Birdhouses entertain him

Published 12:02 am Saturday, May 21, 2011

Wilson Meadows, pastor at Faithway Baptist Church in Libertyville, builds an assortment of birdhouses that he sells on the honor system. He is shown with his display that sits beside the Hwy. 55. |Stephanie Nelson/Star-News

When one asks Wilson Meadows why he builds birdhouses, he quips “Jesus was a carpenter, too.”

Meadows, a retired cutting foreman from Shorewood Packing Co., and his wife, Ruby Lee, have spent the last 53 years where his wares are now prominently displaced along Ala. Hwy. 55 South. Using a lawnmower, Meadows pulls his cart to the roadside daily.

“When I retired, I had nothing to do,” Meadows said. “I pastor over at Faithway Baptist Church in Libertyville, but I had to have something to do during the day.”

His solution – birdhouses.

“I’ve always loved working with my hands, building things,” he said. “For me, it’s a hobby.”

Inside the pull-behind cart, one can find anything to please even the pickiest feathered friend. There are the ones Meadows describes for “the simple man” – just four walls and a slight tin roof. There’s one way in and one way out.

He said if robins and wrens are trying to keep up with their growing family, he recommends the “dogtrot.”

“It just opens up right in the back and you can clean it out lickety-split,” he said.

For those who aspire to run a bed and breakfast for finches, Meadows has one for that, too. It’s his deluxe model with a six-windowed front and dormers.

Attached to the side of his pull-cart is an honor box for those wishing to purchase a birdhouse.

“I believe in people’s honesty,” he said. “I don’t do it to make anything. I do it because I like it, one. Two, Jesus was a carpenter, and I like that, too.”

Meadows said he knows his time on Earth is limited, but he plans to make the best of it while he’s here.

“And as long as I can wiggle around, I want to stay busy, so keep looking for these birdhouses,” he said.