Not just for the birds

Handmade birdhouses are family affair

Created date

December 21st, 2009

You could say that John and Mary Oxenham s hobby is for the birds, but the truth is, the unique birdhouses they create bring just as much joy to the people who receive them as the birds who call them home. Best nest Early on, Goszkowski thought of selling the birdhouses, but after contacting a handful of companies, he conceded there wasn t enough of a market for them. Unsure what to do with the fruits of his newfound hobby, Goszkowski began giving the birdhouses away to family, neighbors, church groups, and even waitresses at his local coffee house. One year at Christmas, Uncle Henry sent us about 20 birdhouses. My dining room table was filled with them, says Mrs. Oxenham. We weren t sure what to do with them. So we painted them all white with red roofs and decorated them with Christmas trees. We put them in bags with a tag that said Merry Christmas and in the dead of night, John went around and put one on each of our neighbors porches. Everyone knew right away who they came from. It was kind of funny because all of the houses in our neighborhood had white birdhouses with red roofs hanging in their trees. Since moving toCharlestownthree years ago, the Oxenhams have given away a few birdhouses to their neighbors. This past October, they displayed a sampling of their birdhouses at the Charlestown Craft Sale. There is a lady here atCharlestownwho has a daughter that collects beehive-related items, says Mrs. Oxenham. She saw the beehive birdhouse at the craft show and wanted to buy it. I told her that we only give them away. I could tell she was disappointed, so later that day I found her apartment and knocked on her door. When she opened it, I handed her the birdhouse, and you could just tell that it made her day. For me, giving them away is the most rewarding part. In the future, the Oxenhams hope to raffle off some of the birdhouses to raise money for Charlestown s Benevolent Care Fund, which ensures that no resident has to leave the community for financial reasons.