Orval built in the 1940's.

Matt came for the eclipse and helped with the siding.
It was time to lift it into place.

On August 25th, the guys lifted the cabin onto a trailer with two forklifts and carefully hauled it to the site. Then a large crane lumbered over the field and through the trees. Paul and Austin ran chains through metal tubes under the cabin and carefully the guys attached cables.

At the last minute, the crane operator said, "I don't like to work with chains."
Austin said, "Because they're hard to adjust?"
"No, because they break."

Well. Imagine hearing that and then minutes later seeing your precious cabin lifted high into the air.

We watched from the side of the road as it was slowly brought into place above the posts and the guys scurried around to fit it into place. It fit into the brackets on the posts, the cables and chains were moved away, and I exhaled.
The watchers: Darrell, Simone, Matt, Tristan, Jenny, Grandpa, Emily. This was minutes before Jenny and Emily
had to leave for a wedding, hence the nice clothes.

 I was very very happy.

A lot of work remained to be done. Paul has since washed, caulked, and sealed the siding.

Amy and I tied a rope around a little desk and lifted it in. I've been working there when the weather's nice. It is just absolutely right.

Paul built a set of steps so I no longer have to climb to the very top of an 8-foot stepladder to get inside.

Now he's working on the doors and windows. After that, the interior gets finished.

It is, and will be, a lovely nest for this sparrow.

I am grateful to God, for His blessings. To Paul, who saw it through. To Keith the nephew, who had so many good and practical ideas and who was invaluable on moving day. To Darrell and Simone, who helped and videotaped. And to Austin, who sacrificed a lot to come and who worked terribly hard and did really beautiful work.

Now, when I walk to the warehouse, I still drop stones in the holes, but I wish and pray for other things, knowing that God is able to make them happen.



  1. This makes me smile!! Happy nest writing!

  2. I am so happy for you!

  3. I'm very curious as to why it's on stilts.

  4. Wonderful! This is evidence that you are loved!

  5. ������

  6. Wonderful! I am in SC but did not know your sis lives here. :)

  7. It is lovely! You are blessed! Happy writing!!!

  8. Such a sweet little nest! And encouraging to hear how you all persisted in spite of the obstacles.

  9. A happy, contented sigh at this happy ending...beginning.
    And your last sentence is my absolute favorite, esp. the part "knowing that God is able to make them happen." That is exactly what comes to my mind when I pray for something relatively small (like finding lost sippy cups or car keys) and God answers right away by putting ideas in my head of where to look. I keep thinking, "and He answers bigger prayers too! (family/marriage problems, church issues, etc.) It's just not quite that simple; maybe people's wills/hearts aren't in line yet for Him to give the complete answer."

    1. I have lots of questions too, about prayer and timing and such. But I know He is able!

  10. This is wonderful--The Sparrow Nest, all "nestled" in its natural habitat at long last, with you in it! God has answered your prayers and has given you the desire of your heart--a writing cabin and a private retreat all in one. Kudos to your husband for undertaking the project and overseeing its construction and installation to this point--and to all the others who helped as well. Now you will have the fun of decorating and furnishing it. Thanks for the pictures. They are heart warming; especially the last one where you stand in the open doorway, waving!