Our Nest

by cheri sabraw

Those of us who have been in long-term relationships can speak to the power of silence.

All that might be said, has been said. Many times over.

So I’ve taken, at times,  to employing non-verbal communication signaled by a pair of fake birds that sits in our entry window.

For example, last week Hizzoner and I engaged in one of our weekly verbal arguments about how many hours he continues to work and preoccupy himself. How I am tired of it. How I want change of some sort. Change.


The next morning, I found that my residual feelings left over from this unresolved conflict in our marriage still lingered. But why bring it up again? So I reconfigured the birds. They can do the talking.

He, on the other hand, saw no conflict worth engaging in. At all. When I came home from my day out, he had realigned the pair to signal how he felt.

IMG_6240That’s funny. Not really.

Later that night, because of his incredibly long day, he fell into bed like a redwood tree going down in a storm. Good! He’s asleep, I thought, as I entered my side of the bed, hoping to sleep as close to the edge as I could possibly balance for the entire night. But he wasn’t fully asleep and moved over in hopes of mimicking the birds.

Oh well, I thought. Practice gratefulness. That always softens your heart. So the next morning, on my way to my busy day, I communicated my thoughts.


When I arrived home again to a dark nest house, on my way into the kitchen with logs for a fire and my iPad for entertainment, I let the birds do the pecking.


I made the dinner, seasoned it with cayenne pepper and spicy curry, and settled onto my perch.

The headlights turned down the driveway, the garage door opener grumbled, the door to our entry opened, the roller briefcase clicked across our tile, and the big bird entered, preening and pruning, dusting off his feathers, including the turquoise one in his hat.

I had nothing (at that moment) to say.

He went upstairs to unload.

I went outside to lug in more wood.

On my way out, I noticed the birds had been realigned.


Alright, I thought. That’s sweet.

How was your day, Your Honor?


About Cheri

Writer, photograph, artist, mother, grandmother and wife.
This entry was posted in Life, People and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to Our Nest

  1. Dan O'Brien says:

    One of Your Best….. Thank you for the Christmas Present.

  2. Cheri, this is a wonderful story, so clever, so honest. Thanks for making me smile.

  3. I think we ALL need a couple of birds! Delightful story. As I always say: “The art of wisdom, is the art of knowing what to overlook!.”

  4. William James said it first. I stole it.

  5. wkkortas says:

    I would procure a pair of birds for myself, except that I would descend into the realm of prop humor almost immediately. Your piece, however, is wit at its best.

  6. shoreacres says:

    First of all, I love the birds themselves. They are so sweet and demure. Beyond that, I read this last night a couple of times, and then decided to put all things cyber to bed, along with me. When I woke this morning, I was thinking, “Well. At least one of them didn’t pick up one of the birds, tuck it in a pocket, and walk out the door.” 🙂

  7. Now I’m really excited because I found a Mrs. Mouse and a Mr. Mouse and we can play this same game on Sunny Brook Lane! Happy holidays, Cheri.

  8. Brighid says:

    I loved this post, and your birds have such attitude!

  9. Christopher says:

    The way you use these little birds is wonderfully non-confrontational, but also an effective way to convey important sentiments to another.

    And Now For Something Completely Different. I came across this in a book recently:

    “……in their negotiations to join Churchill’s coalition, the Labour Party had insisted on internment for British fascists……..”

    An unremarkable sentence, except that it applies a possessive pronoun in the plural, “their”, to a collective noun in the singular, “Labour Party”.

    I’ve been detecting this sort of grammatical error constantly, whether in books or newspaper pieces, written by people who should know better.

    As someone whose profession was the teaching of English, you may find this of interest because you, too, may be detecting in your own reading what I’m detecting.

    However, what I see as a grammatical error, may no longer be so seen, in contemporary English writing. Is this really so?

  10. Cheri says:

    I often see this type of grammatical error in student writing (even from Stanford Business School students) and in professional publications. It speaks of one’s education.

  11. potsoc says:

    Having lost your Email address, I resort to this mean to express my best wishes for 2015…and sorrow at the death of the Queen.

    • Cheri says:

      When I am back at my computer, I will send you an email!
      I hope you and Therese are well and staying warm in Quebec!!
      Ron sends his best regards to you both.

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