Thursday, April 5, 2012

House Under Feathers

Flying high at our house on the top of the world

Life at the Malibu house has been a surreal experience in so many ways. Seven months ago we traded the whine of city buses pulling up to the bus stop in front of our apartment for the sounds of birds chirping. Sometimes it’s quiet enough to hear the swoosh-flap of a large raven or red-tailed hawk sweeping overhead. But today the world has been especially quiet. This morning I paused near our dinning room window and watched a red headed bird sing. I hear him all the time, but today I could actually see his throat vibrating and his tiny beak opening. A little lady bird joined him and they flew away. It’s that kind of place up here.

When we first considered moving to this house, I was a little nervous about all the details. It would mean a long work commute for Kip, and the kids and I would have to re-evaluate all of our extra-curricular activities. I worried that we might have a difficult time finding a roommate to rent out the bottom half of the house. I started praying about it. I really wanted God to speak to my soul about whether or not we should move out here. Instead of a simple yes or no, I felt that still small voice ask, “What does Piuma mean?”

Piuma is the name of our road. I didn’t know what it meant then, so I Googled it. It means “feather” as in plumage. That meant something to me. All summer, as we were going through the somewhat painful process of trying to sell our condo and prepare to leave life as we knew it behind, I was meditating on Psalm 91. I memorized it and had the kids do the same.

The word feather immediately reminded me of the imagery of Psalm 91, “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. … (v 4) He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge.” The whole Psalm is a beautiful promise of God’s protection. When I realized that Piuma meant feather I had a strong sense that God was providing a place of refuge and rest for us, and that we would have the opportunity to offer that refuge to others. So far that is exactly what our experience at this house has been.

The last few weeks have been especially busy with friends visiting. First we had a family of camping refugees who called one Saturday night, just before a rainstorm to see if wanted company. Heavy clouds surrounded the house in a complete white-out and they ended up staying a couple days until the torrential rain ceased and road crews cleared the fallen boulders from the main road. We even made s’mores on the kitchen stove.

My dear friend Heidi and our kids

Then my Uncle Jim, Aunt Candy and their two daughters came for a night. They live in Idaho now, so my daughter was especially happy to see them again. She is almost the same age as their younger daughter, even though she is my first cousin.

The cousins

My brother Tim, his wife Heather and their darling little baby also came out to see our Idaho family. Tim is an amazing chef. He made a bunch of spinach turn into some kind of amazing Asian fusion thing, and he even liked my grilled salmon, despite his earlier skepticism about marinating salmon. Tim runs his own food truck in LA’s hotly competitive food truck industry and has come to make a name for himself in high quality steak from a truck.
Cooking and cooing ... so talented.

Kip was worried I wouldn't give her back.

The youngest cousin of my generation holds the youngest cousin of my kid's generation. Aunt Candy offers a hand.

Cousin A with Cousin S
Reading to a new friend

Later that weekend our dear friends from our West Virginia college days came by with their two kids. Once again we were “clouded” in and didn’t mind the excuses to just relax and catch up on the years that have passed since we spent any time together.

This week I invited a group of homeschooling families that I know from Community Bible Studies up for an Easter brunch/play date. It was the first time most of them had been there, and after the shock of how long our windy mountain road drive is, I think they had a great time. I always like taking pictures of the kids playing together. I think it is funny how the uninitiated always worry that homeschooled kids are lonely, friendless and unsocialized. My experience has been that homeschooled children excel at co-operative play. I love to watch how quickly they work together as a multi-age group and come up with creative solutions. I wish ALL children got the luxury of playing more.
They all love Hex bugs.

Random homeschooled teens and tweens. I say "random" because they like that word. There is nothing random about these guys.

Flying high on the rope swing.
Someone is getting fancy on the rope swing. He was fine. No injuries today.


  1. WOW! All those photos from the same week! - k

  2. Theresa, thanks for writing. It helps me feel a part of your life even if you are miles and miles away. Love Mom

  3. i feel honored to have made it in to your blog :o) i loved being a camping refugee!
    would love to read some more spiritual musings.... i love our community in that way. thank you for being my "sister" ;o) love ya!