Ireland, My First Impressions

I love to travel! I’ve had several countries on my bucket list and I’ve been able to visit some, but not all! I wish I could say Ireland was on my bucket list but it wasn’t! So when our daughter, Christy, and her husband, Sean, and their two younger children, Mason and Maddie, moved to Ireland for Sean’s job, I quickly added Ireland to my list!  Our daughter, Pamela, and son-in-law, Gene, decided to go and invited us to go with them. They didn’t have to ask me twice! We flew by Aer Lingus. It’s a very modern airline and I loved it! They served us a very delicious dinner and of course, beverages and snacks. Our flight was long, about eight hours, but very smooth!Ireland Air Line (2) Traffic is, of course, very different. Driving on the opposite side is the norm. The traffic moves smoothly with few stop signs or lights because they have roundabouts! There are some traffic lights, of course. In the city of Dublin, there are more traffic lights, but not as many as we have in the US. There are few stop signs! It’s no problem! Roundabouts take care of the traffic! We have one roundabout here in my town and no one likes it! Folks get confused with it and complain about it all the time! But the many roundabouts in Ireland were very fascinating to me!

Ireland Parking Notice the parked cars are facing each other! That’s perfectly fine!

Signs were another very fascinating subject to me! Folks respected and obeyed the warning signs! Ireland warning sign (2) The end of this street ended in the Irish Sea! This sign warned drivers not to go any closer and they didn’t! Ireland sign (2) This man made right into the cement sidewalk showed which way to walk! It’s so simple! Ireland Pam and guard rail (2) Pam is standing beside the guard rail at this harbor! No one was falling in! This was warning enough! Ireland sign bends  I smiled at this sign. We would have written Dangerous Curves Ahead! But this works! DANGEROUS BENDS AHEAD.

We took the train to Dublin to do some sightseeing. I love riding the train, but oh my…I’ve never been on such a modern train before!   It was wonderful! It ran so smoothly and so quietly, it was incredible! 

Ireland Modern train (2) Ireland train                We sat and visited like we were in our living room! That’s how quiet the train was! We visited without raising our voices the least bit and we could hear just fine!

We took a tourist bus on a sightseeing tour of the city. This isn’t the actual bus we rode on but I wasn’t quick enough to get a good picture of our bus! So this one will do! We went all over the city! The driver explained everything to us! We had a woman driver and when we were in an area of not too much for her to explain about, she sang Irish songs for us over the speaker! She had a real Irish brogue!         Ireland tour bus (2) Ireland open air bus (2)              We sat upstairs on the bus, right in the front seats where we could see well! Pam, Christy, and Gene sat back where there was no roof over them! You can see them in the picture here. They could probably see even better but we wanted the protection from the sun or rain or wind or whatever! It was a ride worth taking.

Ireland is a country that cherishes and protects its history. I love it! Notice the building here behind the tree! It’s been there for hundreds of years! It’s only what’s left of the building but its hundreds of years old! Ireland Old Building (2) Ireland preserves its history! I love it! Another interesting feature here is the wall around the property. Everyone has a wall around their property! This one, above, is of bushes and vines and is hundreds of years old! Ireland Pam & Jerry by wall (2) Jerry and Pam are beside a wall covered with stucco.

Ireland stone wall (2) Jerry is standing beside a stone wall. This next one is an ancient stone wall with vines overgrowing! It’s hundreds of years old!Ireland, very old wall (2)

Most walls are stone, some are cement! The height varies from a few feet high to several feet high. Some are hundreds of years old and some are new. It was very interesting to me! In Canada, almost everyone has a fence. In the USA some folks have a fence and some don’t. In Ireland, everyone has a surrounding wall!

100_6090 (2)

This is Christy’s house with a brick wall across the front and a high wall covered with stucco along the side yard! The house is very nice and fairly new. Downstairs it has a living room, completely separate from the rest of the rooms! There is a family room, office, laundry room, kitchen, dining/sun room, and a half bathroom. Upstairs there are four bedrooms and three bathrooms!                                             Then there is the third floor! It’s all open but with the spiral stairway going up in the middle so it’s like there are two rooms. There are two skylights, one in each room.

Ireland spiral stair (2)

Mason

 We visited places that go clear back to the 11th century! Unbelievable! I’ll show a few examples here.  Trim Castle! The building of this castle was begun in the 1100’s! It was added on to in the 15th century and again in the 17th century! The folks standing here aren’t quite that old, but getting close! It’s Jerry and me, in case you don’t recognize us! Castle with Jerry and Anita Ireland Cemetary Dublin 3 (2)

Cemeteries are so old and some date back to the 1300’s or older! This picture is of one in Dublin. It’s unreal! I have more cemetery pictures I’ll show in a later post.

It was chilly that day but you can see the sky was blue with white clouds! We had beautiful weather the whole time we were there! It rained one day! We were so thankful because it was quite unusual! I’m going to stop now and write more another day! It’s actually taken me several days to write this!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Scottish/Irish Roots

My dad’s side of my family came from Ireland and Scotland, so I have roots there!  This is a picture of my great-grandparents, William and Jane (Ramsey) Williamson, and their son, Andrew Stuart Williamson. William & Jennie Williamson (2) Actually, this picture was taken after they came to America. Andrew was born in Seaford, Delaware. He, eventually, became my grandfather! But going back further we can find out a little more about William and Jane in Ireland.

William’s family lived in Scotland where he was born in 1817. The family moved to Ireland while William was still a boy. They settled in or near Belfast. William became a baker.

Jane Ramsey was born in 1827 in or near Belfast. William and Jane met and were married in 1850. They had a baby girl, Mabel. I have no dates for Mabel, but she lived only a short time and was buried in a cemetery somewhere around Belfast.

The ‘great potato famine’ hit Ireland and hundreds of families left to make new lives in America. Heartbroken, William and Jane left Mabel in her grave and in 1864 boarded a ship for America. They lived first in Seaford, Delaware, where Jane gave birth to their second baby, Andrew Stewart, on September 22, 1865. When Andrew was a year old they made their way west to Iowa, where other family members had settled. William and Jane had two more children, William and Jenny.

William and Jane had moved from Iowa to Nebraska. Jane died and was buried in Bayard, Nebraska. Jane Ramsey Williamson (2)

William returned to Iowa and died in 1902. Grave of William Williamson (2)

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Andrew grew up and married Rose Williams. They had seven children. Six children are pictured here with Rose and Andrew. Bessie, Floyd, Eva, Claude, Rose, Roy, Andrew, and Louis.

Scan_Pic0032Scan_Pic0108                                                    One more son joined the family on December 22, 1909.                                                         The youngest, Glen Edgar, shown here, became my father! So there, you now have a short version of my Scottish/Irish roots!

 

Pearl Harbor Day

???????????????????????????????   Today is Pearl Harbor Day. What a privilege it was to go to the Memorial last year. I remember the day! I was just a little girl, but I remember the day when everyone, EVERYONE, was started and listening to the radio, wondering what was going to happen next. It was as if the world stood still. ???????????????????????????????

PA240248  God bless America!

Saturday in Iowa

On our recent trip to Iowa Saturday was a day of driving around, observing the Amish and visiting their stores; touring Gray Transportation; reminiscing about our childhood days; visiting graves of loved ones; going out for supper; watching an hour of Gaither music and just visiting. It was a wonderful day!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  Of course, we saw many horses pulling buggies. I didn’t get a picture of one going down the road, but we saw many of them. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  I took this picture of the man plowing for a garden.  LeRoy and Carolyn assured me it was okay to take pictures as long as I didn’t take their faces. This man’s hat was covering his face so this is okay. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  I love windmills and there were many in the Amish community. I also love old barns and got some pictures of a few. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  They have large houses because they have large families! OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  We stopped at an old Amish cemetery. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  Off in a back corner of the cemetery we saw a stack of these headstones, waiting to be used. There are recent graves here as well as old ones.

There are many Amish stores! We went into several, they are very interesting…and tempting! The only thing I bought was some homemade apple butter to take home to our children!

We left the Amish community and went to Waterloo, where I lived during two different periods of my life. I was born in Waterloo, Iowa, but we moved to Des Moines, when I was about two. Then, after living in Oklahoma and Illinois from 1946-1949 , we moved back to Waterloo in 1950.

Today we toured Gray Transportation. That was so interesting. I was glad daughter and son-in-law, Pam and Gene; son, Tim; cousin, Kay, were all with us too. But then they left us and we went on to do some major reminiscing!

We lived in an apartment house behind my cousins, Roy and Beulah Gray. This is when LeRoy and I became best friends. We were in the same grade’s, 5th through 7th  and the same rooms in the little Elk Run Heights School. We also attended the same Free Methodist Church in Waterloo. We spent many happy hours playing together, making hide-outs in the bales of hay in the big round barn, riding the Shetland pony, playing softball, climbing trees and swimming in the creek down the road and through the pasture!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA This is one of the two apartment buildings. One is gone, but this one is still standing and being lived in today! They were built to be chicken houses but before they were used, the man who built them, died and the family sold the farm to Roy and Beulah Gray. They turned the chicken house buildings into apartment houses! We were the first family to move in. Behind our apartment house were woods and beyond the woods was pasture land that Roy had subdivided. My dad bought a lot so he could build us a new house! It was a very small house, but it was ours! It’s still standing and lived in today although some changes have been made in it! We drove by slowly and even stopped to finally figure out which house was our home back in the early 50’s!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  A large round barn stood here when I was a kid. We had so much fun playing in the barn and making hideouts in the bales of hay being stored in the barn! I can’t believe it’s been torn down! The owner of the farm built the round barn and was up on top working on something like a steeple, when he fell to his death! That’s when and why the family sold the farm to Roy and Beulah. Oh, the memories I have of living here!

We drove to the cemetery where LeRoy’s parents, Roy and Beulah and sister, Evelyn, are buried. Evelyn died this year.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  I felt so bad and still do today because I didn’t think ahead of time, to buy some flowers to lay on the gravesite. Next time we go, I will definitely have some with me.

It had been a full day and so Carolyn didn’t have to cook supper we went to a Chinese restaurant for supper. Then home to watch an hour of Gaither music and visiting before going off to bed.  What a wonderful day this was!

Final Good-bye’s

Putting a person’s body, or in our case, ashes into the ground is really the final good-bye. Today was our final good-bye to Lorraine, two years ago today. Her ashes are beside those of her husband, George. They are in the most beautiful and most well cared for cemetery I’ve ever been to! It’s a veteran’s cemetery, only for military personnel and their families. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

On September 9, 2013 we buried my Mother’s ashes in Washington so on our way we stopped in Oregon at the cemetery to visit Lorraine’s grave again and put fresh flowers on it. ??????????????

Lorraine’s name had been put on now so I was glad to see it finished. The three words at the bottom are: LIVE LIFE LARGE! That describes Lorraine well!

We also looked for the grave of my brother-in-law, Bob.???????????

Then on to Washington to bury my Mother’s ashes. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

She was buried beside my Dad. The next pic is my nephew, Chris, officiating.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA                                    OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMy brother and his wife, Cookie. Richard, talked about our sister, Lorraine, and her untimely death.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Bill and Vel, my younger brother and sister-in-law. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA My daughter, Pam, son-in-law, Gene and my husband, Jerry. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Cousins who attended: Rhonda, Chris, Pam, Sonja, Austin, Taylor and Mackenzie.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  A  few of my parents friends came to pay their respects. Most of my parents friends are gone now. This is Beth, Gene and Harold, such good friends.

We stayed all night so in the morning we went back to the cemetery to see the grave with the stone placed. We arranged the flowers again.

????????????????????????  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  I don’t know of any way or time I can go back out to the west coast to visit these grave sites again. I treasure these pictures.