Tag Archives: friends

Goodbye to Summer

We arrived home yesterday after spending the weekend celebrating the final summer holiday for 2019. Friends, who have an off-grid cabin and host an annual pig roast picnic on their property invited us for the weekend. After enjoying good food with fine companions, we settled in to enjoy a night high in the mountains complete with campfires and great conversation. 

The early morning in the mountains…

Camp site cleanup…

Outside Cleanup

Departure time…

Traveling view…

Update…

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.

New Hope Window

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

Bittersweet…

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.

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.

 

Sorting Thoughts…

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.

Seaside Town on Ring of Beara
Colorful houses on road along ring of Beara drive

Irish Thoughts

A beautiful bunch of roses.

A delicious loaf of banana bread.

An evening with new friends.

Roses

Waves crashing against the rocky shoreline.

 

Crazy narrow roads and lots of walking.

 

Shared tea around a table, talking of how God has worked in each of our lives.

 

Clouds racing across the sky.

 

The sun appearing at a grey day’s end, to present a colorful sunset.

 

Life in Ireland is exposing us to so many unexpected experiences.

We find ourselves in an environment where the weather is wild; a land that is so internationally diverse; a relaxed culture; a place where people value storytelling, drama and the written word; and a friendly people group.

When we arrived, there was snow on the mountains. Yes, Ireland has mountains. Some days are warm enough to be outside in t-shirts and some days we’re wearing winter coats. Then there was storm Hannah with winds stated to be over 75 MPH. Yet, this is only weather and it constantly changes. We serve One who does not!

Through all the diversity and activities, we find God to be present and guiding. He’s opening doors so that either Tom or both of us can meet with pastors of small churches or various fellowship groups. Those we’ve talked with, emphasis the need for long-term commitment for ministering to the Irish.

They share information about differences in life here versus what we know in the U.S. As we develop relationships with them, we brainstorm ways small short-term groups from the US could aid in their outreach.

We’ve each connected with some folks outside faith groups, some are refugees from other lands, some are creative people, some appreciate the arts, some are local businessmen/women, some are working to create a resource center for women. We’ve connected with each of them on different levels, and they may not realize that they are impacting our lives. Our prayer is that we’ll impact theirs as well.

Later this week we’re off to visit friends we met in 2016 while in Galway. Since we last saw them, they’ve given birth to a little one. Their outreach to the young adults / college-age people in Galway continues to grow.

 

Days are flying by.

 

Our compassion grows.

 

The little lambs are bigger.

 

We appreciate your prayers; we wait for His guidance.

Coffee shops abound!

Not being a big coffee fan, I’m often confused by the choices offered. The following wall art at Costa in Tralee helps solve the problem for those of us who don’t understand the coffee lingo.

 

Coffee Menu
Know what you are ordering

 

Besides providing clarification, the art fits the décor beautifully.

 

Coffee Ambiance
A comfortable place to connect with others

 

Am I the only one who would find this helpful?

February Memories

A dear friend from Wisconsin came for visit. Her pre-visit hope was to see lots of Colorado snow. She certainly got her wish! It snowed every day she was here. The grey skies had no impact on the amount of fun we had. Perhaps her next visit will include the bluebird skies we so often enjoy!

First Quarter Creativity

I kicked off 2018 by cleaning my art room. I’m not sure if it’s the added organization in the room or simply spending time surrounded by art supplies that generated such a desire to create things. I’ve even been able to share my space and time with a friend creating cards.

Here is a sampling of some cards created during this time…

 

Then I decided to try something different. I have no idea what I’m going to use this for — maybe some day a children’s story.

WimsicalPark

What sparks your creativity? Are you willing to share some of the things you are working on?

Work alone, but not really alone…

Because we write alone, learning to share one’s work is a big step. Taking the risk, has big payoffs.
This was last night’s Carbondale Writer’s Group. Each one of us has a totally different writing style. One never knows who will be there. I find the encouragement, support and energy of the Carbondale Writer’s Group to be a huge blessing.20170814_200314