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Almost three years ago, I decided it was warm enough to cook outside on the grill. When I opened the lid, however, I found that birds had started a nest beneath the lower grate.

No problem. I got my gloves from the garage and carefully removed the top grate and then the nest, relocating it to the lower branches of a nearby Evergreen.

Two days later, I went to use the grill again and discovered that the eager couple had been at it again, although they hadn’t gotten very far in two days. I was able to just clean what bit of straw and paper they had out without much trouble. That was Wednesday.

The following Sunday, I tried again and surprised the happy couple in the midst of putting the finishing touches on their nest. They froze in mid-activity when I opened the lid. I quickly shut it, and stood for several moments with my hand on top – listening for signs of distress.

That was three years ago. I haven’t used the grill since, and instead, each Spring I sit in my kitchen and watch the growing family of wrens making multiple trips to and from the fields, the trees, and the yard. They have quite successfully traded in their simple nest for a two story townhouse with loft.

When I am lounging on the patio in the summer, they are continuously in and out, and I occasionally catch them peeking out from one of the side air holes. While lying in the sun, there always a wonderful chatter coming from inside the grill. I convince myself that I am the topic of many a discussion – “she’s the one.”

Last Sunday after a stressful morning, I carried lemonade to the back patio and watched as the parents made trip after trip to the yard, the trees, the field (anywhere there were treats to be found) – listening to the eager chatter each time they returned, to go again. In no time at all, I’d forgotten the reason for my distress.

I love them and hardly miss the grill at all!

who are you
with feathers proud
come spread your home
to mine
as brothers
all the same –
within this one