Stumbling upon these stories as my husband and I went through old papers provided rich insight into fascinating family history. As a writer, and a student of life I’m interested in travel and different cultures; people and relationships; natural beauty, creativity and how God works in these various aspects of life. These stories brought together so many of the things important to me and spoke to my soul. I felt I had to share them.
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We arrived in Galway, checked into our apartment and headed to the store to pick up a few things so we could fix breakfast the next morning. By Irish standards it was a large store. We made our selections and were walking down the produce isle when an elderly man approached me. He was neatly dressed and wearing an old leather hat. He spoke with a heavy brogue and had to repeat himself several times. Tom and I realized at the same time what he was saying. He inquired of me, if he could exchange hats with my husband. Tom wanted to know why I was being asked instead of him. The gentleman replied that he knew Tom would say no, but perhaps I’d be willing to work the exchange. I laughed saying I kinda liked my husband in his hat. We all laughed. As he turned to walk away, he told us he was just making fun.
Between Ireland and England, several people approached Tom and asked about his hat. No one had an offer as good as the gentleman in the grocery store.
We had just stepped off the tube one night and were walking toward the exit. There was a gust of wind. I felt my hat move and grabbed it quickly. I mentioned I almost lost my hat. Tom said he saw that. As we continued walking toward the stairs another train blew through the station on the tracks in the opposite direction and Tom’s hat went flying. We were unsuccessful in rescuing it, before it fell into the tracks. We had nothing long enough to retrieve it. After checking the schedule and seeing we had a couple of minutes before the next train was schedule to arrive, Tom carefully lowered himself down to the walkway at the track level, retrieved his hat and scurried back up to the walk level. I breathed a sign of relief when he was standing beside me again. We were on our way up the stairs when the next train came through the station.
During one of our trips to the mid-west, we enjoyed the privilege of staying with good friends. We were each looking forward to spending time together. Mary wanted everything associated to our visit with them to be perfect. We shared many good memories with them, so being together again felt relaxing and comfortable. The four of us settled in the living room and planned to catch up on the news in each of our lives. The guys would share a white wine. Mary had a special red wine she wanted me to try. Everyone was comfortable, and we toasted one another. I took a sip of my wine and was pondering the flavor. She took one sip, stood up and said, “This wine is not what I wanted. It won’t do.” She took my glass, headed to the kitchen where she proceeded to the sink and dumped the two glasses of wine down the drain. Surprised and shocked, I didn’t know what to do. This was so out of character for her, and I thought the wine tasted superb.
She rinsed our glasses and opened another bottle of wine; then returned with a different red wine. Mary found this wine satisfying. I considered it enjoyable, but I liked the first better.
Because of the memories associated with that evening and our friendship, I try to keep at least one bottle of Wild Horse, Pinot Noir in my house. Whenever I open a bottle and enjoy a glass, I am transported to another place in time. I remember our evening, our friendship and the pleasure of our shared relationship.
Yesterday we were motorcycling in Alabama. Thanks to the generosity of a fellow biker, we were able to ride a Triumph through some of the hills and back roads. Few of the leaves have changed colors, so we were met with lush green most places we went. I kept thinking how much I always enjoyed the verdancy of the mid-west and southern states and realized I had been given my “green fix” on this weekend ride. It was a great day!
Sunday, we drove past a dead tree. Dead, yet the sight was amazing. On the top tree branches were small birds perched, almost like leaves on each branch. Hay fields, blue skies and the mountain were the backdrop for this scene. As we drove by, I wished I could share this vision with my grandmother. I would try to share visions of places I lived or visited in letters that passed between us. This was the sort of thing I would have written to her about. Ahhhh…the memories of all those letters filled with love, passing between my grandmother and I!
It is a beautiful sunny day here in Colorado. I have the patio door open and I’m enjoying the smell of Granny’s Banana Bread baking in the oven. Yum! This smell brings back memories from my childhood and my parenting years. This bread has always been a family favorite. I’ve had to tweak the recipe a bit to accommodate the elevation here, but the outcome is still the same. A treat that is sure to please all it is offered to. The original recipe can be found in “Granny’s Legacy”, by Linda Flynn offered on Amazon on page 2 of the book. You might find a few traditions to introduce to your family there also.
Now, if you’ll excuse me I’ve got to get back to my memories!
She’s Back! The brazen hussy chipmunk decided to visit our deck again; the deck where we grow tomatoes and herbs for our enjoyment. This time my hunter man was home. He got his weapon and was ready for action. The chipmunk avoided positioning herself in a good shot area. The goal is to hit the vermin not a piece of glass or a shop door. She dodged behind and between the potted plants. She was at the end of the deck, ten feet above ground. We were sure we had her trapped and simply had to wait for a good shot. Not so! Standing on the edge of the deck, she looked around and then she jumped over the edge. We could not believe it! We headed toward the edge and then heard “Kerplunk”! We expected to see chipmunk splat, but instead she was running for the rocks. The fact she survived the fall was more surprising to us than the fact she jumped from such a height.
Fast forward 24 hours and we looked out the window to see said chipmunk stretched out on our cement umbrella base. Who knows if this was a cooling position on the cement, a sunning position, or an announcement of ownership of the deck? The hunter and I headed outside again. The critter appeared a little confused, running to hide behind patio storage boxes. We moved the boxes and the chipmunk ran. I chased it thinking it would run to the planting area and dodge in-between the pots. Surprised again! She raced right up to the end of the deck and jumped. There was no hesitation she just jumped. Gone again.
Who would have thought a chipmunk we could be involved in training chipmunks for the miniature circus?