The tulips are gone. The weather turned a corner and I shed my daily sweater layer. We witnessed community clean-up days; people pruned their shrubs, bushes and trees; or painted their house fronts. The sound of birds fills the air, the trees are greening, roses fill walkways, everything is in bloom or soon ready to break forth. Tour bus traffic has increased on the roads since when we first arrived. Ireland has readied itself for the tourist season, just as we prepared to pack up and leave. It is a different place than when we arrived.
Red Roses of Tralee
Yellow Roses or Tralee
We’ve enjoyed two months in County Kerry, and enjoyed the people we’ve met, gotten to know and hope to maintain relationships with.
The current stage is of goodbyes with the question, “when will we see you again?” The answer is in God’s hands.
Friends from home are asking, when you return?
Life activities on both sides of the Atlantic are calling.
Goodbyes are never easy as they pull on heart strings.
We leave with many memories.
A piece of my heart remains here and a piece of my heart is calling me home.
If you were to ask what my thoughts are, Bittersweet is the answer.
The local writers group assigned the topic of “Day Dreams.”
This piece came from that assignment.
As a little girl, with bubble wand in my hand, I twirl.
The bubbles, like my day dreams unknown to me, rise in the sky.
My only fascination lay with watching the bubbles rise and marveling how high they went before they burst.
I shared this activity with my daughters and grand-daughters. To this day, I stop and smile when I witness a child partaking in this delight.
Only later did I realize my day dreams rode on those bubbles. How many dreams did I let escape? Did they really escape, or simply hitch a ride on a star?
As an adult, the night sky and its stars captivated me. I love how the night lights sparkle and shine against the dark velvet.
I moved west and in the high, dry mountain air found the stars more numerous than previously imagined. And they appeared much closer. In fact, close enough to reach out and grab. I began to see the connection between bubbles, stars and my day dreams.
Now I envision my day dreams found protection in the stars until such time as I could gather them back to myself. In the safety of maturity and greater self-awareness, I’m learning which dreams to toss back to the stars for another time or person to claim. With fresh eyes and new appreciation, I’ve reclaimed some of those day dreams. As they unfold and develop, I change and grow.
Now I recognize that day dreams and dreaming keeps one alive and vibrant.
My advice to you: Hang onto your dreams!
Do you still dream?
Are you finding any of your old dreams returning to you?
I recently finished reading “The Second Half of your Life” by Jill Shaw Ruddock.
I resonate with the term “Second Half” instead of “old” or “retired.”
This book covers much information I’ve previously read, available to the woman who reaches those menopausal years, yet Jill Ruddock nicely pulled it all together in one place. Being an American, I enjoyed reading perspectives from “the other side of the pond,” even though I’m currently “on that side.” The core issues remain the same.
I enjoyed the humor found in the different use of vocabulary.
I appreciated her reference to those of us who are “baby boomers” being the “golden generation.” She stated we have defined every age of our lives simply because of how many of us there are; and expects as a group we will redefine what “old” means.
I like that thought. I have no interest in the idea of trying to be younger than my current age, but certainly won’t sit down and wait to die. This is my “second life” and I’m enjoying life. For me, that means life is to be lived; to be creative; to be full of passion and meaning.
Last week I spent a morning with a group of women trying to get a Women’s Resource Center off the ground here in Tralee, Ireland. The room was filled with energy while women shared their vision and passion to create something in the community to benefit many. Some of these women were in their “second half” living a passionate life.
As I think about what’s ahead in 2019, it’s hard not to reflect on the last few years. God has been birthing a change in me and my husband’s life. This started after we vacationed in Ireland and England several years ago. That vacation was a great opportunity for both seeing new sites and connecting with family and friends who live in Europe. We also met a couple who live and work in Galway.
Yet, when we arrived home, it was not where would we go for the next trip that occupied our minds. It troubled my husband (Tom) that there appeared to be so few options for going to church in Tralee, the home of his Irish ancestors. As he pondered the dilemma, God put on his heart that he could do something to change the situation.
This seemed like a huge white canvas waiting to be painted, with us having no idea of what the picture was supposed to be. Originally, we thought we were supposed to go back in the fall of 2018, but that didn’t happen. When Tom prayed about all this, he felt the response was, “That’s okay, I’ll wait.” We became more earnest about discovering what this mission is supposed to be.
It’s been several years of praying and working through ‘life’ here where we live. The big white canvas contains a few broad sweeping strokes at this time. It is nowhere near a clear image. I laugh because it seems like we get insight and details only as we move forward, putting one foot in-front of the other on a path which leads back to Tralee; on a path which will provide opportunities to share God’s love; to help people understand God’s love is vast and wide and most importantly for them.
You may ask, how will we accomplish that? Certainly, through prayer and God’s guidance. Tom will work with a pastor in a nearby community, building their small group ministries. We’ll both reach out in Tralee to people both in and out of the church, to help them develop an understanding of God’s love that is deeper than the hurts and hardships previously imposed by governments and the church. This is not a one time in and out mission trip. We expect we’ll spend two to three months a year in Ireland, establishing long-term relationships with people. Currently, it will just be Tom and I, but over time I expect others may take up the mantle and also spend a couple months at a time there.
The last five plus years have been life changing. God changed the trajectory of my life when He moved me to Colorado. I realize not everyone has to move to experience such a life change, but I guess for me that was necessary. I’ve been a Christian for a very long time, but it means something so much deeper to me now.
A few years back I took a trip to Haiti. Some of you know about that journey. The life-changing lesson I learned is I’m no longer a slave to fear! I AM A CHILD OF GOD!
The last two and half years our church has been studying the book of Luke and for the last year a couple friends and I have been studying the Passion version of the Songs of Songs. From these studies I’ve learned I am totally and completely forgiven for my sins, and I am deeply and intimately loved.
The cumulative effect of those lessons is that I’m free to be the woman God intended me to be. I’m not the same person I was before.
…while memories from my childhood came flooding back.
Yesterday’s day was full. While in Glenwood Springs we went to the pedestrian bridge to view the demolition progress of the main street bridge.
Upon arriving at the site, fragrance in the air drove my memories. I detected a mixture of huge equipment exhaust and oil; broken cement; dirt and hot metal smells. It reminded me of my father. He spent his life doing road construction work. My dad smelled like this when he came home. He’d take us on weekend drives to see his work. Those sites were always close to completion, had minimal equipment there, no workers and not yet opened for public use.
So, though I could say he did road construction work, I knew little about how he spent his days, or what that work entailed. He didn’t talk about it much and when he did, it always sounded like ‘just a job’ and effortless.
After his death I learned more about what he did. He was in management for the company he worked for; they created a special position for him. Because they wanted him in management, and he wanted to still drive the big equipment the company created a new status allowing both sides to gain what they wanted.
People approached me at his visitation and spoke at length and with great respect for what they learned from him. Former co-workers remembered him as a man of his word. Men talked about some of the larger projects where they had worked with him. I saw a few pictures of him on ‘big equipment’ and he was always smiling.
Great as it was to learn those things, yesterday’s glimpse into the bridge demolition opened his world more. Amazed, I watched this huge equipment maneuver heavy pieces of demolished steel, and load it onto a semi trailer. The big claw making tiny movements, shifted the heavy load to just the right place on the truck. The obvious uncertainty of how these large pieces of mangled steel would be transported away, meant there were additional people and pieces of equipment at the ready, to ensure the work gets done.
I’m sure we’ll return to the site. History is being made in Glenwood. The old Grand Avenue Bridge is being replaced. Who knows that my thoughts will be on a subsequent visit?
I experienced one of those moments on January 18th, when I slipped and fell while shopping and broke, not one arm – but both of my arms. With one elbow broken and the other shoulder fractured life slowed.
I have time to reflect on the blessings surrounding me. Beauty encircles me and resides within each of us. Family, friends and my beloved hubby are needed to help me achieve nearly everything.
God heals in many ways. Healing is a daily transformation that happens one step at a time. I’m confident His healing power is at work in my body.
Have you ever felt trapped in your marriage, in another relationship, in your job, in your town, whatever? Well, I’ve spent times in my life trapped. Trapped in a job, like a wild bird in a cage desperate to fly free. I thought there wasn’t anywhere to turn.
One day someone asked me: what happens if you find a cookie on your desk, day after day – and then one day a note replaces the cookie?
The idea fascinated me.
I explored the emotions of being trapped and the options yet at the same time considered other fall-outs of ‘escaping’ the office.
A story was born. My character, Liz becomes the trapped employee. One thing leads to another. The story solves a mystery or two; unlocks dreams or passions previously dismissed as financially impractical or immature; and necessitates dealing with a tangle of relationships – both building new ones and healing old hurts.
Writing this story I explore another place. I bring all the senses into play of being somewhere else and find Liz’s special place. You will too. Join Liz on her journey and discover what the Dream Glasses reveal.
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