We returned home to Colorado in early June. Since that time, we’ve been connecting with old friends and family. Anyone who has spent a large chunk of time out of the country may relate to the re-adjustment time when returning to your homeland. We’ve been living through this change process. Many of our discussions have centered about “when we will return to Ireland.”
As part of connecting with family and friends, we made a trip back to the mid-west and attended the church Tom was part of for many years. It was our first opportunity of speaking to a group about Ireland, our time there and the vision for the future. It was an excellent experience for both of us. Besides being energizing, this time identified areas where we need to clarify our vision.
We send a hearty “thanks” to the folks of New Hope for allowing us to share our experience and vision; for your interest in this work; and for reminding us that when with Christians, one is never far from family.
For more information about this mission, check out CelticMissions.org
Wow! It’s hard to believe we wrapped up week seven in Ireland. In the blink of an eye, seven weeks passed.
Thoughts whirl and twirl through my mind as I try to sort them. I suspect the sorting process will take some time.
Each of us has made contacts in County Kerry that have a place in our hearts, as do many people back in the US. I’ve read each of us only has the capacity to maintain a finite number of relationships, and that number varies little from person to person. That’s not my life experience. I find as I reach out and build a relationship with someone, my heart expands to make room for more relationships. With each relationship I build, it enriches something within my life.
My heart swells at the good thoughts of those who have touched my life; I’m grateful for the simple expressions of friendship, for the caring acts of our family, for the loving arms of God’s expanded family who know no geographical boundaries.
We’ve written about the weekly activities we each take part in, and those activities may sound simple or repetitive, but in many ways that is what life is about—simple, repetitive acts performed again and again; all the while with lives interacting and crossing one another. And so, week seven was another such week for us, full of people, interactions and activities.
We try to take one day each week and drive somewhere. The attached photo is from a seashore town, an area traveled often by tourists which is why I suspect the houses are so brightly colored. It is beautiful, and then nearby is the blue of the sea and the sky.
I completed Flynn Tales, and it’s available on Amazon. The book contains stories that Tom’s Grandmother and his Uncle Jimmy wrote in 1954 and 1935/36. Additionally, it provides an inside look at travel and culture from those times. I found the differences in attitudes of travel fascinating. The stories confirmed for me things I’ve believed in relation to “culture.” To understand a culture, one must understand the history of the people. History, over time is what creates culture. Some of my impressions of these cultures matched his grandmother’s perspective although many years lapsed between when she formed her opinions and I, mine. This book provides an insight into the life of an American businessman and his family during these years in our history.
If you’re a Flynn descendant, you may learn things concerning some of your relatives. If you’re a student of life like me, you’ll find interesting tidbits relative to how Americans traveled, how they made efforts to connect with other Americans while abroad, and how they viewed traveling and life.
Putting these writings together and editing them was a fun and interesting project. It gave me insight into people I didn’t know, but who impacted my husband’s parents and thus him. But I also found commonalities in how they traveled with stories of others who traveled during these same times.
Enjoy the story. After reading the book, I’d appreciate you leaving comments or reviews on Amazon or my blog site.
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.
If you want to be notified when the book is available, please go to the “Sign Me Up” option on my blog and enter your information. The print version will be released first. I’m still pondering if this book will be available as a Kindle eBook.
…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.
After moving to Colorado, Tom purchased the book, “They Came From Missouri “ for me. The book is about the people who settled the area where we live.
I never got very far in the book because the second family listed was Edward Stauffacher, whose parents were from Canton Glarus, Switzerland; originally settling in Green County, Wisconsin. Edward was born outside Monroe, married and moved west. He set up an early cheese factory and a post office here called Catherine Store. There’s a road called Catherine Store Road. They lived here for a number of years and moved to California to escape winter.
My mother was a Stauffacher and there seemed to be too many similarities.
From the same area of Switzerland.
Settling in the same area in the U.S.
…and now me, living in the same area here.
Could this have been a distant relative?
I found it interesting to think a distant relative of mine also found this area so captivating they wanted to make it home.
I’ve mused the thoughts many times.
I’ve gathered information.
This week I was able to put all the pieces together.
My grandfather was removed by six generations from the link – but it was there.
Born: 10-21-1677 Died: 3-7-1760
So if you’re thinking about visiting me, and are related through my mother’s side of the family be warned. The Swiss blood may be stronger than you think. And who knows what the effect of that is?
As a young child, I idolized my second cousin Joan. She was a nurse. I was sure I wanted to be a nurse, like her. I stuck by that dream until I was 16. Something happened during the year to make me realize I had no tolerance for seeing others in pain, or even seeing things I perceived as being painful.
Over time my sensitivity to issues requiring medical attention increased. As I had children, I could attend to their cuts and bruises as needed, if no one else was around. If some other able body were in the vicinity, I would get hot, and then dizzy, rendering me worthless in dealing with the problem. The other adult would dress the injury. With things bandaged up, I could attend to their other needs.
Fast forward, now I’m home with a husband requiring attention to a surgical wound. YIKES! I’m able to get the initial bandage off. But the gauze around the drain tube is stuck. I feel myself getting hot, and my head getting lighter. I back off and sit down.
The good news is, my being a wuss about medical things is no surprise and we both laugh about it. He references how funny he thought it was listening to the doc telling me the things I would have to do at home.
After taking a break, I get the old bandage removed. Photo the site and the pictures off to the doc. Hubby is enjoying the break from having is neck all bandaged. I’m not enjoying his freedom. The sight is unsettling for me. We work together and get the bandage back around the drainage tube.
The phone rings. Doctor’s office calling. He has to take this call. Then he asks me to make some calendar adjustments. When I’m done, he’s completed his taping up of the new bandage.
Why this happens I don’t understand! Intellectually I understand what needs to be done and why. Yet when it’s time to take action, my mind doesn’t respond the way I need it to.
We enjoyed a new great new sauce last night and a new way to fix chicken. (no photos – I had no idea how great it would be.) The chicken was a golden brown, and the sauce was flavorful with a touch of freshness.
Here’s the how to instructions. Please note, when cooking meat, I rarely measure ingredients, so feel free to play with the quantities.
Wash chicken cavity and sprinkle with salt and Herbes de Provence. Then stuff the bird to capacity with fresh rosemary and parsley.
Place the chicken in a roaster pan. (I use one of those old blue-flecked ones.)
Dot the chicken with a small amount of butter.
1 Cup of brown stock
about 2 teaspoons butter
about ¼ Cup red wine
Spoon a small amount over the chicken now and again every 30 – 45 minutes until chicken is done..
Cover the roaster pan and bake in a 350° oven.
When the chicken is cooked to your satisfaction, remove from the pan and let sit for at least 10 minutes before carving.
Mix any left over liquid with the drippings in the pan along with the juice from 1 lemon. (You could thicken this for a more traditional style gravy.) We just heated it and served it over potatoes and the meat.