A New Home Named Woodsong
In 2001, after selling the original 75 acres that we started with, we moved one-half mile closer to Route 166 and
built our retirement home on the west side of our farm. After 38 years at Pondside Farm, that farm
house and pond were no longer ours. I named our new home Woodsong.
I hope our fields and the people in them exult because God is good. I hope our trees and the birds
in the trees sing for joy at the steadfastness of God's love.
Because we are retired and winding up our lives, we do more fun things than when we were younger and pushing ourselves
to be as productive as possible. So the summer of 2004 allowed us to watch an island being built.
Because of our constant battle with varmints eating the duck eggs before they are hatched or baby ducks after they hatched
and even sometimes the adult ducks, Gerald wondered if he had a little island for the ducks if that might help. We aren't
always sure what kind of varmints the predators are--'possoms, foxes, raccoons, fish, turtles, hawks, coyote--but I
suspect all of these at one time or another. We have seen mama ducks take their babies to the lake and immediately either
a turtle or a big bass pulled the baby duck down and it was gone. We see broken shells beside the lake and
sometimes the half-eaten body of an adult duck.
The island probably won't help much because too many of those varmints can swim. And death can also come
from the sky. Last summer Gerald had raised the bedroom window and proudly watched a mama duck with two
brand new babies in the nest beneath the window. At that very moment a hawk swooped down and killed
the mother duck in front of his eyes. Gerald rescued those two and took the remaining eggs to his nephew's
home to be put in an incubator, and at least the mother duck's offspring survived. That would have pleased
As he watched the many enemies of the ducks, Gerald faced the fact that just as his floating nests had not always protected
the eggs nor ducks, probably the island would not either. However, by this time, he was intrigued with the idea
of building an island. So we spent the summer watching him cut through tons of dirt with his scraper to create a channel
on the other side of a wooded promotory and separate it from land. On the day the track hoe came to open the
channel, a grandson put it, "Grandpa, I watched as the peninsula became an island."
The grandchildren were one of Gerald's motivations for the island. We can imagine that they will like swimming
and boating the short distance over to find themselves alone and isolated from adult hovering.
Although there are no children living at Woodsong, there are frequent visits by grandchildren. They come for
Vacation Bible School at our village church, for the holidays, or just for a quick weekend retreat. If one cousin is
here, the others like to come too if they can. We are hoping the island will provide further opportunities for their