Just when I got back into writing I broke my wrist! Please be patient with me! I’ll get back into blogging as soon as I’m able. The doctor says it was a bad break! It’s been very painful. This is my wrist now. In another week I’ll have a hard cast. I’m typing this with one finger! Thanks for understanding! I’ll be back as soon as I can…
We, Jerry and I, love to feed the birds. We have so many different ones who come to our feeders, but we’ve had a battle with the squirrels. This is a Pileated Woodpecker. He’s rather big to be eating at a bird feeder! But he’ll soon be gone and the smaller birds will return. We’ve always had a battle with squirrels. I know, squirrels have to eat too! They just don’t have to and they don’t get to eat from my bird feeders! It’s been a battle but we’ve finally won! Jerry put a stove pipe over the pole holding the bird feeder! The feeder is now safe! The squirrels can’t climb up the stove pipe! It’s so funny watching them try! They slide back down! Notice the black squirrel with the brown tail! They can eat all they want off the ground! We have black, brown, and gray squirrels who come but they don’t mix! They stick with their color! I find that interesting! In our front yard we have more feeders. This feeder with the Baltimore Oriole is okay for the orange on top. But the bag hanging is not good. The squirrels took over so we moved it. We now have a hummingbird feeder hanging there which you can see, in the next picture, if you look closely. Perfect! We hung the regular feeder on our porch. Then the squirrels were jumping up from the railing up to the bird feeder! But we smarter than the average bear… We now have a slinky hanging from the feeder! The squirrels can’t climb the slinky! If you look very closely you can see part of the slinky resting on the rail. So we won!!! We do love watching the many birds who come to our feeders! We love the Humming Birds and have so many come. I make the nectar, it’s so simple to make.
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! 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!
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! The end of this street ended in the Irish Sea! This sign warned drivers not to go any closer and they didn’t! This man made right into the cement sidewalk showed which way to walk! It’s so simple! Pam is standing beside the guard rail at this harbor! No one was falling in! This was warning enough! 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!
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! 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 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! Jerry and Pam are beside a wall covered with stucco.
Jerry is standing beside a stone wall. This next one is an ancient stone wall with vines overgrowing! It’s hundreds of years old!
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!
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.
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!
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!
When grandchildren come to visit. What shall we do? We went to the Hall of Ideas at the Center for the Arts. It was closed! So we went to the Tridge and hiked along the river. On the way home we stopped for ice cream.
But what to do today?
Our neighbor kids are still in school, so the days are long. Today I remembered my nephew, Ruhl, has an archery center. So we went there and will go back on Friday! They loved it!
They both learned quickly and did well! Ruhl had a pink bow for Maddie! Then after practicing with those, Ruhl brought out the compound bows! They did well! Mason has a good eye and hit the bull’s eye almost every time! They both have sore arms now!!! So they can heal tomorrow and Friday we’ll go back. Thanks, Ruhl, for a great afternoon!
So, now I have another option of what to do with grandchildren when they come to visit!!!
In 1944 to 1946, I began my education in Des Moines, Iowa at Nash Elementary and Kirkwood Elementary. The schools I attended were racially mixed. Race meant nothing to me. I played with anyone who would play with me.
I was raised in Iowa, except for three years, 1946 to 1949, when we lived in Oklahoma and Illinois. It’s interesting how impressions are made on children. Because I’m writing about the 1940’s and ’50’s I’ll use the word, Negro, rather than Black.
When we moved to Oklahoma, we lived in a town that was all white. I remember seeing a negro man walking along the railroad tracks one day. The thought that came to my mind was, he’d better keep walking because negro people can’t be in this town! If he wants to sleep overnight, he’ll have to sleep in the jail! What a thought for a little child. What a thought to remain in my mind after all these years!
We moved back to Des Moines and for 8th and 9th grades I attended Washington Irving Jr. High. I have many memories of my two years there. There were many, many negro students. I don’t remember any negro teachers.
I wasn’t very athletic so gym days were tough for me. I couldn’t serve a volleyball and get it over the net… My hands stung every time I tried to hit the ball back over the net. One day a girl, who was getting very aggravated with me, yelled, “Niger”, at me! I couldn’t believe it…she was a negro! Later we became good friends.
A negro boy in my homeroom was named Matthew. I’d never heard of anyone named Matthew. I thought it was interesting his mother named him a Bible name! Today it’s a common name…I have a fine grandson named Matthew!
I had a very long way to walk to and from school. One day as I was walking alone, one of my classmates, who was also walking alone, caught up with me. We started talking as we walked. We enjoyed each other’s company and laughed a lot.
We were walking down a very busy street. All of a sudden, a car veered and nearly lost control. We jumped quickly, staring at the car. The driver caught my eye. He was staring, in disbelief, at me! Oh my goodness, we’d nearly caused an accident! Yes, my friend was a negro boy! So what! We were friends…simply that, friends. And good friends, at that! We continued walking together until we came to where he had to turn the corner but our mood had changed. We said good-bye. We were still friends but we never walked together again. I felt bad then and I still do today.
These are just a couple of memories I have of growing up white in a country of both whites and blacks. I have lots more, but these stand out in my mind.
Years later, I understood why I had such a feeling of comradeship with my black friends. My parents, though never saying so, had the feeling of equality with black people and had always encouraged me in this way. But it was more than that. My dad became Director of Interracial Evangelism, in the 1960’s, in our denomination, Free Methodist Church of North America. I was so proud of him then and still am. What a legacy my parents gave me.
I’ve already made out my bucket list for 2016 so I’d better go over last year’s list to see how many I completed on it. Oh dear…
- Go to South Carolina to Miller’s graduation. Completed
2. Go to Haleigh’s graduation. Completed.
3. Go to Haiti. Completed.
4. Finish my writing on My Big Brother and send it to him!
5. Continue writing my parents story. In process.
6. Lose weight. Do 10 pounds count?
7. Attend Conference in May. Completed.
8. Have family ‘get-together’ here in July or August. Completed.
9. Continue writing Prime Time News newsletter bi-weekly. Completed.
10. Create Christmas card.
11. Communicate with Andrew and Katie.
12. Sort books and give appropriate books to book receivers.
13. Clean and arrange reading room.
14. Clean wood floors and wax.
15. Ride an elephant.
16. Go dog sledding. Completed Feb. 26, 2015.
Oh boy…not so good. I only completed nine out of sixteen. Hopefully, I’ll do better in 2016!