A Tree Full of Good Thoughts

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One of my favorite things about our Christmas tree is that it is full of memories.  Most of the ornaments bring back a rush of remembrances and good thoughts that make me smile.  This particular ornament, for example:

Bought in a small shop in Dingle, Ireland in 2001.  We had gone to this shop around 1 PM, and saw a sign saying that they were away and would be back sometime in the afternoon.  (no time specified, which I thought was wonderful and so unusual to my American time-driven upbringing)  Sometime around 4 we went back and found this.  It sparkled so beautifully in the light, and we loved it.

Seeing it now, I am right back there, in that small intimate shop, with Ed and Joshua.  Good times, good thoughts flow through me, and I smile.

Merry Christmas to you and your family and friends.  Love, Lisa

Seeing the Tower or Seeing the Story

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It’s far too easy when I’m traveling to just focus on the structure, and not really think about the story behind why that structure was built.  The real details of what life was like at that time, in and around that building.  This is Eask Tower outside of Dingle, Ireland.  The 1 mile hike up Carhoo Hill is gentle but persistent.  At the top you are rewarded with amazing views of Dingle Harbour and Connor Pass.

This tower was built in 1847 as a famine relief project, headed up by Rev. Charles Gayer.  The workers produced an amazing and strong structure…16 feet thick walls, rising 39 feet into the air.  The wooden arrow points into the mouth of the blind harbor to help early sailors navigate.  It also served as a lookout tower during WWII.

Imagine living during those days….not enough food for your family, for yourself, months and months of weakness, desperation.  Yet those workers somehow managed to rally the strength to make this.  Things like that always amaze me.

Enjoy your day, and look for the stories.  They’re everywhere.  🙂  Slainte, Lisa

*If you are interested in a really good book to give you a small glimpse into what the Irish Famine might have been like, read “Galway Bay” by Mary Pat Kelly.  It stays with you long after you’ve finished it.

The Largeness of Farm Animals

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The sheep post yesterday has put me in a mind to discuss a further aspect of farm animals, purely from a non-farm girl perspective.  Cows are big.  And you don’t really realize that until you are face to face with one, or surrounded by a traveling pack of them in your subcompact car on an astonishingly narrow Irish road.  If one of these bovines had decided to take a sit down on our hood, it would have been all over for the poor little car.  😉  Luckily, greener pastures were calling, and their hooves kept on moving.

Moral of the story?  If you run into a farm animal today, take a picture.  Start a blog.  You never know.  haha  Slainte, Lisa

P.S.  For those of you on the edge of their seats to hear how the sheep contest turned out, the climbing sheep of Carrantuohill and the grazing sheep of Dingle are in a dead heat tie.  Please vote to put an end to this madness once and for all!