The Owl on the Porch

The sermon at church this week was on remembering. The focus was on remembering what God has done for us in the past, but as the preacher talked about various photos or other items he had that reminded him of certain times in his life, I couldn’t help but do a mental inventory of the things I have that remind me of something special in my own life.

I didn’t come up with a whole lot. Since 1998 we have lived through an apartment fire, a raw sewage flood, and a tornado. Slowly but surely, a lot of those heirloom pieces and photographs have been destroyed or ended up gone with the wind, the really BIG, spinning kind of wind. We were very fortunate to have some of our possessions left, but there are so many very special things I can think of that I really wish we still had.

One thing we do have is this:

I know, to you it looks like a generic statue that has seen its fair share of weathering.  But to me it is so much more.

This owl stood in the birdbath of my grandmother’s house. Poppy, as we called her, was my mom’s mother, and our neighbor across the street. She lived in a little pink house with her little white dog, Princess. I spent many hours at her house, playing in the front yard, filling that birdbath with the garden hose, climbing on what seemed to be the biggest fire hydrant in the world, and trying to sneak my way up a set of old wooden stairs that she was sure would be the death of me. When I got mad at my parents, I’d “run away” to her house every single time. She’d let me sit on her lap and we’d talk for as long as I wanted, she’d tell me stories and laugh with me until I had forgotten what I was mad about in the first place. The times I spent with her are some of my most precious childhood memories.

I was very young when she passed away, too little to have any say, and through the normal chaos that comes with cleaning out someone’s home, all of her belongings went with other people. I was left with nothing to remember her by, nothing to tuck away in a drawer or a jewelry box, nothing to sit on a special little shelf, just my own memories.

But then there was the owl. He and his birdbath moved across the street to our yard, and there they stood, playing a part in new memories, until the tornado in 1999. When the storm had passed, the birdbath was broken, but there he lay in the rubble. Sure, he was a little worse for wear, but chips and cracks don’t erase memories, they just add to his story.

Now he sits where you see him in the picture, on the front porch of my mom and dad’s house. Every time I see him I am flooded with memories, and there are truly few things left in our possession that have that effect on me. No matter how bad he looks, I am just thankful he’s there to remind me.

What about you? Is there one thing you cling to that reminds you of someone special, or an important event in your life? Tell me about it. I’d love to hear your stories in the comments!

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One Response to The Owl on the Porch

  1. Trey says:

    fertilizer… Whenever i walk into a nursery or greenhouse and I smell the fertilizer.. I remember weekends with my grandmother. My dad was stationed in Kentucky and we lived in California. So as a divorced family when it was my dads weekend.. I spent it at my Grandma’s.. We planted everything… and that smell reminds me of Her.

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