The Emerald Isle Faraway

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“If you ever go across the sea to Ireland

Then maybe at the closing of your day

You will sit and watch the moon rise over Claddagh

And watch the barefoot gossoons at their play ”

 SONGWRITERS
GEORGE GRAFF, ERNEST R. BALL, CHAUNCEY OLCOTT

 

I am so happy to write that I have been across the sea to Ireland

This beautiful country is known for its luscious green fields, old mysterious castles, Giant’s Causeway, Bushmills Whiskey Distillery, The Peace Bridge,  St. Patrick’s Day, Belfast Harbour where the Titanic Ship was built and so many more.

My ancestral home of Northern Ireland is known for something as special to me as all of these and that is my Father!  My Dad was so proud of his homeland and yet he had to venture out and eventually cross the Atlantic Ocean to Canada to find work and there he stayed.

My father gave me so many things throughout my life and one very important love he passed on was the sweet love for this beautiful country of Northern Ireland and all the relatives living there. He was born on a farm called The Breen, in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland.

Several years ago, before my father passed away, he and I flew over so he could reunite with his two brothers and two sisters and many many nieces and nephews.  Oh, what a wonderful and exciting time this was!  So many hugs and tears; so much excitement!  The local newspaper would feature my father standing alongside his brother on the front page with the story of this long awaited 50 year reunion.  You see, it took my father fifty years to find the courage and the money to make this seven hour flight in the big jet back over that vast Atlantic Ocean.

“How things have changed” he kept repeating!  One day he decided, to everyone’s surprise, to go and search out the girl he left behind.  His beloved wife, my Mother, had since passed away so he thought this search was quite alright and went on with everyone’s blessing to find this past lost love.

After spending the afternoon and eventually finding the lady whom he had left behind and whom he had possibly thought of now and again over the many years; he finally walked in the door where we were all waiting to hear about his adventure. He gave a big sigh and with face flushed and a big grin he said to all of us;  “She’s become an old hagg”!!  We just roared with laughter and the poor man appeared to be trying to hide his disappointment with all the Irish humour he could summon.  That was my Dad!!!

I will never, ever forget that special trip as long as I live!  How grateful I am that I was able to witness this amazing visit and how fortunate we were that all my father’s sibling were alive and fairly well at that time.

My Father along with his brothers and sisters have all passed away now but there are so many cousins whom I have formed a wonderful close bond with.  They are my amazing family and how happy I am to have them.

As long as health permits I will be going across the sea to Ireland every summer and will always think about my father and how happy he was that he did too!

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/faraway/

The Beginning

 

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This is all new for me.  My first Blog!  I am so excited to begin a new chapter in my life.

I’ve spent many years being a wife, mother, nurse, farmer and now a grandmother.  Life on the farm was a combination of hard work, yet wonderful memories of beautiful sunsets and star-filled skies.

The children did not appreciate living life so far away from the excitement of the city when they were young but now that they are married with families of their own, they realize they had the best life could offer.

I hope to share many experiences with you; life on the farm as well as in the small town in which I now live.  Life in a small town can be quite interesting.

After all these years or life and travel, I hope to have lots to share!!

 

 

 

Footsteps – He Carried Me

 

As we have read so many times,  Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass but learning to dance in the rain

The road through life can be difficult, but I can’t complain.

We can have so many days when we need to dance in the rain but we also can have a sense of peace knowing that Jesus died on the Cross for us so we can be forgiven of our sins.

Knowing this gives me great peace and hope in my life and I hope it does for you who is reading this post.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if everyone in this big world of ours could believe and enjoy that sense of peace!

Although there have been roadblocks in my life, I’ve always felt that God was there for me, guiding me along.

What a gift!  I do believe!

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/footsteps/

 

The Price and The Pride

I love this particular bridge and all that it stands for.   Although it is thousands of miles away from where I live I am always so thrilled and proud to be visiting Londonderry, Northern Ireland to walk across this amazing landmark and symbol of peace.

This beautiful Peace Bridge, which was recently built and opened to the public on June 25th, 2011 has been the latest attempt to bring Catholics and Protestants of this small country together in harmony with each other.

I visit my family  as often as I can fly over and each time I come they want to take me on a walk across the famous Peace Bridge of Derry; their pride and joy!  The days I’ve walked across have been cool enough to need a good warm jacket and I have to be sure to have my camera in hand!  What an experience.

The troubles that have existed for years and years are much less now and I am so thankful.  The people are wonderfully friendly, loving their music and inviting pubs.  The many shops offer so many memorabilia and tourists could so easily pack a suitcase with nothing else but souveniers and I’ve almost done on many occasions.

The Peace Bridge spans across the River Foyle from Guildhall Square on the west bank to Ebrington on the east bank.  Although the Catholics and the Protestants continue to live largely separate lives, Derry is a place of increasing prosperity and it’s a place where the people of the city want peace.

I am so proud of my heritage and look forward to the summer when I can again walk across this wonderful bridge; a symbol of a very proud and peaceful people!

 

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One Love

206I grew up listening to my father speak so many times about his life and growing up in beautiful Northern Ireland.  He talked about the green fields and the purple Heather!

My Dad left his native Ireland when he was a young man.  His older brother had left a year earlier and he decided to follow him and travel across the ocean on a cargo ship.  The trip was long and tiresome but finally he arrived in beautiful Canada.  He and his brother would live on the farm of an elderly couple who needed two farm hands.  My Dad talked often about his experiences of milking the cows and gathering the eggs plus helping in the fields.  He was very happy to be in Canada but his homesickness for his beautiful Ireland was so overwhelming.

I would listen with great interest to his stories and it became my dream to one day travel over to this beautiful land I had envisioned and meet all the family members that I had not known.

Letters were exchanged throughout my younger years and a bond was formed with my distant mysterious relatives whom I longed to meet.  It wouldn’t be until I was married and a mother that I would have the opportunity to fulfil this dream of mine.

One summer day I received word that my father’s sister, my aunt, from Ireland was coming to Canada on a tour.  Oh, I was so thrilled!  I was finally going to meet one of my amazing Irish relatives.  This was the beginning of my journey; my dream!!